‘Prison staff guilty of misconduct’

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'Prison staff guilty of misconduct'

Prison staff are regularly guilty of serious misconduct. This is evident from research by RTL News. Nearly 160 prison employees have been fired in the last four years. Some turned out to be corrupt or blackmailable: they smuggled drugs or telephones into cells or had a relationship with a detainee.


Another 170 prison employees were punished in other ways. In total, hundreds of reports of misconduct were made from 2020 to 2023, according to previously undisclosed justice data.

Sometimes it was about human error, writes the investigative editors of RTL Nieuws, such as leaving a cell door open. In other cases, prison staff erred so badly that they became susceptible to bribery or blackmail by prisoners.

On the fingers

A headbutt, sex, or falling asleep: prison officials have been reprimanded for this. For example, prison employees had love affairs with detainees, smuggled in telephones or leaked sensitive information. In the past four years, RTL counted 140 serious crimes.

In the past four years, guards had unauthorized contact with detainees 77 times. For example, they transferred money to them or had sexual contact. For example, in August 2023, a prison employee at the Rotterdam detention center admitted to having had several ‘affective relationships’ with detainees.

Smuggling in

Guards, such as drugs or telephones, have been reported 41 times. For example, last year the management of the prison in Roermond received signals that an employee was smuggling in drugs and telephones. After an investigation by the National Criminal Investigation Department, the employee was arrested in August.

Popular in prison is a phone the size of a thumb, with which you can only call and text.

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