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The Netherlands

Penitentiaire Inrichting Over-Amstel “Bijlmerbajes” - Amsterdam


Bijlmerbajes Prison was constructed with respect to individual needs of ‘social’ comfort when designed in the 1960's. The building was designed as a humane prison without bars over the windows and was opened in 1978. However it turned out that the glass of the windows was not completely unbreakable, so bars were retrospectively fitted, known as lamellen. The complex consists of 6 towers with small divisions.  The six towers are each a separate prison, each with different types of prisoners and/or functions. One tower houses inmates with less than 6 months on their sentence, and another contains an "SHU". One is for reoffenders who may have been sentenced to a short time, but can face up to two years for reoffending. There is also a tower that houses inmates with severe psychological disorders where forced administration of medication is warranted. Each tower houses about 125-150 inmates, and are connected by tunnels. Two main elevators transport inmates and staff between floors of each tower. Staff and inmates never occupy the elevators at the same time.