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.
Of course, there’s a problem. The private operators, Serco, are using cheap little ‘control’ devices like the desserts to reduce staff numbers. That’s how they make a profit, remember: by cutting their biggest overhead, which is wage costs.
Bribing the prisoners with treats might be fine while everything is quiet and the prisoners are thinking ‘should I give a bit of lip and lose my dessert or should I be good?’ but the second things go beyond that level and you’ve got to deal with out of control prisoners who don’t give a stuff about some dessert and you don’t have the staff present to control the situation.
Prison staff know what, and that’s why they’re leaving for Aussie in droves.