One of the companies that is apparently in discussions with National to run a private prison is The GEO Group Inc. They ran the Auckland Central Remand Prison when it was privatised. John Key is reported as saying that they produced “very good results”.
The GEO Group, Inc. is part of the The Wackenhut Corporation, the owner of 13 correctional facilities, 11 of which are operated by GEO. They have immigrant detention centres, youth facilities and adult prisons. GEO’s value now apparently exceeds a billion dollars. CorpWatch has reported that they:
• settled a case where they placed a woman in a cellblock with male inmates who raped and beat her, she later took her life;
• had 125 inmates removed from a prison by state authorities for inadequate staff training and inadequate health care;
• served rotten food;
• knowing made false and misleading statements to state officials;
• failed to complete criminal record checks on at least 100 guards;
• violated domestic and international laws on due process and humane treatment;
We don’t want these kinds of “very good results” thanks John.
Hone argued on radio this morning that Maori would do a better job of running prisons than the Corrections Department. Yes, the Department needs to do much much better. Yes, Maori organisations need to be much more involved in prison management. In fact, the Community sector as a whole has a crucial role in collaboration with Corrections to focus our prisons towards rehabilitation so that our communitites are safer when prisoners are released.
But NO-ONE neither Maori nor Corporations should make a profit from the core social contract function of the state of imprisoning our people.