Are nonprofit prisons an alternative? Some experiences in the Netherlands

Mattheus Wassenaar*, Raymond Gradus, Toon Molleman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Outsourcing of detention is complex due to quality risks from incomplete contracts, the public responsibility for sentencing and execution, and related social opinions. In the Netherlands, prison services are extensively outsourced-particularly for juvenile detention and internal forensic psychiatric care-to nonprofit organizations. In the Dutch experience, we have not found differences between public and nonprofit execution with respect to the type of contract, costs, performance indicators such as escapes and violence against personnel. The Dutch experience shows that outsourcing to nonprofit organizations can be an alternative to outsourcing to private entrepreneurs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)529-537
Number of pages9
JournalNonprofit Management and Leadership
Issue number4
Early online date26 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Contracting out
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Prison services


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