A group of Norwegian convicts is getting a new home — in the Netherlands.

Junior Justice Minister Klaas Dijkhoff on Wednesday handed the keys to a Dutch prison to his Norwegian counterpart, Anders Anundsen, saying: "They get the cells, we get the jobs."

Serious crime has been declining for years in the Netherlands and its courts have been dishing out fewer custodial sentences, leading to overcapacity at prisons.

Norway, meanwhile, has too many prisoners and has now agreed to take over the Norgerhaven prison in the northern town of Veenhuizen for at least three years, giving the country enough cells to incarcerate 242 inmates.

It is not the first time the Netherlands has made its cells available to another nation. Belgium cut a similar deal in 2009.