The worst part of the private prison experiment is that the contract hasn't been before Parliament so that it can be scrutinized. We have no idea what we are signing ourselves up to for 25 years, SERCO are telling the London Stock Exchange more than they are telling us.
This month SERCO told the LSE they would be making $29m per year from their private prisons in NZ, over 25 years that's $725m. Please tell me that's included in the $900 million dollar cost to build Wiri?
How is it that we have $29m per year to pay for private prisons but we don't have money to feed children in school before they end up in that private prison?
The argument that this will save us $170m over the life of the contract is optimistic beyond credibility.
Another feature of the deal seems to be that we will pay for 960 beds at Wiri even if the prison isn't full. The incentives built into this deal favour SERCOs profit margin, they don't favor the social responsibilities to the wider community.
That ACC is a major shareholder in this private prison venture is the truly sick part. They will generate earnings from public investment into locking people up. The more people locked up, the more profit. This has all the morality of our Hospitals investing in blood diamond mines.
When Wiri is open, NZ will have the highest proportion in the world of prisoners in private prisons. This has happened with zero consultation over the long term implications of connecting corporate profit to incarceration.
Will SERCO be more honest with us than they have been in Britain? Here they are in the Guardian today admitting to providing false information to the NHS in Britain...
Serco gave NHS false data about its GP service 252 times
Serco, the leading private contractor to the government, has admitted that it presented false data to the NHS 252 times on the performance of its out-of-hours GP service in Cornwall.
Interesting that National are expanding the prison capacity right when beneficiaries are about to have their benefits cut. Todays-welfare-recipient-is-tomorrows-prisoner isn't much of a social policy, but then again, this isn't much of a government.