The latest report on private prison SERCO's first year seems terribly massaged to me. Officially it has failed nearly half of its performance targets but a critic might question the validity of the results when so much is riding on the private prison experiment.
These are after all, the exact same monitors that didn't realize SERCO weren't complying with the Transportation rules that were brought in after the 2006 death of 17 year old Liam Ashley in the back of a prison van. Once the media pick up on that realization, harsher scrutiny of SERCO's use of unskilled labour to do Corrections officers jobs might follow.
When the Government aren't giving hospital passes to private prisons, they're dancing a merry jig to lock up as many NZers as possible. Everyone's favorite pariah, sex offenders, will look to be detained forever even after they've served their sentence if the Government get their way.
In the same week that the European Court of Human Rights ruled that jailing offenders indefinitely without providing proper access to rehabilitation is illegal, perhaps we should consider why these offenders are serving full sentences without rehabilitation?
In NZ, a prisoner won't gain access to rehabilitation if they don't admit guilt. Many sex offenders can not come to terms with their guilt and go into denial, meaning they gain no access to rehabilitation meaning they serve full sentences and are released minus any rehabilitation. Under this new law, we will simply deal to that structural issue by locking them up forever.
The only ones jumping for joy at that news, will be the private prisons paid to house them.