Gaolbalization offshoring markets in everything the culture that is Dutch (Belgian)

by on November 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm in Law | Permalink

Belgium and the Netherlands have an interesting arrangement, an example of economics and incentives working clearly in the public law field. Belgium has more convicts than it can accommodate in its prisons. Neighboring Netherlands has the opposite problem: not enough prisoners. Several years ago, it was facing having to shutter some facilities. But then the two countries made a deal: Belgium rents space for its inmates in Dutch jails, patrolled by Dutch corrections guards. (Perhaps the Flemish hope they can be “transferred” to Dutch custody as well, or at least out of Belgium.)

Here is more, from Eugene Kontorovich, pointer from the estimable Chug.

Al November 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm

California also does something a bit like that, on a temporary basis :
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/visitors/ca_out_of_state_facilities.html

Alex' November 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I see what your did there

JWatts November 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm

+1

Jacques René Giguère November 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm

The Flemish have no intention of getting back with the Netherlands. Had a war in 1830 about getting out.

prior_approval November 20, 2012 at 2:35 am

And the Dutch have no interest in it either, if only not to have to listen to what just about every Dutch translator I have worked with considers an inferior version of their language. The French have the same attitude about Belgian French, by the way – in the translation business in Europe, it is a simple reality that hiring a Belgian translator for French or Dutch work means that the translation will generally not be accepted as correct by French or Dutch users.

Marian Kechlibar November 20, 2012 at 4:01 am

Well, the war was very short and happened 180 years ago. Many more traditional foes have since found a common ground.

So Much For Subtlety November 20, 2012 at 4:09 am

Yes but that was about a religious difference, which no one believes now. So what is keeping them apart except for the fact that they have been apart for a long time now? It is not as if the two halves of Belgium can stand each other. The Fleming might have a nice country on their own, but they might prefer to be part of the Netherlands.

prior_approval November 20, 2012 at 5:22 am

‘So what is keeping them apart except for the fact that they have been apart for a long time now?’

First question – do you actually know any Dutch people?

Second question – what part of ‘Flemish independence movement’ implies a desire to become a part of the Netherlands?

To try to be a bit more concrete – 1. how many of the ‘former Americans’ living to the north of U.S. border want to become Americans? 2. What part of Quebec independence implies that those interested in an independent Quebec want to become part of the U.S.?

This is about par for the course here – when framed in terms which most Americans should recognize, what seems so unusual becomes absolutely silly. The Dutch have no interest in acquiring part of Belgium, and those Belgians interested in Flemish independence have no interest in becoming loyal subjects of Queen Beatrix.

It really shouldn’t be that hard to understand, even without actually knowing anyone that is a citizen of either country.

So Much For Subtlety November 20, 2012 at 6:16 am

But it is not really a Fleming independence movement is it? It is a We-hate-the-Walloons-Who-Have-Been-Oppressing-Us movement. Plenty of groups seek to exit one state in order to enter another. The textbook case must be the Irish Republican Army.

What former Americans are living north of the border? Seriously where are you getting this history from? Canada is not and never has been part of the United States. How many politically active Mexican-Americans would like California to once again be part of Mexico? That is closer to the question. Or how many Catholic Irish people north of the border would like to see Ireland reunited?

Quebec was never part of the US. A large part of their problem is hatred of English speakers. So obviously joining the US is not an option. Re-joining France on the other hand – and it is one of Quebec’s neighbors – is another matter. I expect that idea is not unpopular in Quebec.

Thank you for being so patronising. It helps. It really does. But perhaps I could ask for a less ahistoric fact-free rebuttal? But when most Americans look at this issue, they are likely to think of Ireland.

vak November 20, 2012 at 6:42 am

‘But it is not really a Fleming independence movement is it?’

Yes, it really is a Fleming independence movement. I lived in all “2.5” countries involved.
Flamings don’t have the former colony relationship Quebec has with France. Quebec was
under french rule for 250 years, the flamings under Dutch rule for a mere 15.

prior_approval November 20, 2012 at 11:06 am

One hopes you don’t find vak equally patronizing – after all, he acttually knows what he is talking about.

So Much for Subtlety November 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Thank you, prior, I did find his response very informative. Not patronizing at all.

Russ R. November 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Offshoring prisons isn’t a novel idea (e.g. Australia).

Imagine the cost savings if the US relocated its enormous prison population (and correctional staff) to Mexico or China.

Roy November 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Australia was under British Administration, Mexico is an independent country.

There is a long history of countries exiling undesirables to distant corners of the empire, but exiling people to a foreign country is a completely different matter. The Tsars exiled people to Siberia, the English to Virginia, the French to Cayenne, but they didn’t send them out of the boundaries of their sovereignty.

All this shows is that in the Netherlands, both Belgian and Dutch, EU integration has crossed a certain line.

So Much For Subtlety November 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm

That is not true. Exiling people has a long history in Europe. The East Germans regularly did it towards the end. So did the Soviet Union although less so. It was Greenland’s main form of judicial punishment as they lacked a state and hence prisons. The Ancient Greeks used it on a large scale. They even had a vote every year or so on who to exile.

Stephen November 19, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Wow, I’m thinking your counter cases might be a great example of the adage, “The exception proves the rule”.

So Much For Subtlety November 20, 2012 at 2:43 am

That may be true but in countries with weak law enforcement, exile is a common form of punishment. That includes Europe until recently. So people were sentenced to go on pilgrimage or to go Crusading. Of course later on they just fled into exile, so it is hard to tell if that is intended or not.

But it is very much part of the European tradition.

GiT November 20, 2012 at 12:06 am

The yearly ostracism was an Athenian practice, and it didn’t really have much to do with law-breaking

Marian Kechlibar November 20, 2012 at 4:02 am

I think that many contemporary democracies would benefit from re-introduction of ostracism. Maybe the exile could be limited to 2 years instead of 10.

Roy November 20, 2012 at 5:16 am

The exile you are describing is a political act, it is reserved for members of the political class. Tell me a modern state that exiled common criminals and murderers outside their jurisdiction?

I even challenge you to suggest ANY state that exiled non political criminals who were not members of the ruling class rather than torturing, imprisoning, or killing them?

Nothing in the article suggested the subjects were of the likes of Themistocles, Wang Dan, or Solzhenitsyn.

Roy November 20, 2012 at 5:21 am

I will also suggest that the early medieval Scandinavian societies, such as Iceland, Greenland, or Norway, that relied on Outlawry as a punishment not only reserved it for those with political and military power, but were also not states in that outlawry only existed as a classification because they lacked a monopoly on force.

As “So much for subtlety” admitted, Greenland had no state.

So Much For Subtlety November 20, 2012 at 6:20 am

Well the Anglo-Saxons then. Outlawry was a common part of Germanic law and it came to Britain as well as to Greenland. It remained a punishment on the books down to the 19th century.

The problem with the “not members of the ruling class” is that virtually all the literature I can think of refers to the ruling class. Because pretty much all historical literature refers to the ruling class until fairly recently. That doesn’t mean the same rulings weren’t open to the lower classes. We just don’t know. But you are splitting hairs. You did not say they were not of the likes of Solzhenitsyn. Or that they had to be murderous non-elites.

Roy November 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Beating a dead thread here, but…

1. I never said they had to murderous non elites, just common criminals including murderers are different from politicals.

2. Everything I said about viking and early medieval Norway also applies to Anglo Saxon England. Though I actually know that under the strong kings from Alfred onward, exile ceased to be a punishment for anyone without a private army.

3. We have far more literature on non-elites and punishment you seem to realize. it is actually our main institutional source on non elites. If I wanted to tell you about Ming China, or 15th century France, or 18th century London my main records are court files. the london ones from the Old Bailey can be freely searched on the internet. and you will find no exceptions to my own original theses there. You seem to think one can’t prove a negative here, but any familiarity with these PRE MODERN societies and their records would suggest that this can be proven pretty conclusively.

4. You accuse me of splitting hairs, but every single state in my original post was a post 1700 modern state. Yet all you examples come from periods before any of these states were modern.

And yes I am aware of such matters as “Extraordinary Rendition” and repatriation of non national prisons to prisons in their country of origin. These are not the same issue.

Dismalist November 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Mundane international trade in services. Mundane.

BC November 20, 2012 at 2:30 am

This trade seems much better than the alternative of a Dutch stimulus program to pay people to commit crimes in order to save prison jobs, Cash for Criminals I think they called it.

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