While no one in the mainstream media seems to think implementing forced labour camps for corporate gulags is any problem at all, the reality is that Key's plan to privatize the prisons may run foul of the ILO convention NZ ratified in 1938.
The convention bans forced labour in prisons and it defines what can be excluded as forced labour...
2. (c) any work or service exacted from any person as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law, provided that the said work or service is carried out under the supervision and control of a public authority and that the said person is not hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations.
We cant wait for the msm to critique the privatization of prisons so the blogs once again need to do all the heavy lifting here. Key's corporate gulags are forced labour camps, prisoners who don't agree to work 40 hours for 20cents per hour are not eligible for parole, that's forced labour. Under the convention Key can't simply hand this over to a private individual, company or association without it being deemed as forced labour.
In an Australian case it was decided that visits from officials didn't satisfy 'supervision and control of a public authority' meaning Key is going to have to try and use public outrage that we can't force prisoners to work in private prisons to justify ramming through some legislation that will have us contravene the ILO convention.
That ACC is a major shareholder in this NZ private prison experiment is the truly sick part. They will generate earnings from public investment into locking people up. The more people locked up, the more profit. See how the profit margin warps every value here? Suddenly throwing many more prisoners into prison has a commercial benefit, not just for the private company, but for the public companies that then invest in them.
This has all the morality of our Hospitals investing in blood diamond mines.
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.
In September of last year, 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? It seems the only jobs the 270 000 children in poverty and 7.3% unemployed can look forward to from John Key are the 40 hours they will be forced to work inside a 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.
When you consider the percentage of prisoners SECRO will have under their direct control by 2014 when the Wiri prison opens, NZ will have the highest proportion of our prisoners in private prisons than any other country on the planet. Key has privatized our prison service without a whimper from anyone and this has all been allowed to quietly happen with pitiful mainstream media focus.
I don't see Seven Sharp covering this.
Once private prisons multiplied in the 1980s, America's prison population exploded. Expect the exact same thing to occur in NZ. Sleepy hobbits reap what they sow.