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Private prison for Auckland a step backwards

14 December 2010

Private prison for Auckland a step backwards

The decision to privatise Auckland’s remand prison and have it run by multinational prison corporation Serco is a mistake, said the Green Party today.

“Privatising Auckland remand prison is a dangerous precedent that will increase costs and compromise New Zealand's justice system,” said Green Party spokesperson David Clendon.

Overseas media reports have linked Serco-run detention centres with violence, lack of adequate health care, and overcrowding.

“Do we really want Serco running our prisons? Just last month there was a violent brawl at one of their Australian detention centres which has been reported as being linked to overcrowding,” Mr Clendon said.

Evidence from the US and Australia shows that private prisons do not reduce costs for the Government. Research from New South Wales suggests that prisoner safety is compromised because of the focus on profit.

“The international evidence shows that the Government needs to seriously reconsider its policy of getting private corporations to run our prisons.

“Private prisons have to make a profit, which means either cut backs on staffing levels and rehabilitation, or charging more per prisoner, as we saw with the Auckland remand prison last time it was privately run.

“The community and public sector have lots of good innovative ideas about how the prison system can be improved. The Government should listen to them rather than flogging off prison management to corporations,” Mr Clendon said.

For more information

Media reports on Serco detention centres

Overcrowding blamed for asylum seeker brawl, ABC, November 15

Immigration bosses to be quizzed after asylum seekers were 'beaten' by guards”
The Observer, Sunday 28 February 2010

Demand for investigation of three doctors at Yarl's Wood, Guardian, Monday 22 March

Research on private prisons

Privatisation and New South Wales Prisons, -

Emerging Issues on Privatised Prisons, US Department of Justice-


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