The top performing prison is the one the opposition want to close down!

May 9th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The latest prison performance stats are here. Of the 17 prisons:

  • 13 are deemed effective
  • Three are exceeding their targets (Arohata, Tongariro and Waikeria)
  • One is deemed exceptional – Mount Eden

So Mount Eden is the only prison in New Zealand that is deemed exceptional for its – and that is the one Labour and Greens want to sack – purely on ideological grounds.

Putting ideology ahead of effective rehabilitate – very wrong.

 

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30 Responses to “The top performing prison is the one the opposition want to close down!”

  1. SGA (800 comments) says:

    I assume that the prisons don’t take the same sort of prisoner. Does the result for Mt Eden reflect its clientele as much as its functioning? (No axe to grind, honest question)

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  2. Unity (269 comments) says:

    I also wonder if the austerity of Mt Eden is some of the answer. Perhaps they have it too sweet at the other prisons and it is getting to be like a home away from home apart from not being free to roam. I’m sure some of them are more comfortable in the current prisons with their 3 meals a day etc than they were outside and this might be some of the answer of why they re-offend – so they can go in there again and have some stability and routine?? Surely not!!

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  3. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    The opposition is simply appealing to its core supporters of beneficiaries and criminals. Smart move ;)

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  4. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    I also wonder if the austerity of Mt Eden is some of the answer

    .

    Yup, flat screens and double helpings with pudding every night is pretty damn austere.
    /

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  5. Unity (269 comments) says:

    Cha, I was really referring to the building itself, not the luxury within that these crims seem to get these days. Still, the food etc is probably still way better than what they would get on the ‘outside’, so maybe even the austerity of the building doesn’t deter them after all.

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  6. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    The Mount Eden remand facility operated by serco, opened in 2011, is a luxury hotel compared to most other prisons.

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  7. srylands (385 comments) says:

    “Yup, flat screens and double helpings with pudding every night is pretty damn austere.”

    Seriously? My partner has worked in prisons on and off for 10 years. According to her a typical day menu is:

    Breakfast – a couple of weetbix and slice of cheap bread toast.

    Lunch – 2 white bread sandwiches (e.g. grated carrot and grated cheese, or luncheon meat slice) (Bread is the cheap as type)

    Dinner – some cheap protein – a couple of cheap sausages and some peas or sludge carrots and a piece of fruit.

    Next day – rinse and repeat.

    So it is not a luxury diet.

    Sure our prisons are not like Indonesian or Chinese prisons, but you would not want to be there.

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  8. RightNow (6,642 comments) says:

    “a luxury hotel compared to most other prisons.”

    And yet they can outperform all the other prisons and make a profit. More please.

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  9. Unity (269 comments) says:

    I was wrong again then, Cha. Obviously I’m not up to date with prisons. Perhaps it’s the opposite to what I was saying then and the criminals need the equivalent of a luxury hotel??!!

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  10. Judith (7,460 comments) says:

    You need to compare apples with apples.

    Mount Eden is a REMAND prison – keeping remand prisoners in order is a hell of a lot easier than convicted offenders. For a start there is no rehabilitation component to be judged on. Prisoners are on their best behaviour and willing to comply, because they need to impress the court.

    They would have to be really really slack to not reach their targets with that one.

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  11. Judith (7,460 comments) says:

    RightNow (6,408 comments) says:
    May 9th, 2014 at 4:40 pm
    “a luxury hotel compared to most other prisons.”

    And yet they can outperform all the other prisons and make a profit. More please.

    Of course it can out perform, it has prisoners that have something to gain by being ‘good’. Mt Eden is a remand prison, it does not handle those that have been convicted on long sentences and have nothing to lose by not sticking to the rules, and being problematic.

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  12. JeffW (320 comments) says:

    Everyone should work for the government, don’t you guys know that?

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  13. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    I’ve been involved with an industries maintenance contract at a couple of lower north prisons and the diet like the facilities is indeed spartan. But Mount Eden, not so much.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/central-leader/4853262/Mt-Eden-prison-hailed-as-fantastic-facility

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  14. Judith (7,460 comments) says:

    @ cha (3,572 comments) says:
    May 9th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    The Mount Eden remand facility operated by serco, opened in 2011, is a luxury hotel compared to most other prisons.

    It is a nice facility, but then as it is not dealing with convicted criminals, and their inmates are technically ‘innocent’ (having not yet been found guilty) – it is necessary to make sure the rules are adhered to, and someone that is subsequently found not guilty doesn’t take umbrage over the way they were treated etc.

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  15. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    convicted criminals, and their inmates are technically ‘innocent’

    Judith, you think they are innocent even when they are convicted dear ;)

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  16. David Garrett (6,309 comments) says:

    Unity: You may not be aware that the “castle” at Mt Eden is now closed…I think they use it for offices…and the remand prison next door is less than 10 years old.

    Judith: I too am puzzled by the references to “rehabilitation” at Mt Eden; I don’t know you can possibly judge a remand prison on that measure…yet it is a stat one hears quite a bit…and about Mt Eden.

    But on the wider question, DPF is right: ideology rules when it comes to the Labour Party and prisons. I was on the Law and Order Select Committee, and I honestly never saw the Socialists so agitated – even including our discussions on 3S – as when privately run prisons were discussed.

    As far as the filthy Socilaists are concerned, it is some kind of holy writ that the state and ONLY the state can run prisons…and that is leaving aside their frankly stupid allegations that in some way the prison operator could influence the Judges to keep them supplied with “product”…but some of the sillier members – Cosgrove for example – did really seem to believe that.

    Put simply, if a privately run “sentenced prisoner” facility had stats (for escapes suicides and recidivism for example) twice as good as the closest state run prison, the Socialists would still want the private one closed down.

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  17. Judith (7,460 comments) says:

    @David Garrett (5,266 comments) says:
    May 9th, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Exactly David. It’s like comparing apples with a mango. Rehabilitating a prisoner before they are convicted! WOW!

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  18. David Garrett (6,309 comments) says:

    But forget about rehabilitation of remand prisoners – which is oxymoronic – I believe on all other measures (suicides, assaults on guards, assaults on each other etc.) Mt Eden remand is streets ahead of the others. Means absolutely nothing to the Socialists: it’s privately run, so it’s anathema…Total fuckwits.

    And of course most of the guards at Mt Eden arent in Beven Hanlon’s gang the Corrections Association, so that’s another major black mark against them…

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  19. thor42 (900 comments) says:

    “Labour – having great policies since….. yeah, nah”

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  20. Yogibear (274 comments) says:

    Always worth reminding readers of the wonderful serendipity when Mt Eden remand first opened. They had an escape shortly after with the Corrections Union crowing the same day on National Radio that this was exactly what you could expect from a privately run prison.

    The day after, two prisoners escaped from Rangipo and even Mary Wilson was forced to note the Corrections Union’s refusal to come back on the programme to discuss the comparison.

    Also worth noting that one prison recompensed the taxpayer for the failure of performance. The other did not.

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  21. David Garrett (6,309 comments) says:

    Yogi: And the private operator has to reimburse the taxpayer for EVERY breach of the KPI’s in their contract…Beven and the Boys have no contract, so that’s not something they need to concern themselves with down at Trades Hall…

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  22. mikenmild (10,611 comments) says:

    Itg’s apples and oranges. You can’t compare a remand facility with other prisons.

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  23. jp_1983 (184 comments) says:

    I guess we can wait for Camp 14 to open when the Green Taliban get into power.
    Wonder what the stats on that prison would be…

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  24. dime (9,356 comments) says:

    “that in some way the prison operator could influence the Judges to keep them supplied with “product”…but some of the sillier members – Cosgrove for example – did really seem to believe that.”

    yeah, that is.

    BUT what could happen is the company running the prisons start lobbying hard to keep certain laws in place or harsher penalties.

    how much money does the prison guard union spend in the states lobbying to keep the war on drugs going?

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  25. Duxton (579 comments) says:

    “I’ve been involved with an industries maintenance contract at a couple of lower north prisons and the diet like the facilities is indeed spartan.”

    Excellent. And neither should they be. I have served my country in a number of war zones. I didn’t receive (or want) five star restaurant meals or hotel facilities either.

    People who whinge about prison conditions give me the shits. Do the crime, do the time. It’s simple.

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  26. Bogusnews (441 comments) says:

    I remember the dark days when Labour was in power and they were very keen on closing down the private prisons. DG, having seen it first hand, do you have any ideas as to why they are so implacably opposed to them? Can’t they see the improvements?

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  27. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Another private operation showing how useless and pathetic anything with PSA involvement has proven to be.

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  28. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    dime: Cosgrove has serious head issues, even being referred to as a “Loose Unit”, in Labour Parliamentary circles.

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  29. Simon (677 comments) says:

    Prisons should be out sourced properly to Turkey or Brazil. Watch NZ’s incarceration rate dive.

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  30. Dave Mann (1,168 comments) says:

    What do you mean by ‘top performing prison’? This newspeak nonsense is just bullshit, frankly. The only measurement of a prison’s performance is how effective it is in keeping criminals locked away. The cost of doing this matters of course, but lets not get lost in jargon by calingl this ‘performance’. Its not a bloody business FFS!

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