Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker paid a visit to the former prison village of Veenhuizen on Monday.
According to RTV Drenthe, minister Dekker was not able to make any promises about the future of the prisons in the town. The minister was visiting the city to open a new facility for prisoners who are fathers to visit with their children.
Norway has been renting the Norgerhaven prison in Drenthe due to a lack of space in Norway. That shortage has since been resolved and the contract with Norgerhaven will end this summer.
Local politicians and the 250 employees at the prison are concerned about their jobs: after the Norwegian prisoners leave, the prison will be virtually empty. Norgerhaven is one of two prisons in the area which is still in use.
Minister Dekker emphasised that he plans to submit a new proposal about the capacity of the prison system this summer. Dekker arrived in the area on Monday and took a cycling tour through the village, which was established as a housing colony in the 19th century and later become a penal colony.
Photo source: Sjaak Kempe