Cells in all New Zealand jails may soon be fitted out with phones and computers in a bid to boost prisoners’ educational levels so that they can get jobs and stop reoffending after their release.
Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga is welcoming a controversial decision by British prison operator Serco to put phones and computers into every standard cell in its new $270 million jail for 960 men, which opens at Wiri in South Auckland on Friday.
Prisoners will use the phones to make pre-arranged calls to family members and services such as counselling, but they will not be able to receive calls and their outgoing calls will be monitored. They will use the computers for study, to book appointments and even to change their meal menus.
“We believe that prisoners with access to this electronic learning tool are going to be more successful in increasing their education and skills. It is an advance I would like to see in all New Zealand prisons,” Mr Lotu-Iiga said.
…cue Garth moaning that it’s too good for ’em and demanding a level of suffering for prisoners…
But Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar said he was “appalled” by the move, saying it would actually create an incentive to offend
…the real reason SERCO is putting phones in every cell is very simple. It’s not ‘education’ or ‘counselling’ it’s because normally Prisons need high levels of staff to take prisoners to phones. In private prison, the corporation makes its money from…
1- Contract from Government
2 – More NZers in prisons for longer
3 – The forced labour of the prisoners
and 4 – from cutting back on prison officers.
SERCO has to put phones in every cell so that their business model of fewer staff pays out for them.
This is about SERCOs well being, it’s got very little to do with the well being of the prisoners.