Monday, June 26, 2006

Treasury and private prisons

National's Simon Power is complaining that the government has consistently ignored advice from Treasury pushing for more private prisons.


The decision over whether to have private companies profiting from human misery is essentially a political one. It is therefore the domain of elected politicians - not unelected technocrats. If Treasury wants to see the idea implemented, then they should run for election like everybody else.

As for Simon Power, if he genuinely sees the role of government as slavishly following Treasury's advice, then you really wonder why he is in Parliament at all. And if that's what he's going to do if ever elected to Cabinet, I think we'd all be better off if we simply cut out the middle man and had Treasury make the decisions openly. Then at least it would be clear where the accountability lay...


And realistically the reason why overseas experience shows that private prisons offer cost advantages is because most of them are run by Group 4 (formerly Wackenhut). This has to be one of the most overtly evil companies on the face of the planet. They place human rights at the very bottom of their business priorities. They run such glorious institutions such as Guantanamo Bay. They also own Australian Correctional Management, which used to run Auckland Central Remand Prison until Labour stuck to their roots for once and wisely banned private prisons in NZ.

I could go on but I'll sumarise and say Simon Power is an idiot.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/27/2006 08:30:00 PM

I understood the issue was that press reports indicated that the costs were lower and the results in terms of less reoffending better than in publically run prison and that Maori groups supported the experiment. It seems a fair point that the experiments results should be debated especially in light of overruns by the Dept of Corrections.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/28/2006 12:58:00 PM