Denmark has signed an agreement with Kosovo, according to which Pristina will rent 300 prison cells due to overcrowding in “Scandinavian” prisons. The agreement will enter into force in 2023. Under the agreement, Copenhagen will pay Pristina 15m euros a year, with the agreement signed over a five-year period. There is an option for its extension.
Last week, Denmark announced that the prisoners it will send to Kosovo will be foreigners subject to deportation after serving their sentences. The detainees will go to prison in the town of Gilan, about 50km from the capital Pristina. Since 2015, the number of prisoners in Denmark has increased by nearly 20 percent, and the number of guards has decreased by the same percentage. Danish Justice Minister Nick Heckerup described the agreement as revolutionary and expressed hope that it would reduce pressure on prison staff. His Kosovo counterpart, Albulena Hadjiu, noted that there are between 700 and 800 vacancies in the Balkan country. Denmark has already announced plans to deport prisoners after serving their sentences in the country’s prisons. By 2020, their number should have been 350.
A similar practice has already been applied in other European countries. Norway and Belgium have rented prison cells in the Netherlands.