In 2009, the Dutch justice ministry announced the planned closing of eight prisons in the Netherlands due to a declining crime rate which was expected to continue.
In 2013, a staggering 19 prisons were scheduled to be closed. This is caused, in part, by a continued decline in crime rates. Additionally, those who are convicted are choosing electronic tagging instead of incarceration. This allows people to go back to work and continue as productive members of society. It also saves about $50,000 per year per person (about $50 million saved per year for every 1000 people).
Johnson County and the Netherlands have something in common. The average incarceration rate in the Netherlands is about 163 people per 100,000. (Source) In Johnson County, we have about the same rate of incarceration – slightly lower. (Source: 2012 Annual Sheriff’s Report – PDF)
Counties and countries with low incarceration rates typically take a different approach to criminal justice and their investment in social services. …