Home Institution

Lafayette College

Publication Date

Spring 2009

Program Name

Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender


This study is the capstone project of an exploratory study of prison programming in Holland examining gender equity or inequity in opportunity of available programs. It also serves to assess the efficacy of BONJO, Holland’s largest prison-programming oversight and networking group sponsoring my work. Through over twenty interviews with independent prison-related organizations, information was gathered on perceived problems of the prison system. Also documented were differences in need of male and female inmates, and programming opportunities for men and women. This data was set in contrast to secondary data extrapolated from studies sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Justice.

It is concluded that while both men and women are addressed in independent prison programs, the opportunities and degree of programming are not gender comparable. This can only in part be explained by the difference in volume of male to female inmates. Female inmates were more underrepresented in prison programming focus, although programs available were comparable to percentages of inmates incarcerated. Aside from gender, no significant link was found between populations of high recidivism based on ministry data and the focus of independent programming organizations. Lastly, although most prison-related organizations were satisfied with BONJO, each program expressed concern with the Dutch prison system and identified distinct issues needing additional attention. The following pages help to explain the details of, and reasons for, these findings.


Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance


Article Location