Serco should go same way as US private prisons

Today’s decision by the United States to end the use of private prisons should be a wake-up call for the National Government’s reliance on Serco, the Green Party said today.

The United States Department of Justice announced this morning that it will begin phasing out the contracts of all federal private prison providers, ending a decades long policy of using for-profit prisons.

“International evidence shows that private prisons are less safe for prisoners and staff, more prone to violent outbreaks and do not save governments significant money,” said Green Party justice spokesperson David Clendon.

“The National Government needs to heed the lessons learnt in the US and stop contracting out prison services to Serco, which has shown time and time again that it cannot be trusted to properly care for inmates and staff.

“The US has been a huge proponent of private prisons for a long time, so it’s really significant that they are taking this step and acknowledging that for-profit jails lead to more violence and more human rights violations.

“Private prisons are morally wrong and financially pointless, so it looks a lot like National are holding on to Serco for ideological reasons, not good sense.

“Corrections Minister Judith Collins needs to show leadership by prioritising the wellbeing of inmates and staff and cancelling its contracts with Serco,” said Mr Clendon.

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