Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Private prisons cost more & provide worse service

PSA MEDIA RELEASE
March 9, 2009

For Immediate Use

Private prisons cost more and provide worse service

“Why is the government planning to have private companies run our prisons when all the evidence shows this will cost taxpayers more and provide a worse service?” asks Public Service Association National Secretary Richard Wagstaff

Corrections Minister Judith Collins says steps are being taken to enable private companies to tender for prison management contracts. She says the government wants to have the option available to have private companies running prisons.

“The last time a private company managed a New Zealand prison it cost taxpayers more and provided a reduced service,” says Richard Wagstaff.

Figures from the Corrections Department show that it cost the Australian company, that managed the Auckland Remand Prison from 2000 to 2005, $43,000 per inmate to run the prison while Corrections operating costs per remand prisoner were $36,000.  

The Australian company, contracted by a National-led Government in the late 1990s, also provided a reduced service.

It refused to admit prisoners after 6.30pm when its day shift staff went home. Now Corrections are running the prison again, prisoners are admitted at night to accommodate those that arrive late from courts or after being transported from another prison.

“The government is also turning a blind eye to the problems Britain is having with its privately-run prisons,” says Richard Wagstaff.

Last year a survey leaked to the media, showed that 10 of Britain’s 11 private prisons ranked in the bottom quarter of a league table covering 132 prisons. The privately-managed prisons scored badly on security and maintaining order and control.

Peterborough prison, which has been privately managed for three years, was ranked as the worst prison in England and Wales. It had a poor record for organisational effectiveness, decency and reducing re-offending.

“The Prison Governors Association in Britain is now urging the British government to re-think its policy of allowing private companies to run prisons,” says Richard Wagstaff.   

“Yet our government is pressing ahead with privatising our prison management.”

“Why? Because it appears to be blinded by ideology that won’t allow it to see the costs and risks involved in privatising a core public service.”

“One fact the government can’t dispute is that prisons run by private companies are inherently more expensive than public prisons because they have to make a profit,” says Richard Wagstaff.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Compensating Afghan Civilian Casualties

Reportedly, there have been nine incidents resulting in 17 civilian deaths and injuries (seven of the dead were children) caused by ordnance left behind on what used to be the firing range of our Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamiyan province.

Given that the NZ Defence Force has needed to be hauled kicking and screaming into belatedly arranging an adequate clean-up of its old firing range… what would it take before New Zealand offers to pay compensation to the families of those who suffered death and injury from what was left behind on our watch? More>>

 

Fossil Fuel Investment: ACC Must Lead On Climate Change

As the largest publicly owned investor in New Zealand, the ACC board should divest from fossil fuels, demonstrating our leadership role on climate change, Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick said today. More>>

ALSO:

Total Officers, Up Less: Coalition's 1800 New Police Officers

The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. More>>

ALSO:

Predator Free: $3.5m For New Pest Controls

New Zealand First is proud to announce the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has allocated $3.5 million to develop innovative predator control approaches which will reduce the need for repeated 1080 use. More>>

ALSO:

Children's Day: Commissioner Calls For Govt Commitment

“Three decades on, we are able to celebrate some significant changes for children like the recent launch of a Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. But we still have a long way to go to prioritise children’s rights.” More>>

ALSO:

Elections: Proposed Electorate Boundaries Released

The Representation Commission is proposing changes to half of New Zealand’s electorates and establishing a new electorate in south Auckland… More>>

ALSO:

"Effectively A Permanent Amnesty": Final Month For Gun Ban Compensation

The firearms buy-back comes to an end a month from today, but the police say the amnesty for returning banned guns will continue into next year and beyond. More>>

ALSO:


SPECIAL GUNS FOR FOREIGN SECURITY:


MORE ARMED POLICE:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels