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Worst for last in Nats' Prisons policy

28 October 2008
Worst for last in Nats' Prisons policy

The National Party has saved the worst for last in their Prisons policy - that they 'will allow competitive tendering for the management of prisons on a case-by-case basis', the Green Party says.

"It is disappointing to see National regressing to a model which has been shown to produce worse conditions for staff, and appalling conditions for inmates," Green Party Prisons Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"The Green Party already fought and won this argument in 2004 through the Corrections Amendment Bill, which banned privately run prisons, with Green Party support, so it is sad to see National trying to revive a dead debate.

"New Zealand's prisons systems desperately need to be modernised but private profiteering from the incarceration of criminals is not going to achieve that. Where privatisation of prisons has occurred overseas, the exact opposite has happened.

"Some private prison operators have appalling international reputations for human rights abuses and these are the sorts of companies we will see coming to New Zealand, trying to make a buck of the justice system.

"How is the free market the answer to the problems of running a prison system? The key to a successful business is repeat customers. That creates a perverse incentive.

"The only other comparable group in society is the police and most people wouldn't allow Securitas to run the constabulary, even if they were cheaper or more efficient.

"Furthermore, this proposal is contrary to Key's promise not to privatise state assets - showing that once again National is prepared to change their message to suit which ever audience they happen to be addressing."


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