Private prisons the answer to overcrowding crisis

Published: Thu 27 Oct 2005 10:13 AM
Private prisons the answer to overcrowding crisis
Heather Roy
Thursday, 27 October 2005
Press Releases - Crime & Justice
"Private prisons are the only answer to the immediate problem of the ongoing crisis of prison overcrowding" ACT National Security spokesman Heather Roy said today.
"New Zealand First corrections spokesman Ron Mark has suggested that prisoners be sent to Waiouru or other military bases, in response to implications by Corrections CEO Barry Matthews that fewer successful home detention applications have contributed to the bed shortage in prisons.
"This is a problem for the corrections department - not the military. Private prisons should be reinstituted and defence force staff left to focus on their core function" Mrs Roy said.
"Mr Mark's comments show a lack of understanding of the role of New Zealand's defence forces. Servicemen are not jailers and the defence infrastructure is not set up or funded for this sort of activity.
"In May Labour changed the law to prevent prisons being run by private organisations, despite Auckland Central Remand Prison being run successfully by a private firm for five years. Instead of burdoning defence with jobs they were never intended for, Mr Mark should use his party's position of influence - supporting the Labour minority government - to reinstitute private prisons in New Zealand.
"There is no good reason why private prisons were abandoned. If New Zealand First was serious about tackling the prison overcrowding crisis they would be pressing their Labour colleagues to immediately change the law to allow private prisons to operate in New Zealand" said Mrs Roy.

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