Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Private prisons overseas – a failed experiment

Hon Matt Robson
Minister of Corrections, for Courts
Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

News release

Private prisons overseas – a failed experiment

17th January 20 Immediate release

“There has been an experiment overseas - driven by ideology - to introduce private prisons and it hasn’t worked, Minister of Corrections Matt Robson says.

“The ideology-driven belief that just because its private its better is not suited to our prisons, and this government won’t let New Zealanders become guinea pigs for an experiment here.

“Every good news story about a private prison has its bad news counter-part.
In too many cases running prisons for profits overseas has meant an increase in prison violence, re-offending, and cuts in wages for staff.

Corrections USA, a coalition of prison officers compiled statistics recently, comparing private prisons with public prisons.

These show a worse staff to inmate ratio, a staff turnover rate 26% higher and an assault rate ten times higher in prisons for profit.

The group has also collated newspaper reports which shows scores of improper incidents at private prisons; more than 20 escapes, half a dozen murders, three riots, at least 16 stabbings, dozen of assaults and drug incidents, at least 20 sexual assaults and one bomb.

“Private prisons are rather like hotels, but with a guaranteed occupancy, and you get to discipline the guests if they behave badly. There is no incentive to re-habilitate inmates and return them one day as safe members of the community.

“On the contrary, increased numbers in prisons benefit private companies, and high re-offending rates are good for business.

“The Group 4 Securitas run private prison in Port Phillip Prison in Melbourne has also been plagued with scandal since it opened in 1998.

“Within the first few months seven inmates had died and at least another ten had attempted suicide, and there were more than 100 self-harm incidents. Prison management was clearly falling apart. Under-staffing and inadequate training by Group 4 were targeted as the reasons.

“Also the troubled private prison at Youngstown Ohio run by America’s biggest private company, Corrections Corporation of US, has been plagued by increases in violence, prisons escapes and inmate deaths.

“Nick Smith is correct when he points out that the present public prison system, through no fault of its own, is failing the community. The legacy his government has left behind, particularly in the area of re-offending rates, is dismal. But the solution is not private: its resourcing our New Zealand system to do its job properly.

“At the end of the day we don’t want prisons to be a growth industry. We want the need for prisons in decrease, by putting resources into crime prevention,” says Matt Robson.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news