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

  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

  • Typhoid report shows health officials under the hammer
    A chaotic picture has emerged around the response of Auckland public health officials to this year’s typhoid outbreak, says Aupito William Sio Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesman.  “Our Pacific community was left exposed by the Auckland Regional Public Health Services’ ...
    23 hours ago
  • Huge high country station risks going to overseas ownership
    The real estate advertisement is spot on in describing Mt White Station as an “iconic” South Island high country station. The 40,000 hectare property is adjacent to Arthur’s Pass National Park and the upper reaches of the Waimakariri River. Mt ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 day ago
  • Bill English must be upfront about his involvement in Barclay scandal
    Bill English’s explanations that he was on the periphery of the long running employment dispute involving Todd Barclay don’t stack up, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister claims to have been a bystander, but we know he was ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour will not resile from royalties
    Labour believes cleaning up our rivers so that they are clean enough to swim in is the most important freshwater issue for this election, but that it is also fair that a royalty should be charged where public water is ...
    3 days ago
  • With friends like Hone, who needs enemies?
    With less than three months until the election, Hone Harawira has delivered another blow to the Māori Party’s flagship policy of Te Ture Whenua Māori reform and the already unstable MANA-Maori Party alliance, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. “On The ...
    3 days ago
  • Shifty Bill jumps the shark
    Bill English's claim today that it has never been established that Todd Barclay's recordings of his staff took place is bizarre and shows a complete lack of honesty and leadership, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  "Todd Barclay told Bill ...
    4 days ago
  • Te Ture Whenua – gone by lunchtime?
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has to front up about yesterday’s mysterious withdrawal of Te Ture Whenua Bill from Parliament’s order paper, says Labour’s Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Has he lost his way and has decided to run ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English ignorance of law beggars belief
    For Bill English to claim he and others in the National Party didn’t realise the law may have been broken in the Todd Barclay taping scandal is simply not credible, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister ...
    5 days ago
  • Government ignored advice on Pacific people’s superannuation
    The Government ignored advice from the Ministry of Pacific Peoples that raising the Superannuation age of eligibility would have a ‘disproportionately high impact’ on Pacific people, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Aupito William Sio.   “The Ministry for Pacific ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English misleads Parliament on Police statement
    Bill English's attempt to restore his damaged credibility over the Todd Barclay affair has backfired after his claim to have "reported" Mr Barclay's actions to Police has proven not to be true, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep it Public
    The Green Party strongly supports the Tertiary Education Unions call to #KeepitPublic Keep what public? Out quality tertiary education system that National is trying to open up to more private for-profit providers with a new law change. The (Tertiary Education ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • This ‘technical error’ is hurting big time
    Jonathan Coleman cannot resort to his ongoing litany that the Ministry of Health’s $38 million budget blunder is an error on paper only, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “He might keep saying it’s a ‘technical error’ but the reality ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour to invest in public transport for Greater Christchurch
    Labour will commit $100m in capital investment for public transport in Greater Christchurch, including commuter rail from Rolleston to the CBD, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “As the rebuild progresses, there are huge opportunities for Greater Christchurch, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Green Party will repeal solar tax
    It’s ridiculous for an electricity distribution monopoly to apply a charge on solar panels but worse than that, it’s harming our effort to tackle climate change. Hawke’s Bay lines company Unison last year announced a new solar charge for their ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • English fails the character test over Barclay
    Bill English is hoping this scandal will go away, but he is still dodging important questions over his role in covering up for Todd Barclay, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    7 days ago
  • Government must apologise for Christchurch schools stuff-up
    The Ombudsman’s findings that the Ministry of Education botched the reorganisation of Christchurch schools after the 2011 earthquake are damning for an under-fire National Government, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “The Ombudsman has found the reorganisation of schools in ...
    7 days ago
  • Government’s multinational tax measures weak
    The Government’s proposals to crack down on multinational tax avoidance, by its own admission only recovering one third of the missing money, means hardworking Kiwis will bear more of the tax burden, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “The Government ...
    7 days ago
  • World Refugee Day – we can do our bit
    I’m really proud that yesterday, on World Refugee Day, the Greens launched an ambitious plan to increase the refugee quota to 5000 over the next six years. Of those places, 4,000 will be directly resettled by the government and another ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • PM’s leadership in question over Barclay affair
    The Prime Minister must belatedly show some leadership and compel Todd Barclay to front up to the Police, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Twice today Bill English has been found wanting in this matter. ...
    1 week ago
  • Another memory lapse by Coleman?
    The Minister of Health ‘couldn’t recall’ whether the Director General of Health Chai Chuah offered his resignation over the Budget funding fiasco involving the country’s District Health Boards, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “In the House today Jonathan Coleman ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English needs to come clean over Barclay
    Bill English needs to explain why he failed to be upfront with the public over the actions of Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay, following revelations that he knew about the secretly recorded conversations in the MP’s electorate office, says Labour Leader ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister, show some backbone and front up and debate
    Rather than accusing critics of his Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill of telling ‘lies’, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell should show some backbone and front up to a debate on the issue, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. “Te ...
    1 week ago
  • Equal pay for mental health workers
    Today, mental health workers are filing an equal pay claim through their unions. Mental health support workers do important and difficult work in our communities. But because the workforce is largely female, they are not paid enough. It’s wrong for ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Nats’ HAM-fisted housing crisis denial
    National’s decision to knowingly release a flawed Housing Affordability Measure that underestimates the cost of housing is the latest evidence of their housing crisis denial, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Pike footage builds compelling case for mine re-entry
    New footage of the Pike River Mine deep inside the operation, revealing no fire damage or signs of an inferno, provides a compelling reason to grant the families of Pike River’s victims their wish to re-enter the drift, says Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will get tough on slum boarding houses
    The next Labour-led Government will legislate a Warrant of Fitness based on tough minimum standards to clean out slum boarding houses, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It’s not acceptable for New Zealanders in the 21st Century to be living ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party tribute to Dame Nganeko Minhinnick
    Haere ngā mate ki tua o paerau; te moenga roa o ngā mātua tupuna. Haere, haere, haere. It was with a huge sense of loss that we learned of the death of Dame Nganeko Minhinnick yesterday. The Green Party acknowledges ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent answers needed on DHB funding
      Jonathan Coleman must come clean and answer questions about what actual funding DHBs received in Budget 2017, says Labour Health Spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury puts Māori Land Service on red alert
    A damning Treasury report raises serious questions about the delivery of Te Ururoa Flavell’s proposed Māori Land Service, giving it a ‘red’ rating which indicates major issues with the project, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Treasury’s Interim Major Projects Monitoring ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Economy stalling after nine years of National’s complacency
    The second successive quarterly fall in per person growth shows the need for a fresh approach to give all New Zealanders a fair share in prosperity, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwi kids deserve much more
    All Kiwi kids deserve so much more than the impoverished picture painted by the shameful rankings provided by the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card, says Labour’s children spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Zone a precursor to a total nuclear weapon ban
    New Zealand’s nuclear-free zone, legislated by Parliament in 1987, is something we all take pride in. It’s important, however, that we don’t let it thwart its own ultimate purpose – a world free of nuclear weapons. That goal must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • English must confirm we still stand by our principles on UN resolution
    Bill English must tell New Zealand whether we remain in support of the UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “After Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee’s evasive answers to repeated questions on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori party drop the poi on Māori health
    The Māori Party have dropped the poi when it comes to supporting Ngati Whakaue and Māori interests in Bay of Plenty by allowing an iwi owned and operated service Te Hunga Manaaki to be brushed aside in favour of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in Whanganui River infrastructure
    Labour will work in partnership with the Whanganui Council to repair and redevelop the city’s Port precinct in advance of planned economic development and expansion. To enable Whanganui’s plans, Labour will commit $3m in matching funding for repairing the Whanganui ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parihaka: an apology
    An apology only works for healing if it is sincere and if it is accepted. We teach our children to apologise and to be genuine if they want to be forgiven. On Friday, June 9 at Parihaka, the Crown apologised ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Survey shows many international students plan to stay in NZ after study
    Most international students in New Zealand at PTEs (private training establishments) who have a plan for themselves after study intend to stay in New Zealand to work. This shows how low-level education has become a backdoor immigration route under National, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Councils step up as Nats drop the ball on housing crisis
    Phil Goff’s Mayoral Housing Taskforce is another positive example of councils stepping up where National has failed on housing, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    Labour will introduce moderate, sensible reforms to immigration to reduce the pressure on our cities, while ensuring we get the skilled workers our country needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New Zealand is a country built on immigration. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inaction puts Māui dolphins at risk
    Conservation Minister Maggie Barry was at the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York last week, trying to convince the world that the New Zealand Government is doing a good job at protecting our marine environment.  Yet last week after ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • National unprepared as immigration runs four times faster than forecast
    National has been caught asleep at the wheel by record immigration that has outstripped Budget forecasts, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • First home buyers shouldn’t carry the can for National’s failed policies
    The introduction of tighter limits on lending to first home buyers would see them paying the price for the National Party’s failure to recognise or fix the housing crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Nine years of denial and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Motel bill blows out as Nats fail to deliver emergency housing
    Minister Amy Adams has admitted at select committee that National has now spent $22m on putting homeless families in motels as it fails to deliver the emergency housing places it promised, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago