The left oppose the ideas of PPPs, and specifically a PPP model for prisons. They would have you think that private prisons will be profit motivated penal institutions that don’t invest in rehabilitation etc.
The reality is that the last private prison we had (Labour tore up the contract) did much better than the state prisons, and the Herald looks at the new Wiri prison:
Inmates moving through the country’s new $300 million prison will be able to track their path to freedom.
As they get closer to the main gatehouse, they are nearing their release date.
The jail, which covers 17ha at Wiri in the southwest of Auckland, is laid out according to the prisoner’s journey.
Factors deciding where they are on the site include the seriousness of offending, length of sentence, level of risk and behaviour within the walls.
“The design mirrors your own personal journey,” says John Holyoake, transition director from private British-owned corrections operator Serco New Zealand.
“So the highest level of security is farthermost from the exit. The concept of punishment has been removed. Instead, this is about rehabilitation and reintegration.”
Isn’t this what the left should be supporting?
Inmates will have computers in their cells, with streams of viewing available: free-to-air television channels and educational information, designed to enhance their vocations or careers once they are out, Holyoake says.
Not exactly hard labour or D block is it.
Those involved in Wiri says it breaks the mould in terms of new prisons because it is a public-private partnership (PPP) between the Department of Corrections and SecureFuture comprising builder Fletcher Construction, maintenance specialist Spotless and operator Serco New Zealand with a 25-year contract. Buildings are designed by architects Mode Design of Australia and Peddle Thorp, working with Beca and SKM.
Double-bunk and single-bunk rooms in the three more secure house blocks at the men’s prison are 8.6sq m in size.
“This will be the world’s best new prison,” says Holyoake.
Near the gatehouse, things are quite different at the cluster of low-security residences.
“Up to 24 prisoners will live in each of the residences, two levels high, almost like a motel unit. They will have their own bedrooms and a budget to buy their food and some people will be learning social skills they never had. Some of the people in here will be working on the outside too,” Holyoake said.
I’m all for rehabilitation, when it works. Some prisoners can not be rehabilitated, but those who can be are worth investing in.