In many prisons it is total anarchy. Staff say alcohol is smuggled and consumed, drugs too even weapons and phones are being rummaged in. Oh, and on top of that, people are extorted as well as plotting murders behind bars. Geert Wilders is furious and thinks D66 minister Weerwind is responsible for this.
If you think prisons are places where criminals are dealt with, De Telegraaf has bad news for you today: that is utter nonsense. In Dutch prisons, it is not the staff who are in charge, but the inmates. They decide what happens. And do literally anything they want.
Geert Wilders finds this unacceptable. The PVV leader states on X (formerly Twitter) that there is "total anarchy" in prisons, that "criminals [are] in charge [there]..." And he rightly points an accusing finger in the direction of D66 minister Weerwind. After all, who is responsible for this, but lets it all happen.
Or, as Wilders puts it, who "sleeps on."
According to the report in The Telegraph, prison officials are "running behind the times." There are professional criminals who are incarcerated but who then live like kings in prison. They decide what happens, who gets punished and ensure, through bribery and/or blackmail, that all kinds of resources are brought in, including alcohol and drugs and weapons and telephones.
One of those kings is Lysander R., the big boss of the Hardliners, a well-known motorcycle gang. He was in Zwaag and had a great time there. For example, luxury food was cooked for him "by as many as eight different inmates" and he also got a nice new TV. Phones and alcohol were also well stocked for him. When staff reported this to the director of the prison, he told them to let him and his buddies go about their business;
Of course this happens not only in the Netherlands but in all prisons. You could say: whip them, put as many guards on them as possible, establish a kind of harsh dictatorship. But of course that is not consistent with all kinds of human rights and the like...
Well one way to deal with this is to prosecute corrupt personnel very quickly and put them in jail themselves. That will teach them a thing or two. But even then you won't solve the problems once and for all, because serious criminals can actually get staff to do something to them - and the staff knows it.
It is not a popular opinion, but actually, of course, you have to approach the whole system of prisons and punishing criminals differently. In Rome and Athens they didn't have prisons, they just didn't exist. Punishments were harsh, yes, but people were not put in a prison for long periods of time where they then taught each other how to become even more criminal.
Should we go back to that?