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Performance of Mt Eden Corrections Facility

News Release
For Immediate Release 5 July 2012

Performance of Mt Eden Corrections Facility

Performance results for the management of Mt Eden Corrections Facility (MECF) by Serco covering the nine months until the end of April 2012 show that the majority of the company’s results measured against 37 targets are either stable or improving.

“Serco’s performance at MECF is steady or strengthening, as we expected it would. While it has fallen short in some of the first year targets I expect the trend to be one of gradual improvement ” says Corrections’ Deputy Chief Executive Christine Stevenson.

“For example the latest results reveal Serco is exceeding its requirements for drug testing compliance and is returning one of the lowest rates of positive drug tests in the country.

“This is a significant achievement for a remand prison of this size located in an urban area.”

The contract measurement period for Serco began last August and the figures are cumulative. This means the latest figures until the end of April, include all the earlier figures, as they’re added together.

In total half of the 37 targets were met or exceeded. Trend analysis shows that Serco’s performance against eighty percent of all performance measures is either improving or stable.

“Our contract with Serco has high targets and we expect them to be met”, says Ms Stevenson.

The full set of the latest performance figures can be seen on the Corrections website by following this link http://corrections.govt.nz/utility-navigation/find-a-facility-or-site/find_a_corrections_facility/mt_eden_corrections_facility/performance_of_mt_eden_corrections_facility.html

MECF is specifically designed as a remand prison for male offenders in the Auckland region.

“We’re seeing improvements in important measures such as adherence to drug testing plans and prisoner education and employment programmes, and in areas where results have not improved the Department is working closely with Serco to ensure the performance measures are met.”

The remand prisoners who make up the majority of offenders in this prison generally spend a short period of time there and make regular court appearances, so there is a high number of prisoner movements and transfers.

“There are a number of innovations Serco has put in place at MECF that the Department is looking at closely to assess the potential for expansion into publicly managed prisons.”

Serco has taken steps to make prison visits more family friendly to encourage prisoners to have regular, positive engagement with their children. Maintaining relationships with family, especially children, is a major factor in reducing the risk of reoffending and motivating prisoners to make positive life changes.

Serco’s prisoner reception systems and facilities including a first night unit and prisoner induction process have led to a significant decrease in incidents and has helped the receiving office run more smoothly.

Self harm is an issue in all prisons. Serco has put in place a specialised Care, Support and Integration Unit where prisoners at risk of self harm are housed, supported by trained staff and psychologists, and able to interact with and support each other. This unit has helped achieve a zero rate of self harm incidents in this reporting period.

ENDS
Note to reporters: Mt Eden Prison is the 120 year old stone prison building which is now closed and does not hold prisoners. The building that was formerly Auckland Central Remand Prison has been combined with four new buildings completed in March 2011 to create a new prison called Mt Eden Corrections Facility.

Since the new facility began accepting prisoners in July 2011 there have been over 3,000 prisoner transfers and thousands of prisoner movements to and from Court.

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