Do you ever think that a detainee can lose much more than ‘only’ his freedom? I did not, until I could train 60 case managers and trainers from the Custodial Institutions Service (DJI) about the field of finance and debt.

It is estimated that 70 to 80% of the detainees have to contend with debts. Often these financial problems are already present for imprisonment and sometimes these problems are the reason for committing criminal offenses. And if someone had no debts before he or she ended up in detention, then chances are that they will arise.

Problems accumulate

When you are stuck, you have no income. Sometimes the employer decides to resign and the housing corporation can decide to vacate your home. Problems accumulate. From the prison you can only prevent the debts from worsening to a limited extent. After all, without income it is also difficult to redeem.

Sixty DJI employees, who are enormously involved with the target group for whom they work, take this issue with them on a daily basis. They wanted to be trained on budgeting and debt counseling in the world of detainees and the prison system.

Conditions for reintegration

The DJI trainers because they motivate inmates during their trainings ‘Choose change’ and ‘My money well arranged’ of the Nibud inmates with their debts to get started. They often hear harrowing stories. And the case managers because they support the detainees in putting the five basic conditions for reintegration into society in order:

  1. work and Income
  2. housing
  3. care
  4. debt
  5. identification


Budgeting and debt counseling for detainees

What help request does a detainee have and how do you adjust your support to this? How do you get the administration in order in detention? What can a detainee already prepare for debt counseling? Is he eligible? A person in detention often has a very limited budget available, but can, for example, make a payment arrangement with the CJIB to ensure that the debts do not increase further.

There were all kinds of questions. And fortunately also many answers. For example, I was able to give a lot of insight into the (im) possibilities of debt counseling for detainees and what they themselves can do in preparation for that area.

Customization for all kinds of groups

Nibud can mean a lot for this kind of special groups. For example, the trainers within the DJI use an adapted course Dealing with money (‘My money well arranged’), in which they learn to save prisoners, for example by paying attention to the offers in the prison shop or by cooking together.

The case managers can work with the detainees with the Personal Budget Advice . By filling this in, a detainee gets an insight into the costs if he goes to live independently after detention.