Apparently, there is not enough crime in the Netherlands to fill their prisons, so they are looking elsewhere for occupants. At the same time, the Norwegians are facing a shortage of prison space due to "renovations." (Granite countertops in the kitchens?) Luckily, international trade has come to the rescue. This is from Reuters:
Norway plans to rent prison space in the Netherlands as the queue of convicts awaiting cells is growing and renovation work at Norwegian jails is expected to cut capacity, the justice ministry said on Monday.
"At the moment, the queue is at 1,300 custodial sentences, and there is a great demand for detention space," it said in a statement. "The Netherlands has already leased prison capacity to Belgium for several years."
A deal for several hundred prison places would allow Norway to avoid overcrowding and maintain its standards while prison renovation work costing up to 4.4 billion crowns ($700 million) is carried out.
"In Norway there is a capacity shortage, and right now we have a surplus," Fred Teeven, the Dutch state secretary with responsibility for prisons, said in a letter to the Dutch parliament.
The Netherlands already has a contract to house overflow prisoners from Belgium - roughly half of whose population speaks Dutch - in a prison near the Belgian border.
A deal would provide for Norwegian sentences to be carried out from 2015 in accordance with Norwegian law on Dutch territory.