web analytics
The Standard

NoRightTurn: Private prisons still failing

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, July 6th, 2012 - 23 comments
Categories: prisons - Tags:

Private prisons still failing

When the government introduced private prisons, they promised us that it would lead to better performance. But six months on, Serco’s Mt Eden Corrections Facility is still failing to meet basic performance targets:

Private prison operator Serco has failed to meet half of its performance targets since taking over Auckland’s Mt Eden Prison.A report card on Serco’s performance released today reveals three inmates were wrongly released, one escaped and there were three wrongful detentions.

The percentage of sentenced prisoners with an appropriate plan in place within required timeframes was only 28 per cent – two thirds lower than the 90 per cent target.

Of 37 targets Serco was to meet in the nine months to April half weren’t met.

Looking at the full data [PDF], they’re also getting worse on prisoner assaults and on adhering to rehabilitation planning. And remember, these are intentionally soft targets, set below Corrections’ performance so National could declare privatisation a success.

So, will Serco be fined? Or will we continue to pay a premium price for this non-performance?

23 comments on “NoRightTurn: Private prisons still failing”

  1. quartz 1

    It’s fined. But only $50k here and there. It’s so minimal they probably build it into their business plan.

  2. Dr Terry 2

    Is anybody really surprised at this outcome? The National Government habitually ignores anything that has been a proven failure in other countries, imagining that “it could not go wrong here”. How often will this error in judgement continue to be repeated?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      As long as we keep voting NACT in to power. National ignores the evidence because their sole purpose is to hand public wealth over to the rich.

  3. Jenny 3

    As a frequent prison visitor. On several occasions on arriving at the prison, I have been met by staff who have apologised to me, citeing, “understaffing” as the reason that I cannot be let in. “We do not have enough guards to take you into the prison today”. This is after Pre-arrangement agreements to enter the prison.

  4. What amazes me is the amount of leeway that the private sector gets when they are struggling to meet minimum standards and yet with the likes of public schools there is no tolerance.
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/lesley-longstone-management-style.html

    • Ee 4.1

      Because the public sector is evil bad commusocialism, how dare the peasants band together to overthrow their glorious capitalist masters and the private sector is the infallible will of almighty invisible hand of the market, may it’s golden rain trickle down upon you.

  5. Meh 5

    How well are “public” providers doing? How would you know? How much are their costs relative to Serco? What happens when “public” providers perform poorly?

    • mike e 5.1

      these public private partnerships are going to cost heaps more in the long run .
      Britain is facing a 300 billion pound cost over and above what they were promised by these
      Free market weasels.They are just Nigerian scammers in suits.

      • Meh 5.1.1

        I didn’t ask about Britain but thanks for attempting to answer my questions.

        • mike e 5.1.1.1

          Meh that was just the health system.
          These High flying high rolling money men are doing the same thing right across the board banking prisons health system govts they have corrupted our democracy.
          Now they are gouging out what’s left.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.2

      Let me google that for you. No, wait, why can’t you do that for yourself? Surely you can find the section on “research” on Corrections’ website. Or you could look up NRT’s coverage of the OIA requests that support the statement that Serco were set “soft targets”.

      After all, if I can do that what’s wrong with you that you can’t?

  6. Meh 6

    Nor was I asking about the health system. But thanks again.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 6.1

      Some of the links you need are even contained in the body of the post. You do know how a link works?

    • mike e 6.2

      what i’m saying we are being defrauded by a failed else where policy. and that these conmen should be the ones behind bars.

      • prism 6.2.1

        Jenny
        That’s disgraceful. Is there any body that you can complain to that won’t have any repercussions on the visited?

    • deuto 6.3

      Hi, Meh. It can be tough on here at times, but welcome. In terms of links, the blue text in the actual post will take you to the detail referred to – eg press releases etc referred to in the post. The ones above give some detail as to Serco’s performance against the performance targets/indicators they have been set in their contractual arrangements and their performance (or lack of it) against those targets/indicators to date.

      Currently Serco are only operating in a remand prison environment which is very different to that faced by the Corrections Dept in operating maximum security prisons and other levels of security prisons. Remand prison occupants, being those awaiting trial etc, have a somewhat different mindset, different rights etc to those in prison following having been through the justice system, found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment. For example, those imprisoned on remand are less likely to attempt to escape, assault guards or other prisoners etc as this would have adverse effects on their upcoming trials etc; those who have been through the process and sentence do not have the same contstraints.
      That is very simplistic, but contributes to the difficulty in comparing Serco’s performance to that of Corrections Dept operating in a much wider and more complex prison enviornment. In other words, trying to compare is a simplistic apples/oranges comparison. Re Corrections performance targets/indicators, and performance against these, information can be found in the Dept of Corrections Statement of Intent and Annual Reports available on the Dept’s website, easily accessed via Google etc. That is not a very good explanation etc but it is Friday night (!!!) but FYI I have worked in this area.

  7. prism 7

    In the Gospel according to Ms Collins –

    “In order to have a world-class corrections system, we need exposure to world-class innovation and expertise. Allowing private companies to provide custodial services creates an opportunity to benefit from private sector initiative and know-how.”
    Legislation provided for the private management of prisons in 1995, but this was repealed in 2004 by the Labour-led Government. This saw the end of the private management of the Auckland Central Remand Prison (ACRP).

    “Labour’s decision was purely ideological. It had nothing to do with the management of ACRP which was widely acknowledged as being highly successful,” Ms Collins says.

    What are we all worrying about – we are getting exposure to world class innovation and expertise. In what conditions do people die of exposure?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Got a link for that as it would be an outright lie if she actually said it. As stated at the time, Labour got rid of private prison management because it was costing more than state run prisons. Collins would know this.

  8. freedom 8

    As with so much of business it is all about the bottom line and accountability
    and the bottom line here is simply a company this big only does this badly
    because it wants to
    because it can

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szNLMtgI7hU

  9. prism 9

    Just thinking a NACT government is itself a public-private partnership. Using public money the pollies pursue their best private interests. In fact government is a subsidy-providing capital market where certain people are required to appear to discuss things and answer questions from the bemused public. And keep us amused as well as bemused or we might wake up and squawk one day when we have an epiphany.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

1 2 3 7

  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    23 hours ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    4 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    5 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    5 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    5 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    5 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    6 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour looks to put the tea back into entitlements
    Labour is moving to restore the rights of Kiwis to take tea and rest breaks, Leader Andrew Little says. “Within months of the Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill becoming law we are already seeing some of our largest companies, including… ...
    6 days ago
  • Desperate money grab to keep Ruataniwha afloat
    The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.   “This bridging… ...
    7 days ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    7 days ago
  • Invermay petition delivered to Parliament
    Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark handed over a 12,450 signature Save Invermay petition to Dunedin South MP Clare Curran on the steps of Parliament today.  “The level of support that the petition has received across New Zealand is overwhelming,”… ...
    7 days ago
  • Redcliffs School closure plan wrong
    The Government’s proposal to consult on the closure of Redcliffs School not only goes against the best geotechnical advice, but more importantly goes against the best educational outcomes for Redcliffs children and the health of our community, Port Hills MP… ...
    1 week ago
  • Cotton On first to test the tea breaks law
    Australian corporate Cotton On, the first major business operating in New Zealand to exploit the new tea breaks law, could walk away from negotiations if it doesn’t get its own way, says Labour Party Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “Cotton… ...
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Council can stop Port’s encroachment on harbour
    As owner of the Port of Auckland, Council can stop the wharf extension and reclamation if it wants to, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Goff. ‘As owner the council is custodian of the port and harbour on behalf of… ...
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago
  • Solid Energy, who will clean up the mess?
    What can you say? This state-owned coal miner is facing some very serious problems. They haven’t run a profit in years, have required two Government bailouts, laid-off more than 700 staff and look like they need a third injection of… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    3 weeks ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere