Case Studies

The Netherlands: Inter-detainee violence


It’s important to note that violence can occur not just from guards, but also from other detainees.

In this case, as a result of heightened tensions in a cell in Lelystad detention centre, a detainee hit a fellow inmate with an iron bar on his head, which resulted in two open cuts to his head. The perpetrator reacted to having had a glass thrown at him. Following the incident, the victim joined the criminal proceedings against the perpetrator as an injured party and sought damages.

The court convicted the perpetrator and ordered a prison sentence of 203 days with deduction of the time spent in pre-trial detention. It ordered a €500 compensation award with interest in favour of the victim. The amount was set low, because it was felt that the victim had contributed to provoking the offender.