Huis van Bewaring Schutterswei
THE ABANDONED PRISON IN THE NETHERLANDS
This old prison in Alkmaarderhout was used as a small penitentiary institute with 26 cells since 1884.
In 1889, they started extending the complex to 104 cells. This new part of the prison was taken into use in 1893. During the following years, the prison grew to house 122 detainees. Because there were on average only 40 prisoners, the government decided to close the prison in 1928. However, due to cell shortage, the prison opened again in 1937 after a few adjustments. The complex was called ‘Cellulaire Gevangenis De Hout’ in the first years. Eventually, in 1950, the name ‘Huis van Bewaring Schutterswei’ is first mentioned in the archives.
In 1975 the complex was completely renovated. Workshops and a gym with shower facilities were build. In addition, several cells were converted into living rooms. After that, the complex received a new sort of prisoner, male adults on a long-term sentence with a limited regime. In the early nineties, the establishment was intended for illegal immigrants with criminal antecedents, usually from other EU countries, who were awaiting their eviction. There were plans to close and demolish Schutterswei because of the outdated state. However, due to severe cell shortage, the prison was reappointed as a prison again in 1993.
Eventually, in 2009 the government decided to close ‘Huis van Bewaring Schutterswei’ in 2012. Until the end of 2016 the site was regularly used as a film location for the SBS6 series ‘Celblok H’. In 2017 the buildings were sold to a developer who want to convert the prison into a prison themed hotel. I visited the old prison in 2017. For more abandoned prisons, see my report of De Koepel and the two French prisons here and here.