More re-heated neo-con policies from National – private prisons to profit from crime

March 10, 2009

In an exclusive story yesterday [Monday] the NZ Herald reported that the National government is looking to privatise jail management across New Zealand.

Where do the party hacks come up with these ideas?

Today there’s a follow-up by Simon Collins in which the union representing prison officers vowed to fight the privatisation plan and described it as “driven by ideology“. At the same time a Corrections plan to put two beds in every cell was also revealed. This move might be necessary because the prison population is anticipated to increase by close to 1000 inmates over the next 18 months. I wonder if this has something to do with the projected “Three strikes” policy that’s also on the cabinet agenda in Wellington.

Unfortunately for the government, the first step in their cunning plan to hand over the prison system to the profit system may derail them (or, at least slow down the plan). The Herald is also reporting that the State Services Commissioner has refused to offer up the beleaguered head of Corrections as a sacrificial lamb.

The State Services Commissioner said today that corrections chief Barry Matthews should not be sacked.

Corrections Minister Judith Collins received the report into accountability at her ministry from State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie this morning.

Mr Rennie said Mr Matthews’s “dismissal of the chief executive would not be justified”.

You can hear a mumbled “Bugger!” emanating from the Ministerial wing of the Beehive, right about now. However, I don’t expect this will slow down the government’s hasty desire to privatise prisons. Even though there are more pressing issues as outlined in the briefing given to the incoming Minister late last year.

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