Time to consider cancelling SERCO contract

Fresh revelations of violence and injuries at Mt Eden Prison should prompt the Government to consider cancelling SERCO's contract to run the prison, the Green Party says.

“It's time for the Corrections Minister to stop protecting SERCO and the Corrections Department and do what's right to ensure the proper management of the prison,” Green Party justice spokesperson Dave Clendon said.

“Today the Minister confirmed SERCO had been fined for multiple breaches of its contract. One man has died as a result of injuries allegedly inflicted at Mt Eden.

“Yet the Minister was still downplaying the significance of the breaches saying that SERCO was only on notice.

“The Government has failed to respond appropriately to repeated warnings of breaches at the prison.

“It's time for the Corrections Minister to seriously consider cancelling SERCO’s contract.

“There are provisions within the contract for the Government to cancel if the breaches are serious or frequent enough.

“It's deeply concerning that it's taken a series of leaked stories about what's gone on inside the prison for the Minister to start taking the issue of violence and disorder at Mt Eden seriously.

“The Green Party has been warning for years of the dangers in allowing services like prisons to be privatised.

“It's time for the Government to admit it's private prison experiment has failed,” Mr Clendon said.