On the 13th of September 2017 nine people from all over Europe attended a special CEP study visit to two unique Dutch concepts ‘ZSM’ and ‘Safety House’ in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
At the ZSM office in Utrecht Geeske Mulder and Kirsten van Scherpenzeel explained to everybody how ZSM works. ZSM can be translated as “well-considered, fast and tailormade”. It is about accelerated processing and transaction of simple offenses, by arrested or summoned offenders. It is a multi-agency procedure in which the prosecutor works in the same room as the police and various chain partners like probation, victim support and child care. In this way they can communicate fast and directly with each other, which means an enormous gaining of time.
This cartoon explains how ZSM works:
After visiting ZSM, it was time to go to the Safety House, based in the old town hall of Utrecht. Karel van Duijvenbooden, manager of Safety House Utrecht, explained what Safety House is and how it functions.
The main objective of a safety house is increasing public safety with a multi-agency approach for complex cases. The main working form is in case-meetings in which individual cases are discussed, led by an independent chairman. The parties are all involved in social safety. Parties that could be involved are:
- Public prosecution office
- Probation and after care services
- Child care and protection boards
- Prison service
- Institutes for psychiatric consults and psychiatric care
- Various institutions for addiction and psychiatric treatment
- Various institutions for welfare and social services
The ZSM and Safety House presentations: