Monday, March 19, 2012

Creating a market

So, having signed contracts for a private prison in Auckland, the government is now busy creating a guaranteed market for it, by closing down regional prisons. This way, they can shuffle those prisoners off to Auckland, pay their crony-contractor Serco to handle them, and wait for the corrupt political donations to roll in.

Labour's response? It will cost jobs in those regional communities. This is deeply misguided; prison jobs are not jobs we actually want as a society. The real problem is that it will actively harm our efforts to rehabilitate prisoners and reduce reoffending. We have regional prisons because we've learned the hard way that putting prisoners near their families makes them less likely to reoffend on release. Closing (rather than replacing) these prisons and shuffling prisoners round will increase average travel times for visits, and this will flow through into an increase in reoffending rates in a few years' time. But that'll be after National leaves office, so its Not Their Problem. In the meantime, they have cronies to feed...