No cellphone

Dutch prison week


Except where restrictions have been placed upon a pre-trial detainee, every detainee has the right to have telephone calls with persons outside the penal establishment for ten minutes at least once a week. Telephone calls are at the expense of the detainee, unless the prison governor determines otherwise. The detainee can buy telephone cards in the prison canteen (shop). If he is found in possession of more telephone cards than are needed for regular use, this may constitute an offence against the order in the penal establishment, which may be punished with a disciplinary sanction. 

The governor may decide to supervise telephone calls conducted by or with the pretrial detainee if this is necessary to establish the identity of the person with whom the detainee calls or for the following reasons: 

  • the maintenance of order or safety in the penal establishment; 
  • the protection of public order and national security; 
  • the prevention or investigation of criminal offences; or 
  • the protection of victims of crimes. 


The supervision may include interception or recording of the telephone conversation. Prior to the telephone calls, the detainee must be informed of the nature and reason for the supervision. The governor may deny the detainee the opportunity to make telephone calls, or may terminate a telephone conversation within the time allotted for the reasons previously mentioned. The decision to deny the detainee the opportunity to make telephone calls remains in force for a maximum of twelve months. 

Visitors are not allowed to take their phone into the visiting area. When the detainee arrives at the penitentiary institute he is allowed to write down the numbers he needs from his cellphone. The phone and his other valuable possessions like debit/creditcards, id, money are kept in a sealbag during his stay.

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