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About Time Private Contracts for Prisons Ended

From the office of
Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party


About Time That Private Contracts for Prisons Ended

“Neither the Corrections Department nor Chubb Security comes out of the investigation into the avoidable death of Liam Ashley with credit.

“Part of the solution is to cancel the private contract and bring the transporting and care of inmates totally under the Public Prison Service”, said former Corrections Minister Matt Robson.

“I proposed the cancelling of the Chubb contract along with the privatisation policy of prisons in 2000. However, finance ministers saw the private service as a cost saver. But Chubb Security did not save Liam Ashley’s life.

One unified system with common standards and procedures and an emphasis on professionalism - these are the principles on which to construct a safe environment for prisoners. Cost saving will not provide greater safety.

17 year olds should not be with older prisoners whether during transport or in prison. That was clearly set out in the 2001 report About Time which is waiting to be implemented, along with Day Reporting Centres which would have provided a more appropriate place for dealing with boys like Liam Ashley.

Damien O’Connor as Minister of Corrections has to get on top of these important issues, read the reports; and then he needs to advocate strongly for the reforms that have already been put forward, rather than pining for a more prestigious Cabinet post “, said Matt Robson


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