Norway considers renting Dutch cells and exporting inmates to ease overcrowding in prisons

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Norway says it is in talks with the Netherlands to rent prison space and export some prisoners while carrying out urgent maintenance work and to ease overcrowding.

Justice Ministry spokesman Vidar Brein-Karlsen says several practical issues must be dealt with before Norway can rent the Dutch cells, including whether Dutch wardens can guard the prisoners.

Brein-Karlsen said Tuesday Norway currently has 1,300 people waiting to serve prison time. Dangerous inmates, like Anders Behring Breivik who killed 77 people in 2011, will remain in Norway, he added.

Such a deal would be part of a broader plan to renovate Norwegian prisons, estimated to cost up to 4.4 billion kroner ($698 million). A vote in parliament is needed and expected later this year. No date has been set yet.