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Centrist? Bullshit.

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, March 9th, 2009 - 90 comments
Categories: prisons, privatisation - Tags:

The Herald has the scoop that National is looking to privatise New Zealand’s prison system.

Add David Garrett’s savage three strikes law and you’ve got a real money spinner.

But what lucky firm will get to cash in on it?

Turns out it’s Geo Group. You might not be familiar with the name but that’s because they had to change it after they got too much bad publicity. They used to be Wackenhut.

You might know Wakenhut from some of the horror stories of mismanagement and abuse over the years including the rape and brutalisation of inmates in a youth bootcamp.

Apparently:

Wackenhut CEO George Zoley said after a CBS Television report exposed the repeated rape of a 14-year-old girl at a Wackenhut juvenile jail and two guards were found guilty, ‘It’s a tough business. The people in prison are not Sunday-school children.”

Not even the rightwing ideologues of the last National government or the fourth Labour government went this far.

Centrist? Bullshit.

90 comments on “Centrist? Bullshit. ”

  1. And the people trusted John Key when he said there would be no privatisation in his first term. There are many ways to privatise an asset and this is one of them. Wake the fuck up New Zealand!

    The GEO Group is an international corporation that operates prisons around the country and is frequently in the news for its abuse of prisoners in its care resulting in many preventable deaths. Its operations in Texas have been sharply criticized over poor conditions and the treatment of some of its prisoners. Previously known as the Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, its name was changed in 2003 as a result of a merger with Group 4 Falck.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEO_Group

  2. Tim Ellis 2

    If I understand your point IB, what you are saying is that isolated cases of prison guards abusing their powers demonstrate systematic failures in private prison management. By that logic, isolated cases of prison guards abusing their powers in the public system show systematic failures in the public prison system.

    The real issue is whether publicly-managed prisons are more efficient than privately-managed prisons. New Zealand’s positive experience with private management of the Auckland Remand prison suggest there is a case for opening up prisons to private management. Given the litany of scandals in the public prison service over the last decade, I don’t think there will be much public squealing over this.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      The real issue is whether publicly-managed prisons are more efficient than privately-managed prisons.

      They are.

      http://www.blurtit.com/q716552.html
      http://ww.afscme.org/publications/2556.cfm

      NACT – giving their mates our money since forever.

    • Byron 2.2

      “As well as mistreatment of prisoners the company was accused of trying to maximise profits at the expense of drug rehabilitation, counseling and literacy programs.”

      From this PSA press release. You don’t get that in public (ie, not for profit) prisons.

      • Ag 2.2.1

        I doubt our lords and masters care about that. They privatize for ideological reasons and to divert wealth into the pockets of people like themselves. There is no evidence that anyone could provide that would change their minds.

        Looks like this one goes in the loss column.

    • IrishBill 2.3

      Wackenhut examples are not isolated.

      • Tim Ellis 2.3.1

        And as the Auditor-General’s report shows, problems with Corrections’ management of parole is systematic and not isolated, either.

        • Graeme 2.3.1.1

          Tim – National aren’t proposing to privatise parole management, but prison management. The problems with parole should have very littl eimpact on this decision.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.3.1.1.1

            Maybe they are talking to xe about parole management. I’m sure they would take an ambitiously proactive approach.

  3. Billy 3

    Yeah, no-one has ever been raped in a state run prison.

    • QoT 3.1

      Yeah, and prisoner-on-prisoner rape vs. multiple-guards-raping-prisoners-while-senior-management-turns-a-blind-eye-and-basically-justifies-it are totally comparable scenarios.

  4. Janet 4

    Worse prisoner health, poorer pay, non-unionisation and worse employment conditions for staff, lower staff /prisoner ratios. Far less transparency and accountability so much easier for violence and abuse to happen and be hushed up.

    This is the record of private prisons in Australia.

    But much easier to keep out of the media so governments like it.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    I thought NACT wanted to decrease government spending?

  6. Oh, that makes me feel a whole lot better. At least our taxpayers money will go to the likes of Cheney and such. Those upstanding citizens deserving of your tax money

  7. Tigger 7

    Just another privitisation mess the taxpayer will have to clean up/bail out once it all goes to hell.

    I have a philosophical problem with private business running prisons. It’s the job of the state to look out for and look after its citizens. This means taking responsibility for those citizens that it has chosen to incarcerate. Delegating this job to business is simply wrong.

  8. Michael 8

    Hearing that ex-WINZ guy being fired because his Boot Camp was a custodial sentence rather than a second chance should either stop Booties from taking it’s first step or be included in the clean slate rules.

    WINZ isn’t the employer of first choice is it. Did anyone else gasp at the idiocy of that WINZ woman on Radio NZ on Friday.

    Christine Rankin isn’t gone, she’s just changed her earings.

    I thought Private Prisons only took the easy prisoners with lower cost and so higher profits.

  9. roger nome 9

    Can’t see this being popular with the mainstream kiwi voter – Key had to let the cat out of the bag sooner or later – his bag-men would have been getting restless.

    • Billy 9.1

      Hang on to that hope, RN. You guys are hilarious. The mask was supposed to have slipped over the “fire at will” law, yet the government is more popular than ever.

      • gingercrush 9.1.1

        Eh I distinctly remember Irishbill saying straight after the election. That he had spoken to numerous National voters and that they had already regretted their vote for National.

        I think its quite healthy for the lefts in the blogosphere to think this way. Its going to be hilarious as the polls remain healthy for National. Of course they still think its all PR work and that the newspapers are anti-Left.

    • Tim Ellis 9.2

      I take it you’re an authority on what is popular with the mainstream kiwi voter, Roger. With National’s poll ratings at historic highs for any political party in New Zealand, I tend to think John Key’s got his fingers on the pulse.

      The New Zealand prison system is sorely in need of major reform. I can’t see that being done without either wholesale ground-up rebuild, or tendering out some of the easy parts of the system so that Corrections can focus on its core responsibilities.

      [lprent: The morgan poll doesn’t show them at historic highs? Or infometrics as the precursor. It is just those useless ones that the TV does.]

      • Billy 9.2.1

        And Roge, New Zealander’s concern for the welfare of criminals is legendary. I am certain that, in the midst of an economic crisis, middle New Zealand will be keen to ensure that the criminals are all comfy before directing their attention to keeping their jobs.

        • rodgeredgnome 9.2.1.1

          IrishBill: Dad. You. Are. Banned.

          [lprent: IB – wrong.. However that psuedonym is offensive so I’ve added it to anti-spam]

      • gingercrush 9.2.2

        You’re only saying they’re useless because they have National in a favourable position and you can’t bear to hear it. Too bad that on the whole they were largely accurate this election.

        • Pascal's bookie 9.2.2.1

          I guess the nat’s hope is that there is a similarly low turn out next time round. And that their base is just as fired as up as last time. Good luck with that.

          • gingercrush 9.2.2.1.1

            Elections in New Zealand will continue to trend down. Its to expected. South Auckland, and the low income urban workers chose not to vote in these elections. Meaning significant support for Labour and the left was down. But what those polls show Pascal. Is that National’s support is not falling, instead its increasing. National has been polling significantly better since 2003/2004 and while there were a few dips, National’s ability to increase its polling is a significant factor that looks set to continue. Indeed when one looks at the demographics and where growth is growing in the larger cities, it points to National being in a bloody good position for years to come.

            (Ugh some of these captchas are unreadable)

          • Pascal's bookie 9.2.2.1.2

            Lot’s of assertions there ginger.

            Elections in New Zealand will continue to trend down. Its to expected

            Why?

            National’s ability to increase its polling is a significant factor that looks set to continue.

            Why?

            (I don’t pay much attention to polls for at least a year after elections. There is way too much group psychology involved. eg. You’d be surprised at how many people like to claim they voted for whatever ‘won’. More surprising still is that they actually tend to believe they did, when they didn’t. Think about how many people say that thought Iraq was a mistake and opposed it, or homosexual law reform.)

  10. Quoth the Raven 10

    What happened to Iwi run prisons? More misdirection from the Nats was it.

    • Tim Ellis 10.1

      I don’t understand your point QTR. Who said that iwi won’t be able to manage some prisons in a privately-managed scheme?

      • Quoth the Raven 10.1.1

        If it’s Wackenhut then it’s not Iwi is it.

        • Tim Ellis 10.1.1.1

          I think it’s IB who suggested it might be Wackenhut, not John Key. Looks like a straw man to me. The Geo Group did manage the Auckland Remand prison a decade ago, and seems to have done a very good job of it. If iwis have the resources and expertise to manage prisons, as they presently do with publicly-funded educational services, health services, and social services, I don’t see why prison management would be out of their reach.

          • IrishBill 10.1.1.1.1

            Read my post. Geo Group is Wackenhut. If you can’t be bothered to even read the post don’t waste our time and yours by commenting.

          • Tim Ellis 10.1.1.1.2

            Calm down, IB. I did read your post. QTR assumed however that it was Geo Group/Wackenhut that Key had in mind to run prisons, rather than iwi. To quote DPF on another issue today, it’s not a binary outcome. Geo Group could bid again to manage prisons independently. Iwi could bid to manage prisons independently. Or they might joint venture with each other or with different entities entirely.

            It was QTR who claimed that this policy was somehow at odds with Key’s indication before the election that National’s plan to consider private management of prisons might somehow exclude iwi.

            Note to LP: for some reason the reply feature isn’t working on IB’s comment.

            [lprent: I’ll look at it today. Finally finished the last of the moving yesterday (my aching back), so I have time again]

  11. Graeme 11

    No, no, no. You’ve explained this before (with a clever cartoon I can’t immediately find).

    Left – Public management of all prisons.
    Right – Private management of all prisons.
    Centrist/Moderate – Public management of some prisons, private management of other prisons.

    🙂

    • George Darroch 11.1

      Taxpayer funded capitalism, the good kind. The private groups get the profitable sections, while the public carries the rest.

      • Tim Ellis 11.1.1

        That’s an interesting point, George. One of the main arguments for state intervention is when there is market failure. If the market can provide some prison management services effectively and efficiently, then why should the state be providing those services?

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1

          Because it’s cheaper for the state for them to do so. Cost to the state for a private provider to do it is Cost + Profit whereas the cost for the state to do it is Cost. It is, quite simply, impossible for the private sector to be able to do the same job for less.

          • Tim Ellis 11.1.1.1.1

            Experience in New Zealand shows that it isn’t a costplus equation Draco. Auckland Remand prisoners were held for far less cost than both before, and after the State took over the system, and by any measure the privately-managed prison was much better managed than its predecessor.

  12. BLiP 12

    The fundamental flaw with this is that part of a prison sentence is rehabilitation. Now, seriously, what business seeks to reduce its market? Its like Health, what private hospital wants less patients?

    The incarceration of its citizens is properly the duty of a state, certainly not foreign owned multinationals who’s sole moral imperative is the maximising of returns to shareholders.

    Its sickening. Why don’t we just contract out the duties of Parliament to Xe?

    • Graeme 12.1

      GPs are all private providers. I imagine the concern that they were evil capitalists trying to keep people sick – and thus earn more money – was why the left was so fundamentally opposed to Labour’s primary healthcare strategy.

    • Tim Ellis 12.2

      I think that’s a silly argument, BLiP. If it’s in a private prison’s interests to keep reoffending and incarceration rates high to protect profits, why is it not also in the interests of the prison workers’ union to keep reincarceration rates high in order to protect prison union jobs?

      • BLiP 12.2.1

        They are public servants, not private contractors.

        • Tim Ellis 12.2.1.1

          IT support, along with a host of other services, are provided by private companies to public service organisations too BLiP. Is it in their interests to make sure that their services don’t perform properly in a competitive market, too? Or is it just possible that they are compelled by the competitive market to provide service contracts to crown entities that ensure that they deliver on their contracts, or risk losing the business entirely?

          • BLiP 12.2.1.1.1

            There are areas of government services where, perhaps, the private sector is as efficient as the public sector. IT is not a good example – look at the cost blow outs when National was last in power, especially in relation to the police computer system. Also, except when National sold its data to EDS (more pf NZ’s sovereignty usurped by foreign business interests), it is easy and causes little strife to change IT providers, not so the case with prison management. In this post we are talking about the incarceration of citizens – an area where private enterprise has already proved to be more costly and less effective than the public service – why is National going down this failed path? To continue shredding NZ soveriegnty to overseas business interests. What other possible motive could there be? Its not more efficient and its not cheaper. Those are lies.

  13. higherstandard 13

    Who really cares who runs the prisons as long as there’s an improvement in security, safety and rehabilitation ?

    • Snail 13.1

      as there’s an improvement in security, safety and rehabilitation ?

      Looks promises, promises, promises, HS. I’d figure you as a pragmatist and ask so why this lesser based on hope. Else change for the sake of change..?

      On other matters, like, legal aid I’d buy into a need for scrutiny, too. But a conditional like the above isn’t likely post-event. Whereas it ought, in fact, be upfront.. yes?

    • BLiP 13.2

      It is not the in the interests of a business to reduce its market – why would the profit motive be of any use in seeking to reduce the number of prisoners?

  14. noleftie 14

    Wow, thinking about getting private enterprise to manage prisons gets twisted into guards raping 14 year old girls.

    Talk about desperate. The “John Key eats babies” line failed miserably before the election and will get just as little traction now.

  15. @ work 15

    “higherstandard
    My mistake clearly there are no lawyers in NZ gorging in the legal aid trough.”

    Have you read any of the comments on here made by lawyers, they take a massive pay cut to do legal aid work. If you were to quit your job and go on the DPB that could hardly be discribed a gorging on a trough.

    • higherstandard 15.1

      Yes those lawyers must be doing it tough with a in the payout for legal aid from $35.2 million in 2004 to $54 million now.

      • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1

        Which specific law firms are you accusing of being corrupt like those US judges hs?

        • higherstandard 15.1.1.1

          I don’t recall accusing any law firms/lawyers of being corrupt …… merely milking the system for all it’s worth.

          Why …. did you want to accuse someone of being corrupt…..or do you just want to felch about in a tardlike manner.

          • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1.1

            I don’t recall accusing any law firms/lawyers of being corrupt

            Let me jog your memory.

            Judges on the take is corruption.

            That corruption was the point of the comment to which you replied, suggesting legal aid as something ‘like’ that.

            You said Legal aid was ‘like’ judges on the take.

            ergo, you suggested that law firms that were ‘in the trough’ of legal aid, were like “judges being on the take”.

            Or perhaps you just completely missed the point of the ‘judges on the take’ story, not recognising the corruption aspect, and confusing it with normal practice. That would explain your confusion I suppose.

          • higherstandard 15.1.1.1.2

            Perhaps you didn’t read the second part of that persons comment …”but it shows up a massive flaw in the concept that can lead to the potential for a ‘crime pays’ (for some) system of justice……. hence my comment about legal aid which appears to have gone over your head …..

            God knows where your head is at but let us all hope you are not at a meeting of the grand council at present.

            Ah but then again why read something when you only really wanted to felch about in a tard like manner …. very Pascal’s boobiesque of you.

          • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1.3

            No no you fool.The “it” in that quote refers, clearly, to ‘corruption’.

            ‘but [corruption] shows up a massive flaw in the concept that can lead to the potential for a ‘crime pays’ (for some) system of justice

            So the comment is saying that the proposal leads to increased chances for corruption. Which would be bad thing.

            Your interpretation of that comment would mean any persons making money anywhere in the criminal legal system would be a bad thing. Which is retarded. Hence you thinking it.

            And can you try for a higherstandard of invective please. It’s really really boring, and it’s non relatedness to comments render it ineffective, much as your good lady wife mentions to me, in another context.

          • higherstandard 15.1.1.1.4

            Just because you’re infatuated with me doesn’t mean you have to attempt channeling, if you are unable to interpret what I am saying I would suggest a remedial class is in order.

            And as an aside my wife doesn’t like felchtards

          • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1.5

            Dude. I’m not infatuated with you. You post on an open forum. That means people get to respond to your comments and ask what you mean when you are not clear (which is often). That’s all I’m doing, and you don’t seem to be able to say why you think that corrupt judges are like legal aid lawyers.

            Instead of doing so, you fall back on your tiresome felchtard nonsense. [apprently going to the trouble of setting up a fake blogger profile under my handle, attached to some guy, robert? wtf is up with that dude. Are you trying a google bomb? Who’s infatuated old man?]

            If you think I’m so stupid, show how the legal aid is like the corrupt judges in a way more interesting than “both get money from the criminal justice system”, which is a non sequitur in terms of the discussion. You are under no obligation to do so of course. But why respond solely with your tiresome abuse?

          • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1.6

            really showing your quality there hs. Setting up a blogger profile pretending to be me. Just because you can’t explain your point.

            And you accuse me of stalking, because I respond to the nonsense you say in an open forum.

          • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1.7

            Actually. I should have guessed. hs didn’t set up a blogger profile. he found some 3 post apparently abandoned blog by an american guy with the same handle. So assumed it was me, an ounce of thinking would have clued him in that that Pb is not likely to be this one.

            How’d you find that blog hs? Been googling me have you? Wouldn’t it just be easier to respond to the points I make rather than be diverted into these silly spats?

            Apologies anyway for thinking you were trying something original, rather than just a lame failed attempt at an outing.

            Oh, and re the felching, you might be surprised about what your wife reckons. I wouldn’t know, but you seem endlessly fascinated by the subject. Perhaps you should talk about it with her rather than us eh?

          • higherstandard 15.1.1.1.8

            So there are two felchtards with your moniker on the www …who’d have thunk it.

            Did you plagiarise his moniker or did he plagiarise yours ?

            Don’t know what your obsession is with my wife now ….aren’t the members of the grand council enough for you ?

            [lprent: Just added felchtard to the auto-moderation. It is getting over-used]

          • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1.9

            So there are two felchtards with your moniker on the www who’d have thunk it.

            No, there is me, and there is an american guy who posts under the name robert on his blog called Pascal’s bookie. Being a retard you added 2 and 2 and came up with seventy squillion. Why did you do that hs, trying to find out who I am are you. Why don’t you just explain your point?

            Did you plagiarise his moniker or did he plagiarise yours ?

            Neither, he explains his blog title, and I’ve explained my handle to you before. That should have been another clue that he is not I You however are a plagiarist, as we have already determined.

            Don’t know what your obsession is with my wife now

            No obsession on my part.

            .aren’t the members of the grand council enough for you ?

            You clearly have a rich fantasy life about me hs. Perhaps you should share it with your wife, I’m not interested.

            I am however still interested in knowing why you think Corrupt judges are like legal aid lawyers, if you could be so kind .

      • higherstandard 15.1.2

        Perhaps you should have read the linklink above before you started having long winded discussions with yourself

        • Pascal's bookie 15.1.2.1

          Yeah I read it dude. Did you read the Corrrupt judges story, where the judges got jailed for taking bribes?

          That story is relevant to the post about private prisons.

          You said that case was ‘like’ legal aid.

          I wanted to know how are they like each other in any meaningful way.

          You then started banging on about felching and posted a picture of someone you though was me, for some yet to explained reason.

          Now you repost your link. And around we go.

          • higherstandard 15.1.2.1.1

            If you can’t make the connection I can only conclude that all the felching has made you even more tarded – if that’s at all possible.

            …dude … hah

          • Pascal's bookie 15.1.2.1.2

            So no then. You can’t explain it. Fair enough. We’ll leave it there.

            You can continue your weird fantasies about my sex life, and I’ll add ‘failed internet stalker, and pseudonym outer’ to the list of specific things I’ve busted you on to go along with your obvious general idiocy. Lying, plagiarism, misogyny…

            geez. sux2BU.

          • higherstandard 15.1.2.1.3

            “So no then. I don’t understand it. Fair enough. We’ll leave it there.”

            There fixed it for you.

            PS It doesn’t suck to be me – although tis nice to know your terminology hasn’t moved on from last year when you were at high school.

            PPS Surprisingly your sex life doesn’t actually interest me …….. I do how ever love the sod’s felchtard tag —- it fits you so well.

          • Pascal's bookie 15.1.2.1.4

            Yawn. How original. Your prose sure does sparkle. I’m reminded of that tired old saw about it being both original and good, with the good parts not being original while the original parts are not good.

            In any case I think it’s more of a barneslybill tag than a ‘sod one. Though ‘sod has probably used it once or twice. Hardly more than that though, he’s too smart to just keep repeating it till it loses it’s potency.

            Do you imagine it effects me in some way, or is it just , like the plagiarism, a way of responding to comments without admitting your point has been shot down in flames.

            Was that why you googled me and posted that guys picture? You’ve posted that before too haven’t you? Though that time is was just the picture. Been sitting on it for a while haven’t you. Thought you had a picture of me that you could use to intimidate me, or whatever the point of outing people is.

            Hilarious. Perhaps instead you cold just address what I say, and point out why I am wrong, instead of just asserting it, and proving my points about you.

  16. gingercrush 16

    PB – Elections will tend to trend down simply because many people are disenchanted with politics.Elections are down from they were in the 70s etc. And my age group (though I guess there’s an even younger age group now) on the whole couldn’t give a damn about voting in an election. Maori and Pacific Islander populations are growing in proportion of New Zealand’s population. But their turnouts at elections tend to be very low. Elections tend to be higher when its extremely close (2005) or they offer an ideology that is simply too extreme (2005). And I don’t believe advances in technology to permit internet voting or the like will change that.

    National since 2002 has not only regained its core supporters but since 2005 has been gaining in the more centrist voters. Its ongoing relationship with the Asian community should prove fruitful in the future. And I think any step towards building a more proper relationship with Maori should see small gains in that area. I also think we’re witnessing a huge change in how New Zealand votes. Provincial electorates should continue to grow for National in the future. Expansions on the North Shore and changes in Auckland city should do well for National. While its my own thoughts, that Christchurch will increasingly become more blue. I think the most significant point is that National still has the ability to increase its share of the vote even though, one would suggest that where it stood at the election is at its limit. But we’ll see in the future I guess.

    ———–

    As for the actual subject of this post by Irishbill. Yes there have been problems in private prisons. But there are numerous and ongoing problems in public prisons. To pretend there isn’t, is largely ignorant. National did not hide the fact, they were going to look at private partnerships in prison services. Where they may be going too far, is that they seem set to put many prisons into private services. Private prisons do have success and to overlook such success is itself ignorant as well But any move towards privatisation must be done slowly and careful to ensure that some problems that have plagued Australia and the United States doesn’t happen here.

  17. George Darroch 17


    And Roge, New Zealander’s concern for the welfare of criminals is legendary. I am certain that, in the midst of an economic crisis, middle New Zealand will be keen to ensure that the criminals are all comfy before directing their attention to keeping their jobs.

    I think this will be popular. The crowds are baying for the blood of prisoners and prison management, and National can spin it that way without difficulty. National are running a very successful media strategy at the moment – blow up a problem, present a private solution (never mind if there’s evidence that privatisation has improved or worsened outcomes overseas). It will be years before the failings are obvious, because National and the mainstream media aren’t interested in having intelligent debates, they’re interested in manufacturing ‘crisis!‘ and ‘solution!‘.

    We’ll all pay for it, in the long run, but it won’t be until the media are interested in declaring the next ‘crisis!‘ that we’ll get even a half decent look.

  18. TomSe 18

    Here are some comments from the wikipedia page on private prisons:

    “…CCA and The GEO Group are major contributors to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Washington, D.C. based public policy organization that develops model legislation that advances tough-on-crime legislation and free-market principles such as privatization.

    Under their Criminal Justice Task Force, ALEC has developed and helped to successfully implement in many states “tough on crime’ initiatives including “Truth in Sentencing’ and “Three Strikes’ laws. Corporations provide most of the funding for ALEC’s operating budget and influence its political agenda through participation in policy task forces. ALEC’s corporate funders include CCA and The GEO Group. In 1999, CCA made the President’s List for contributions to ALEC’s States and National Policy Summit; Wackenhut also sponsored the conference. Past cochairs of the Criminal Justice Task Force have included Brad Wiggins, then Director of Business Development at CCA and now a Senior Director of Site Acquisition, and John Rees, a former CCA vice president.

    By funding and participating in ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Forces, critics argue, private prison companies directly influence legislation for tougher, longer sentences.[27] The legal system may also be manipulated more directly: in one case (Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corp) a private prison company was found guilty of paying two judges $2.6m to send 2000 children to their prisons…”

    Given the similarities of name for the policies, and given that one of the basic principles of any sort of questioning is to follow the money, I wonder if any M.P. or journalist will have the gumption to ask Garrett or the Sensible Sentencing trust if Geo have given them any money? Or if, more seriously, if this organisation has donated to the ACT party or the National party?

    I say this because I once asked a very senior and hard bitten ex-dectective of my acquaintance (a man of the Schollum and Schipton generation, a man by no means a liberal namby pamby) why we didn’t have NSW-style police corruption. He replied straight away that it was only because NZ was to small for criminals to offer the sort of money to make corruption worthwhile, and to small to be able to hide the money you got.

    Well I tell you what. Even in N.Z. An idustrial-prison complex would be worth a LOT of money. Millions and millions. And as night follows day, if we get these private prisons entrenched here we will see political, judical and police corruption. If, given the clear similarities in nomenclature outlined above, we haven’t already.

  19. higherstandard 19

    Meh – corrections is hardly running well at the moment to reiterate…

    Who really cares who runs the prisons as long as there’s an improvement in security, safety and rehabilitation ?

    • Tane 19.1

      The question is whether there’ll be an improvement from privatisation. The evidence suggests there won’t.

      • Rex Widerstrom 19.1.1

        Depends on what evidence you’re looking at, Tane.

        I can show you plenty of evidence that the private prison I visit regularly achieves far better outcomes (less recidivism, less prisoner-on-prisoner violence, better education and a host of other measures) than all but one of the state-run prisons I visit.

        However those results would never be achieved at a prison run by Wackenhutt (or Geo Group, or however they’re disguising themselves nowadays). They’ve had too many chances and failed too many times… and not even pretended to give a damn.

        So the irony is, by seemingly preferencing Geo Group over other potential providers Collins is going to turn people who might have defended the idea in principle, such as myself, into staunch and very vocal opponents.

        I wonder why she’d do such a thing? /sarcasm

    • Snail 19.2

      reiterate, HS:

      promises,promises, promises.. — c’mon HS, pragmatists do better than not answer.

      If it helps those three ‘improvements’ you mentioned are solely your hope.. when the money should go on what is known, and improvable..

      • higherstandard 19.2.1

        Well what is known is that our last attempt at a private company running the remand prison looked successful, there appear to have been successes and failures in the UK and the US and our current system (corrections) is performing less than admirably.

        I can see no reason apart from blind ideology that we wouldn’t trial a degree of privatisation to assess whether it can improve our results in NZ, crikey hopefully at least we’ll be able to sack a private provider rather than go through the charade that we’re being made to endure with B Matthews.

        • Snail 19.2.1.1

          degree of privatization would seem to look okay..

          though I think you might more thoroughly and just as capably examine commenters on GEO/lookalikes and ALEC law-makers.. trial is hardly the word for their likely investment here.. style says it, does it, delivers.. them. And no tis not “blind’ ideology” that has me add that corporates such as this want anything other than total control.. meaning to say not simply one prison but all of them.. and whatever profits they can and will milk from taxpayers and providers.. in the course of time..

          Considered is all I ask.. beats talking/walking past each other..

  20. TomSe 20

    So lets recap:

    A/ The Sensible Sentencing Trust has exactly the same rhetoric and policy solutions as the groups funded by GEO Corp & it’s ilk in the United States – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_prisons

    and

    B/ The Sensible Sentencing Trust refused to register under the Charities Act despite the tax benefits, because doing so would force some transparency over who’s paying the bills.

    and

    C/ The Sensible Sentencing Trust refused to register under the Electoral Finance Act – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/594921 – because at least partially it would require transparency over their funding.

    and

    D/ The Sensible Sentencing Trust funded a trip for high profile ACT candidate Stephen Franks to the United States (or did GEO Corp. really pay for that trip? Who knows, the SST won’t tell us – Yes, know I am indulging a bit of pleasurable Wishartism there) and it clearly did a deal with ACT to get their law and order nutjob David Garrett into parliament. Now, if National were to privatise prisons under GEO Corp. and ACT were to get it’s “three strikes” law onto the books it isn’t hard to work out who stands to make a lot of lollie from all those extra billions we will have to spend on the new prisons to house the estimated extra 14,000 prisoners and the onging cost of running them, is it?

    Some VERY hard questions about the links between groups like the SST and the GEO Corp, and their links to the ACT Party, need to be asked by someone.

  21. Jum 21

    Rex Widerstrom

    She will do it because she knows how bad the printed media efforts are at ‘both sides’ reporting. Kiwis won’t even get to hear about it.

    That same scenario got National in and will continue to keep them in government. How are people supposed to know about these corruptions if they don’t read the blogs?

    The Herald won’t tell them.

    The other main print media won’t even try to join the dots.

    Good luck with your one-man opposition.

  22. Jum 22

    Lord Ashcroft didn’t donate money to Key – he says.

    No one seems to have asked him if he gave money to any other organisation in NZ.

  23. Jum 23

    Lying, plagiarism, misogyny

    Yep, sounds like a NAct supporter.

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