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The Chief Prison Inspector’s report on Serco and MECF

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, October 7th, 2016 - 44 comments

The Chief Prison Inspector’s report on Mount Eden Corrections Facility has now been released and has presented a damning judgment on Serco’s management of the prison.

America bails on private prisons

Written By: - Date published: 3:49 pm, August 19th, 2016 - 19 comments

America is bailing on private prisons because they don’t work. What’s the bet that National is ‘too proud and arrogant’ to follow suit.

Judith Collins is losing a PR battle with a patched Gang Member*

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, July 8th, 2016 - 322 comments

*title borrowed from @shakingstick.

National Ltd™’s Sam Lotu-Iiga tries to pull the wool over our eyes

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, December 4th, 2015 - 12 comments

It was suggested in Parliament that SERCO’s first place position on the Prison Performance Table had been the result of  Lotu-Iiga and his department having had the wool pulled over their eyes.

WMBAD: Prison

Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, October 16th, 2015 - 2 comments

Team White Man Behind A Desk are back with their final episode for 2015.

Serco has yet more explaining to do

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, August 24th, 2015 - 10 comments

New allegations that at least one Serco prison guard was active involved in Mt Eden’s “fight club”. In some ways the public mess that Serco has made of Mt Eden has done us all a favour

Jumped tripped or fell

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, July 29th, 2015 - 27 comments

mount-eden-interior

It’s not just Serco, it’s state operated prisons

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, July 25th, 2015 - 72 comments

Recent focus has been on the tragedy and incompetence of a Serco run private prison. But problems extend further than that, into the entire way NZ views its prison system. We need fundamental penal reform.

Admitting failure on private prisons

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, July 25th, 2015 - 32 comments

The Nats have been forced to call in the good old-fashioned state to clear up Serco’s mess.

An honest answer in question time

Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, July 24th, 2015 - 14 comments

lotu-liga2

John Key explains

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, July 24th, 2015 - 87 comments

John Key on the death at a Serco run prison. Words fail me.

Corrections minister in trouble

Written By: - Date published: 3:39 pm, July 22nd, 2015 - 67 comments

Sam Lotu-Iiga appears to have been lying.

Serco should be sacked

Written By: - Date published: 4:50 pm, July 21st, 2015 - 46 comments

Video from the urgent debate today in Parliament concerning Serco and that company’s failure to abide by basic standards of imprisonment.

NRT: The left should not support prison slave labour

Written By: - Date published: 2:37 pm, September 11th, 2014 - 63 comments

With Labour supporting the plan, I/S at No Right Turn makes the case against “working prisons”.

And now for the real news…

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, March 21st, 2014 - 14 comments

Rockstar economy”?   Let’s hear it for another chorus of,”There is no depression in New Zealand”!  Demographia reports on absolute food and housing poverty for too many Kiwis.  Simon Collins reports on the ethnic inequality gaps & high rates of Maori imprisonment.

Songs from the inside out

Written By: - Date published: 12:36 pm, February 24th, 2014 - 12 comments

I looked at some local newspapers to get away from the endless support for neoliberal values that dominates out MSM.  I found people living with unaffordable housing – & how the power of song can unite people in their struggles at the sharp end of the big inequality gap. Maori TV, “Songs from the Inside”.

State of Nations

Written By: - Date published: 6:11 pm, January 29th, 2014 - 24 comments

This post isn’t a ‘contrast and compare’ piece on the policy announcements of National, the Greens and Labour. Enough to say that National are pursuing privatisation while both Labour and Green are at least trying to do good things.

Shame about the reality of the bigger picture then.

‘Locked Up Warriors’: 101 East

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 pm, November 9th, 2013 - 95 comments

On 101 East on Al Jazeera. Too many people in NZ prisons, especially Maori: too many in poverty; too much money spent on prisons; not enough for low income communities; some very good community initiatives. Is this a fair representation?

Statistic of the Day

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, August 14th, 2013 - 46 comments

World incarceration rate: ~130 per 100,000

NZ incarceration rate: 197 per 100,000

Outsourcing: Scamming the system

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, July 19th, 2013 - 21 comments

A new report on the UK government’s outsourcing of public sector work is damning. Necessary and basic work to fulfill individual and social needs, (eg social security, unemployment, health care, education) is being “gamed” and scammed by monopolistic private contractors. Key’s government favours outsourcing to private profiteers.

They’re trying to build a prison/for you & me to live in

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, September 21st, 2012 - 16 comments

National is celebrating the creation of 1300 jobs (only 300 permanent) with a prison. How many more prisons would they have to build to reverse the increase in unemployment under their watch and create 65,000 permanent jobs? Only 217. It’s ironic that the only job creation the free-market loving Nats can trumpet is a government-paid for prison.

NoRightTurn: Private prisons still failing

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

NRT reports: 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. And remember, these are intentionally soft targets, set below Corrections’ performance so National could declare privatisation a success.

Serco incompetence should put a halt to Wiri

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, June 7th, 2012 - 10 comments

A year in to its 10-year, $300 million contract, and Serco is making a real hash of running Mt Eden Prison. A second escape this week, along with two late releases, failure to meet drug testing targets and failure to report as agreed. And this is dealing with mostly only remand prisoners. Why are we spending $900m on an unneeded prison at Wiri for these clowns to run?

Falling prison numbers

Written By: - Date published: 11:18 am, May 22nd, 2012 - 12 comments

It’s an interesting fact that the one area in which National is going against its traditional approach and moving towards what the experts advocate is prisons. And I think I know why. In education, health, welfare etc National’s ideological positions correspond with cutting spending. But ‘lock em up and throw away the key’ costs. When Bill English called prisons a “moral and fiscal failure” his emphasis was on “fiscal”.

NRT: Strapping the chicken on prison privatisation

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 am, May 8th, 2012 - 5 comments

Despite keeping prisoners in prison too long and an escape, Serco’s private management of Auckland Remand has been judged a success by the Government because it has met all the standards set for it. Sounds reasonable. Until you look a layer deeper and discover that the standards Serco has to meet are much worse than what Corrections already achieves.

Tough on crime

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, March 26th, 2012 - 85 comments

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of imprisonment in the world, and an international study has just highlighted the fact.

Rortwatch: closing prisons to justify Wiri

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, March 23rd, 2012 - 15 comments

1,200 prison beds, 1 in 8, are empty plus the 1,300 bed reserve. Prisoner numbers are projected to keep falling. So, why are the Nats spending a billion dollars on the Wiri private prison? And where will they get the prisoners? By closing existing public prisons. Rather than upgrading what we have more cheaply they’ll let a foreign company make a profit off locking people up.

Meeting a need

Written By: - Date published: 10:05 am, March 9th, 2012 - 25 comments

Can anyone tell me why the Nats are spending $300m to build and $36m pa to run a 960-bed PPP prison when there are 2000 spare beds in the system and prisoner numbers are projected to fall? Or why Joyce is cutting a dirty ‘convention centre for pokies’ deal when international convention numbers are falling? Or why they’re spending $1b a year on low BCR highways when vehicle numbers are falling?

Just desserts

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, August 16th, 2011 - 68 comments

The private operators of the new Mt Eden remand prison are using desserts as a reward for good behaviour. It seems to work. But the Right doesn’t know quite how to react: on one hand, it’s mollycoddling prisoners, on the other hand it’s a private operator being innovative. Imagine how they would have reacted if the public prisons started doing this.

The real cost of PPP’s revealed

Written By: - Date published: 5:13 pm, August 9th, 2011 - 40 comments

A report in the Financial Times, that hotbed of socialism, says that PFI’s as PPP’s are known in Britain cost an extra 20 billion pounds in “extra borrowing costs” over the 53 billion pounds of the projects’ actual cost. Not only that, 4 billion pounds will go to consultants. Enough said. Another dumb idea from those who gave us collateralised debt instruments,  self-correcting markets and “there is no alternative”.

English – sell dams to buy prisons

Written By: - Date published: 6:37 am, June 9th, 2011 - 54 comments

So, that’s National’s great big plan: get rid of our electricity assets and use the cash to build more prisons. Not much of a brighter future there. National still hasn’t come up with a convincing reason why we would sell highly profitable monopolistic companies. Instead, we’ve seen a series of weak excuses. Now, English has revealed the truth.

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