No New Prison at Wiri sign now

The Government has just given the go ahead to Corrections to build a new 960 bed prison at Wiri – to be run by Serco. The prison is expected to cost over $400 million to build with another $500 million in operating costs. In other words, nearly $1 billion of taxpayers’ money is going to be spent at a time when the government is facing the biggest deficit in its financial history and public servants are being laid off left, right and centre. Even the police are not exempt and have been told to save $350 million in the next three years.

But financial restictions don’t seem to apply to the Corrections Department. New Zealand has built five new prisons in the last ten years – four under the previous Labour Government and one under National – the new Mt Eden prison also run by Serco. Corrections is about to become the biggest Department in the countryand the bill to the New Zealand taxpayer for locking all these people up has more than doubled since 2004-05.

But in 2011, for the first time ever, the Justice Sector forecasts indicated that crime was on the decline and the prison population was beginning to drop. The forecasts show the prison population should drop by 3000 by the time the new Wiri prison is complete in 2015. In other words, New Zealand doesn’t need a new prison.

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Roger BrookingBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
Anne Tolley, Minister of Corrections

Tags

corrections department, economy, government, human rights, justice, politics, prisons, serco

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