Parliament

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

 

Jailing Is Job For State, Not Private Enterprise

Jailing People Is Job For State, Not Private Enterprise

Locking people up in jails is a job for the state, not for private businesses whose prime motivation will inevitably be to make money out of a PPP venture, says Labour Law and Order spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

Commenting on today’s announcement by Infrastructure Minister Bill English of a PPP to design, build and operate a new prison at Wiri, Clayton Cosgrove said: “Labour paved the way for the successful implementation of PPPs, but while such ventures might have real merit in terms of building new roads, for example, the private sector cannot be allowed a role in operating prisons in this country.

“Labour doesn’t care who builds or designs a prison, but the state should run them. Punishment and rehabilitation are a core function of government. By transferring such a core function, even with so-called safeguards, to the private sector, the Government is shirking its responsibility for the safety of staff and the community if things go wrong.”

Clayton Cosgrove said Mr English’s claim that a PPP would offer better value for money could not be substantiated in terms of past history with a privately-run prison in New Zealand. “This is a blatant example of ideology. National is rejecting the advice of its own advisers. The last time National tried a privately-run prison it was actually more expensive to run than it was when it was in the hands of the state.

“There is no evidence to suggest privately-operated prisons are better, safer or cheaper to run. Public prisons are fiscally accountable to the state and taxpayers. Privately-run prisons are accountable firstly to shareholders, and this poses a real risk to staff safety, quality and work conditions, as well as rehabilitation services,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

“Overseas experience has shown disastrous problems in privately-run prisons, ranging from bribery, corruption, increased violence and drug abuse, through to suicides.

“The Government’s aim, for the community’s sake, should be to reduce crime, improve rehabilitation of prisoners, and reduce the number of prisoners,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

“National is certainly failing on the first count. The crime rate is going up, and a privately-run prison, which will make more money the more prisoners there are, and the less it spends on trying to turn the lives of prisoners around, hardly suggests that either recidivism or the prisoner muster will reduce.

“Labour strongly believes that we need prisons to lock people up who are a threat to the community, but you need a fence at the top of the cliff as well as an ambulance at the bottom. National has no commitment to services designed to keep people from re-offending or out of prison in the first place. The closure of the Te Hurihanga youth justice facility in Hamilton earlier this year proved that convincingly.”


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

South Island Flooding: Focus Moves To Recovery

As water recedes throughout flood-impacted areas of the South Island, Minister of Civil Defence Nathan Guy has praised the efforts of those who were involved in the response to the flooding.

“Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups have acted proactively and decisively to keep people and property out of harm’s way,” says Mr Guy. More>>

 

Employers Pleased: Reports Of Govt Backdown On Low-Wage Immigration

MEA: We are pleased to hear that the Government is planning to review incoming immigration changes with a specific focus on how they will affect the regions. Effectively addressing skills shortages in manufacturing and other sectors needs to remain a core part of our immigration system ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ch-Ch-Changes At IRD

Job cuts aren’t happening at the IRD, exactly. Instead, there’s apparently a ‘transformation’ in store, and jobs won’t be axed ; no, they will be ‘transformed’ before our eyes into… non-jobs, if you happen to be among the unlucky legion of 1,900 who are being lined up for transformation... More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Mental Health: Hospital Too 'Awful' For Reviewers To Visit

Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark... More>>

ALSO:

Greens Call For Govt Action: Children Sick Because Of NZ Housing

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians president-elect said today that children with preventable respiratory illnesses are being re-admitted to hospital because they're being sent back to cold, damp homes. More>>

ALSO:

Less Tax Cut, More Spending: Labour Launches Fiscal Plan

“Labour will invest $8 billion more in health, $4 billion more in education and $5 billion more for Kiwi families through Working for Families, Best Start and the Winter Energy Payment than the Budget 2017 projections for the forecast period.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Greens’ Room For Political Pragmatism

The Greens here are currently being criticized by the commentariat for not making the same kind of pragmatic choices that sunk the Democrats in Australia. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election