Prison population up in 2001

30/09/2002 10:00

In 2001 the average number of people detained in Dutch prisons was just over 12,400 in 2001. This is an increase of more than five percent on 2000, when around 11,800 people were detained.

Population in penitentiary facilities (1995 = 100)

More women detained

In total an average 790 women were detained in penitentiary institutions in 2001, nearly a quarter more than in 2000. The increase was largest for age groups 20 to 25 years and 35 to 40 years: just over sixty percent and just over fifty percent respectively. The number of women in prison rose by no less than eighty percent in the period 1995-2001.

For men the largest increase was reported for men in the age group 45 to 50 years (plus sixteen percent higher than in 2000). The number of men detained remained quite stable in the period 1995-2001 .

Violent crime most common offence

Nearly three out of every ten detainees are suspected of or have been convicted of an offence involving violence. More than a quarter of all detainees are in prison for a property offence. Two out of ten are detained for offences against the Opium Act.

The most common by far for women are drug-related offences: more than one in three are in prison for this reason.

Convicted detainees by unconditional custodial sentences, 2001

Shorter custodial sentences for women

The figures show that women receive shorter custodial sentences on average than men committing the same crime. The length of a custodial sentence depends on the type of crime committed. For offences involving violence, vandalism, disturbing the public order and drugs, most sentences are in excess of two years. For property crimes the sentences are usually shorter than two years. Breaches of the Road Traffic Act usually result in custodial sentences of less than three months.

Cheng Wang