Making a break for it? Even if currently not punishable in the Netherlands, it's still not advisable, Source: Depositphotos

Did you know that escaping from a Dutch prison is not a crime?

Did you know that escaping from a Dutch prison is not a crime?

This, however, is likely to change soon

The world was shocked by the brutal attack on the police convoy that helped a prisoner in France escape from prison and resulted in the death of two policemen. In that regard, it may result almost just as shocking (albeit in a different way) for readers to find out that in the Netherlands escaping from prison is actually not considered a crime.

The same goes for making a run from a psychiatric prison. However, that only works if you do it on your own. If anyone helps you out with your prison break, then they will be liable for punishment themselves.

The practice until now has been that if a prisoner escapes and is caught (escaping doesn’t mean getting a free pass on not being searched) they are simply returned to the institution to continue with their sentence.

Aiding an escapee, however, is illegal

Nevertheless, the Dutch authorities have been set to correct this glaring oddity in their legislation. According to NL Times, outgoing Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind has plans to submit a legislative amendment to make the act of escaping prison illegal in the summer.

This bill has been in the making for five years. In 2019, Franc Weerwind promised to make escaping punishable, under pressure from the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament. However, the topic seems to have fallen off to the sidelines lost in the hubbub of the pandemic matters. The idea was to impose an additional 4-year sentence for people who have broken free from jail.

Weerwind recently told parliament that he does not know why the bill has remained shelved for so long. “I owe you that answer. I know that it has been picked up and I am working on it,” he said, as quoted by NL Times.

He agreed that it made no sense for a person breaking out from prison to go unpunished and promised to finally see to it that necessary changes are put in place.



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