Mount Eden "Fight Clubs" report proves prisons should stay in public hands


A report into the problems at Mount Eden Correctional Facility proves private operators are not suited to running New Zealand prisons, the PSA says.

The report by Andy Fitzharris, the Chief Inspector of Corrections, examines how videos of organised fighting clubs at MECF came to be uploaded to the video-sharing site YouTube.

It found Serco was not in effective control of the prison, and understaffing meant prisoners were able to participate in organised fighting and other illicit activities.

PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says the union welcomes the report.

"The PSA has always opposed private operation of prisons in New Zealand, and the complex issues at Mt Eden meant that it was a poor choice for privatisation.

"We are very happy to see these issues examined closely and applaud the comprehensive recommendations made by the Chief Inspector.

"We are glad MECF has been returned to the control of Corrections and our members are comfortable with the mechanisms that have been put in place."

Serco also operates the Auckland South Corrections Facility at Wiri.

"The PSA is comfortable with the monitoring that Corrections has put into Wiri, and we believe it will prevent similar events from taking place there," Mr Barclay says.