Paul van Bree, a self-styled "paragnost" or clairvoyant, has been hired to
teach prisoners how to "love themselves".
"I tell them that dead relatives are doing well and that they love them.
That brings them peace. Big strong men burst into tears," he said. Mr van
Bree, who also publishes annual predictions of the future, claims to be from
a long line of clairvoyants, including his mother and grandmother.
He told De Tijd magazine that he is not the only psychic healer employed by
the Dutch justice ministry.
He claims that by talking to both the prisoner and the prisoner's dead
parents he can discover key psychological insights to help the prison
authorities rehabilitate criminals.
"With my antennae I sometimes reveal more than a psychologist or a prison
welfare officer," he said. "My work can be compared to mental health care in
widest sense of the words."
A spokesman for the Dutch justice ministry said: "This is not something
which fits in our treatment field."