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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

200 job losses at Mt Eden/ACRP as private prison moves in

Serco, the private prison company appointed to run Mt Eden/ACRP is in the headlines...

Firm set to run Mt Eden prison criticised over UK death
A private prison company due to take over the management of Auckland Central Remand Prison at Mt Eden in August has been criticised for its role in the death of a 14-year-old boy in a British institution.

...one of Serco's guards beat up a 14 year old prisoner in the UK, who then went on to commit suicide in his cell. I hope this isn't the Governments plan to lower the prison population.

Serco of course run the detention camps in Australia, the ones where refugees waiting to have their refugee status decided go mad and riot in. Why we would want to pass the running of our prisons over to a private company with such a poor track record overseas makes as much sense as sending your pet Chicken to Colnel Sanders for a holiday.

But it's not just the counter productive outputs and allowing profit to warp social policy as open to political manipulation as prisons that is the problem, it's the massive body blow to the Public Prison Service.

It hasn't been announced yet but as many as 200 jobs could be scrapped at Mt Eden/ACRP begging the question how on earth can these prison staff provide a safe environment if staff numbers have been cut to the bone to make a profit for Serco?

It's not just the impact at Mt Eden/ACRP, it's the impact across the prison system as prisoners are decamped in preparation for the turn over to Serco, that means other prisons become dangerously over crowded and those prisons dealing with the extra numbers caused by the decampment can't get extra staff for 6 months until transfers from Mt Eden/ACRP have been sorted out.

Thanks to a strong Union, staffing ratios in Public Prison are set at 20-1, in Serco they could be an eye watering 50-1.

The head of GEO, another private prison corporation told the select committee into Private Prisons that it wouldn't be cheaper than the public system. He also didn't mention the utter gutting of any attempt at providing a safe prison environment while putting massive amounts of stress on the rest of the public prison service.

We are building an empire of suffering from this McPrison Nation the raw meat law and order tribes have constructed via political manipulation and a crime myopic mainstream media.


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