Dutch Prisons seek new jobs

Prisons in the Netherlands seek new clients for prisoners to work. They want to setup a nationwide marketing force. This is necessary because due to the economic crisis ‘old’ customers left, according to Henry Geenen, general manager of the Agency of prison in Vught.

Prisoners have been providing activities in detention for years, to prepare for an industrious life after serving their sentences. These include jobs such as making clothing, landscaping, carpentry and metal jobs.

Due to the economic crisis work volume has dropped. “The problem is that we have been working with the same clients. Because of the crisis they stopped or moved work to Eastern Europe. We lack a good marketing force to find new customers.

Geenen and his fellow managers also argue for the exclusion of prisons in European procurement rules. Prisons need to outsource work for internal operations such as washing bedding and making cabinets. The jobs will then still go to another prison.

“This procedure costs a lot of tax money which is ridiculous. This may save a lot of money when they abolish these rules, “says Geenen. He wants to go to a prison system where this kind of work can be shared among them.

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