- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Crusher Collins celebrates McPrison Aotearoa

Crusher Collins, the woman who has done more next to Simon Power to convince NZers that Prison is an adult Disneyland is now celebrating private prison shipping containers...

More inmates to go in shipping containers
More prisoners are likely to be locked up in recycled shipping containers as a pilot unit has "outperformed expectations", Corrections Minister Judith Collins says.

...this isn't the first time she has celebrated McPrison Aotearoa, only in March Crusher Collins couldn't sing enough praise for the $1.2billion this private prison is supposed to generate in 30 years yet the reality is that the Private Prison at Wiri WILL ACTUALLY COST $1.3BILLION! so we are out of pocket $100million.

As we build towards our prison Nation we must now fear that corporate profits from the private prison industry are influencing raw meat law and order policy that seeks to lock people up for longer and longer in the same way the mining industry influence policy to mine conservation land. Seeing as the Sensible Sentencing Trust refuse to allow their donations to be public, that influence may already be here.

The McPrison Nation is already bulging at the seams and is leading to policy change within the prison environment destined to cause grief...

Prisoners prepare for smoking ban
Almost 2000 prisoners nationwide have taken steps to quit smoking the habit in the lead up to this year's prison smoking ban, the Corrections Department says.

...the Joke here is that the reason why prisoners are being forced to quit smoking is because prisons will be double bunked because we are throwing them into prison as quickly as we possibly can, and that the Government would be open to legal action by double bunked prisoners who got ill from second hand smoke.

The conditions of aggression being created in over crowded, double bunked prisons don't matter because as a society we don't care for prisoners rights. Nothing highlights that better than the despicable decision to alienate prisoners even further by stripping away their rights to vote.

Gordon Campbell at scoop.co.nz point out the words used by the European commissioner of human rights. Thomas Hammerberg...

“It may be sobering to remind ourselves that democracy was once established through the idea of universal suffrage. Our forefathers accepted the principle that not only male persons, nobles, and those who owned property or paid taxes should have the right to vote, but everyone – irrespective of their status in society. We may now feel that some of these right-holders do not deserve this possibility, but to exclude them is to undermine a crucial dimension of the very concept of democracy – and human rights.”

It costs $100 000 per year to house a prisoner, money that could be much better spent elsewhere, yet our appetite to keep throwing NZers into prison continues unabated, as Tapu Misa points out...

In 1999, we imprisoned 150 people per 100,000; 10 years later that had risen to 195 per 100,000 - one of the highest in the OECD, and significantly higher than rates in Australia, England, Ireland and Canada. Yet it's made no real difference to our crime rates, as even Treasury has acknowledged. In a 2009 report, it argued that "investing in reducing the number of people who enter the criminal justice system would likely provide better value for money - and better societal outcomes - than locking up more people".

...and we just can't wait to speed the process up to throw people into prison despite these changes deforming our legal rights...

Judges at loggerheads with Govt over new law
The Chief Justice has made a stinging criticism of the Government's sweeping reforms of the criminal justice system. Dame Sian Elias' objections - revealed in a submission to Parliament's justice and electoral committee - place the Government and the judiciary firmly at loggerheads. Dame Sian said the proposed changes were being made too quickly and threatened a defendant's long-standing right not to help the prosecution. The reforms are in the Criminal Procedure (Reform and Modernisation) Bill, which is before the committee.

...and the Government now wants to raise the threshold on bail to stop teenagers from being automatically considered for bail.

The speed with which we want to throw NZers into an over crowded, violent, dehumanizing prison system for private corporate profit is bewilderingly counter productive when one considers these prisoners must one day be released.

And who are we handing the power to make money from incarceration to? 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 and these are concerns that are being mirrored elsewhere as the results of prisons for profits are challenged, this week from the New York Times ...

Private Prisons Found to Offer Little in Savings
PHOENIX — The conviction that private prisons save money helped drive more than 30 states to turn to them for housing inmates. But Arizona shows that popular wisdom might be wrong: Data there suggest that privately operated prisons can cost more to operate than state-run prisons — even though they often steer clear of the sickest, costliest inmates. The state’s experience has particular relevance now, as many politicians have promised to ease budget problems by trimming state agencies. Florida and Ohio are planning major shifts toward private prisons, and Arizona is expected to sign deals doubling its private-inmate population.

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.



At 23/5/11 11:57 am, Blogger Mike said...

Heya Bomber, excellent article, private prisons are simply another example of how the world is now ruled by corporations and private business interests.

I wonder if it is just a coincidence that at the same time our first private prison opens, a bill is going through parliament which will remove the right to jury trial if you are facing 3 or less years in prison. The result? More people will be sent to prison for less serious crimes, keeping the private prison nice and full and generating plenty of profit.

The other thing I have been wondering about is why there has been no coverage in the mainstream media about Serco in regards to NZ's anti nuclear policy.

Part of the anti nuclear legislation states:

No person, who is a New Zealand citizen or a person ordinarily resident in New Zealand, and who is a servant or agent of the Crown, shall, beyond the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone,—

(a) Manufacture, acquire, or possess, or have control over, any nuclear explosive device; or

(b) Aid, abet, or procure any person to manufacture, acquire, possess, or have control over any nuclear explosive device.

Seeing as though a corporation in the legal world is defined as a 'person', Serco is legally a person. I'm assuming they are acting as an agent of the crown in managing a prison which is a responsibility of government.

Serco is heavily involved in the manufacture and storage of nuclear weapons in the United Kingdom which surely means it would be breaking the law operating in New Zealand according to the legislation above?


Post a Comment

<< Home