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Empty Prisons in the Netherlands to Be Turned into Hotels

News In many countries, like the United States, overcrowding of prisons is often a problem, but that doesn’t’ apply to the Netherlands. Actually, many prisons in this country are so empty that it was decided to turn them into hotels.

The crime rate in the Netherlands has dropped by 25% within last 8 years. The incarceration rate is also one of the lowest across Europe. Only 57 people per 100,000 are currently in prisons in the country. While critics say that such a drop of the crime rate is the result of police station closings and there are simply not enough people to catch criminals, many prison buildings are empty. Some of these prisons are already available for rent.

A part of the former prison buildings was turned into new homes for Syrian refugees. Some buildings were turned into hotels and now offer creative accommodation for travelers. The Het Arresthuis hotel in Roermond not far from Amsterdam is one of these converted hotels. The name of the hotel is literally translated as “House arrest” from Dutch. Former prison cells have been turned into guest rooms, but it’s hard to recognize them. Jail cell doors are the only original element that reminds of the building’s past. Guest rooms are very comfortable and have Wi-Fi and LCD TVs. The Roermond prison hotel also has four suites with the unusual names – The Lawyer, The Judge, The Jailer, and The Director.

The Netherlands is not the pioneer country in turning prisons into hotels. That is quite widespread in Nordic countries including Sweden and Finland.


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