# 17-023/VIII (2017-02-20)

Mattheus Wassenaar, VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Raymond Gradus, VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Toon Molleman, Custodial Institutions Agency, The Netherlands
nonprofit organizations, contracting out, prison services
JEL codes:
H40, L31

Outsourcing of detention is a complex public task, due to quality risks from incomplete contracts, the public responsibility for sentencing and execution, and related social opinions. In the Netherlands, the debate about the outsourcing of prison services to the private profit sector has recently restarted. At the same time, in the Netherlands there is extensive experience of outsourcing prison services – in particular 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 with the prisons, costs and quality. The Dutch experience shows that outsourcing to nonprofit entrepreneurs in civil society can be an alternative to outsourcing to the private market.