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Submission on the Corrections (Contract Management of Prisons) Amendment Bill 2009

Summary

  • We believe the goal of “providing an opportunity for innovation and change in the way prisons in New Zealand are operated” is a valid and worthy goal. We do not see privatisation as the sole or best way to achieve this.
  • The experience of the Catholic Church in the United States warns that serious ethical concerns and issues of human rights emerge when the profit motive becomes a factor in prisonmanagement.
  • The deprivation of liberty is such a significant power of the State that we have very serious concerns about the appropriateness of the State contracting this function to third parties.
  • While appreciating that there may be both good and bad examples of private prison operation, our preference would that better ways than privatisation are found to bring innovation and change to the existing operation of prisons. This would include finding ways to assist sections of the community, such as Māori Iwi and Hapū, to be more involved in the care, rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners, both before and after release.

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