The Serco rot jumps to yet another country

The following statement was released on 9th February by the New Zealand Green Party:

It has been revealed that a Serco prison has the worst record of self-harm in Scotland, said the Green Party today.

Serco’s contract to run Auckland remand prison is due to be tabled in Parliament shortly.

It has been reported in the UK: “that Kilmarnock Prison, run by private operator Serco, has the highest recorded incidence of self-harm in Scotland with 280 incidents since 2004, more than three times as many as the next highest men’s prison, HMP Aberdeen, which saw 91 incidents.”

“These revelations are more evidence that New Zealanders need to be concerned about prison corporations setting up here,” said Green Party Corrections Spokesperson David Clendon.

“I am deeply worried about the implications for public safety and the humane treatment of prisoners if John Key’s Government continues down the path of privatising our prison system,” said Mr Clendon.

An inquest released last month found that unlawful force contributed to the death of a 14 year old in Serco custody. The young man was subjected to a controversial restraining technique shortly before he committed suicide.

Overseas media reports have linked Serco with violence, lack of adequate health care, and overcrowding.There is growing evidence from overseas that private prisons do not reduce costs for the governments, and that prisoner safety can sometimes be compromised.

“The Government needs to explain how Serco will make a profit without cutting into the conditions of staff or compromising safety and rehabilitation.

“As we heard in his speech yesterday, John Key is committed to privatisation even though only overseas corporations will benefit.

“The community and public sectors have many good innovative ideas about how the prison system can be improved and the cycle of recidivism broken.

“The Government can listen to them rather than reneging on their responsibilities by flogging off prison management to corporations”, said Mr Clendon.

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