Prison staff covenant: 100 million euros for professionalism

The trade unions, the Custodial Institutions Agency (DJI) Works Council and the General Director of the Custodial Institutions Agency signed the ‘Working on a solid staff policy’ covenant today. This covenant for the prison staff stems from agreements made in the Coalition Agreement. The purpose is threefold: invest in the professionalism of the staff to reduce recidivism, bring peace to the organisation after years of major changes and increase the flexibility of the organisation.

Minister Dekker (Legal Protection) has responded positively to the covenant, which he sees as a sign of recognition for the Custodial Institutions Agency staff’s work. ‘Investing in professionalism is essential to be able to work with the increasingly complex target group and reduce recidivism’, Dekker says. A total of 100 million euros will be made available within the Custodial Institutions Agency’s equity for the four years ahead.

In spring, Minister Dekker will present his vision on the prison system. This vision includes reducing recidivism, restricting conditional release and continuing detention phasing. The agreements in the covenant provide job security to the Custodial Institutions Agency staff, who have experienced many changes in recent years. In the event of unexpected closure of or concentration of cell-vacancy in an institution or part thereof, the employees will receive a four-year guarantee of being reassigned within the institution or to a nearby Custodial Institutions Agency location.

Investments will also be made in training for the staff. In order to continue to ensure the safety of staff and society, the workloads in the institutions will be reduced. ‘The job security that this covenant offers for the coming four years brings peace to the organisation and provides confidence for the future. That gives us the opportunity to carefully consider how to deal with the current excess capacity within the Custodial Institutions Agency’, Dekker explains.

Custodial Institutions Agency General Director Peter Hennephof adds: ‘I am incredibly pleased with this covenant; our employees have been in a state of uncertainty for quite some time. I salute them for their professionalism and versatility over the past period. With this covenant and the financial stimulus, we are laying a solid foundation for equipping employees and the organisation to implement the vision to be developed on the prison system.’

Ministry responsible