The Herald reports that we may see existing prisons, not just new prisons, have their management taken over by the private sector.
If private management can do the job better than the Department of Corrections, I’m all for it. And by better I mean costing less, fewer escapes, less positive drug tests on prisoners, less smuggled contraband, lower reoffending rates and less corruption.
There is an insidious culture of toleration of corruption in many state prisons. I’m not sure even a new CEO, can change it – it has been ingrained for decades. So pervasive is it, that new staff have to turn a blind eye to it, to survive.
Allowing prisons to go with private management, may be the best thing that can happen for reducing corrupt behaviour in prison.
The state, as is appropriate, will still own the prisons, and set the minimum standards that must be adhered to. So this is privately managed prisons, not privately owned prisons.
Anyway you know the best thing abour having a prison under private management? You can sack them for incompetence! Yes if a private manager does not perform they can lose the contract and face penalties. However in Corrections we have decades of non performance, with little consequences.