Care and guidance for (ex-)detainees

In 2009, 40,000 people were released from a prison or other penitentiary facility in the Netherlands. For these numbers, one needs to take into account the fact that many sentences in the Netherlands are relatively short: more than 70% of the released has spent less than 6 months in detention, sometimes even multiple times in the same year. Some ex-detainees are on their own after detention: they have no home, no job, no money and no (reliable) family or friends to fall back on. To prevent these people from having to turn to crime again straight away, aftercare is of great importance. Exodus was founded in 1981 to help ex-detainees reintegrate into society.

The founders were mainly Protestant and Roman Catholic prison chaplains, whose churches are still closely connected to the organization. Currently, Exodus has grown into a nation-wide organization with the important function of bridging the gap between detention and society. There are `Exodus houses` where (ex-)detainees receive guidance in eleven different municipalities in the Netherlands. Three more are currently being set up. There is also a nationwide network of volunteer projects both inside and outside prison walls, offering a broad selection of projects for (ex-)detainees. Exodus has 220 beds available at the start of 2011. The organization employs 230 paid workers and 1850 volunteers.