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Monday, March 30, 2009

Maori Privatized Prisons

Interesting Q+a yesterday on TVOne 9am. Paul Holmes was more intent on attacking Helen Clark and shitting on her legacy (so hard right TVNZ are these days) where as the guests pointed out that such attempts were beneath most civilized NZers. Guyon went very easy on Judith Collins it was disappointing (he was much better on Key last week), Collins got off the hook with her bullshit car crushing nonsense and was allowed a really easy time on the privatization of the prisons, thankfully the panel weren’t so weak and really savaged the idea. It was good seeing former NZ First MP, Ron Mark bringing up the massive holes in the current public prison system and touched on the despicable ‘Goon Squad’ horror story in 2000 where the state killed a prisoner in prison all under the noses of the media but didn’t get scrutinized (because they are prisoners after all). But those are holes that need filling, it doesn’t mean the solution is private prisons, but it was good to have him acknowledge the existing problems caused by a public who have been so driven blind with rage by a mainstream media who leads if it bleeds whipped on by right wing politicians who have drowned out reason within the law and order debate meaning the public system are strangled of any funds to reform prisoners.

Judith knows what notes to hit now and so used the Maori Party wrap of moderation their relationship allows to bleat on and on about Maori running private prisons. Maori running private prisons will be as distasteful as American Indians running casinos, Maori should have MUCH MORE SAY in the public running of prisons, because yes public prisons in their current format DON’T work, but that is in no way a reason to dump the lot for the abortion that is private prison ownership.

As the very brilliant Metiria Turei pointed out…
The US Department of Justice report, Emerging Issues on Privatised Prisons clearly showed that the privatisation model simply mimicked the public sector in practically every critical way. The promises from private companies in the US of 20% savings simply did not eventuate. Any modest savings made were by reductions in staffing and other labour related costs. The report concluded that the amount of savings in corrections costs “will not revolutionise modern correctional practices.” In other words has no practical impact on the cost of running prisons or on the practice of running prisons.

An Australian report, “Privatisation and New South Wales Prisons: Value for Money and Neo-liberal Regulation” published just last year also showed that the privatisation of prison did not result in value for money or a significant reduction in costs. In fact, the paper shows that the rhetoric of cost effectiveness undermined alternative criteria for assessment, such as safety, educational outcomes, or reduced reoffending. This is where the National government is duping the public. By misleading the public on the efficiency of private prison management they are diverting attention from the most important issue of all – the effective use of taxpayers money to keep the community safe.


At 30/3/09 11:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maoris get enough off the teat of the public purse, why the hell give them prisons as well?


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