The role of Serco in Western Australia (largely ignored in the east of the country) is likely to increase. Problems with the company? Open to abuse? Who cares, if there’s a buck to be made? Here’s the West Australian:
A prisoner rights group says the State Government’s plan to privatise parole services would make the system ripe for corruption and cover-ups.
Deaths in Custody Watch Committee spokesman Marc Newhouse said his group would lead any opposition to a bid to privatise parts of the justice system because it feared people would be returned to jail for profit and not need.
“If you have a privatised system where people are perhaps breached more readily, then you are just going to see more of a crisis in the prison system,” Mr Newhouse said.
A draft Bill leaked last week revealed the Barnett Government wants to shift the management of people released on parole or bail to the private sector.
It would allow companies such as Serco, which runs Acacia Prison and the Christmas Island immigration detention centre, to take a bigger role in running WA’s justice system.
Mr Newhouse said he was concerned prisoners would become a commodity and justice would be compromised if private companies took over the role.
“It’s really about ticking the boxes and making sure they meet the requirement of the contract rather than actually doing what they are supposed to be doing,” Mr Newhouse said. “International experience has shown that it’s prone to corruption.”