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Give Private Prisons A Chance Says National

16 January 2000

MEDIA STATEMENT For Immediate Release

Hon Nick Smith, MP

Give Private Prisons A Chance Says National

The new Government should hold its judgement on private prisons and give them a chance to work before dismissing them, former Corrections Minister Nick Smith said today.

"Our public prisons have an appalling record when it comes to recidivism, suicides, rehabilitation and escapes.

"The Government should suspend judgement on private prisons, until the privately run Mt Eden Remand Centre has a track record than can be properly assessed.

"The Government should take a pragmatic approach that looks at what is best for the rehabilitation of prisoners and what is the best use of taxpayers money, before summarily dismissing the ideas of private prisons.

"The decision by Matt Robson to rule out any more private prisons and to effectively advise the operators of the Mt Eden Remand Centre that their contract will not be renewed, is based purely on ideology, rather than on what is best for the prisoners and the taxpayers," Dr Smith said.

ENDS

Hon Nick Smith 03 5472319


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