Prisoner fight video another failure of prison privatisation

Footage of prison fight clubs is yet another example of major flaws in National’s prison privatisation plan, said the Green Party today.

Footage of prison fight clubs is yet another example of major flaws in National’s prison privatisation plan, said the Green Party today.

Footage on social media of prisoners engaging in one-on-one fights at the privately-run prison, Mt Eden Corrections Facility, emerged yesterday. The video was taken on cell phones, which are contraband, and then uploaded to social media.

“The videos of prisoners fighting is hugely concerning and further evidence that all is not well at Mt Eden prison,” said Green Party corrections spokesperson David Clendon.

“The fight club videos are yet another example of disorder at Mt Eden prison and the failure of National’s privatisation of prisons.

“The Green Party has raised concerns, repeatedly, about the performance of Serco, but the Minister keeps claiming that the prison is well run; despite all the evidence pointing to the contrary.

“Low staffing levels and weak management puts both prison staff and inmates at risk.

“Last year it emerged that Mt Eden prison had more cases of assaults than any other jail, there are constant reports of understaffing and now we see the rampant disorder and access to contraband – it really begs the question, what on earth is going on in that private prison?

“Of course Serco will say that all is well, they have a commercial interest in protecting their prison performance tables, but the Minister has no excuse to ignore the constant troubling reports emerging from Mt Eden.

“I have a Private Member’s Bill that would establish an Independent Prison Inspectorate, who could independently monitor what is really happening in our prisons and report directly to Parliament.

“With more troubling reports than ever, we need an independent watchdog and I urge the Government to pick up my Bill,” said Mr Clendon.

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