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

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news