Serco & Government hide prison report

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Prison fight club report remains under wraps

The investigation by the chief inspector of prisons was extended by two months because of the high number of complaints from prisoners and their families.

It has looked at the circumstances of fights between prisoners, access to cellphones and the adequacy of reporting on incidents of prisoner violence.

The report has been sent to Department of Corrections chief executive Ray Smith for review.

It will also be sent to private prison operator Serco and government ministers, but a Corrections spokesperson could not give a date for its public release.

A report on the second phase of the inquiry is due at the end of November.

Corrections took over the management of Mt Eden prison from Serco in July after claims of violent attacks on prisoners and video footage of prison fight clubs being posted online.

 

It is no surprise that Serco and the Government are hiding the report, they have to get their stories straight before it gets out to the media.

The whitewash into the allegations at Serco follow previous unpublished reports that highlighted concerns going back over a year. Why haven’t THOSE reports been released and when will they? The reality is those previous reports won’t be released as they are the most damning.

The reason the Government need this to dip beneath the media radar again is because they are very reliant on the idea to privatise social services and private prisons failing won’t help that.

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The ever brilliant Antony Loewenstein makes the point that Serco are only staying afloat because of their brutal Australian refugee camps…

British multinational Serco is in trouble. After years as the favoured outsourcer for public services in Britain and countless countries around the world, the latest figures show a financial crash of unprecedented proportions. The firm announced it is writing down its business value by nearly AU $3bn with no dividend for shareholders and a plea for an injection of a billion more dollars. This is a “bitter pill”, according to its chief executive Rupert Soames.

Revealingly, the corporation admitted that without its Australian detention network, its profit would have been even worse. In other words, imprisoning asylum seekers in poor conditions for extended periods of time in remote locations is good for business. Serco won the contract to manage all of Australia’s mainland facilities and Christmas Island in 2009 – I was part of a team that first published the contract between Serco and Canberra in 2011 – and the profits have soared ever since.

Those of us who have been campaigning against the privatisation of prisons were making these points over 6 years ago, it is sad that the media’s honeymoon with the Government has kept the deep problems here off the media agenda for so long. The reason no one cared about this is because NZers have built up such a media fuelled hatred of prisoners that their abuse has not registered at all as something we should even be informed of.

Stripping prisoners of their right to vote, abusing them and leaving them in poorly guarded environments where that abuse can become the norm should embarrass us. My guess is the report will get released over Christmas or on the day the All Blacks do their victory parade.

 

4 COMMENTS

      • Considering the drop in purchasing power due to rapidly increasing cost of living against stagnant wages and high unemployment, plus draconian surveillance measures, we do appear to have returned to a much less enlightened time from the past, before the majority of Kiwis enjoyed a comfortable and secure standard of living. So yes, you’re right, he is a timelord.

  1. Not to mention the exploitation of cheap prison labour in the building trade to provide even greater profits for corporates.

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