Proposed gutting of prison jobs a gift to private prison provider

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The Public Service Association (PSA) says a Department of Corrections proposal to cut more than 260 jobs at Waikeria, Tongariro/Rangipo and Rimutaka Prisons is privatisation by stealth that will hurt provincial New Zealand.

Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretary, said “This is the biggest slashing of jobs at Corrections in recent memory, including 50% of jobs at Waikeria prison,”

“The new private prison at Wiri in South Auckland is being used to justify cutting public service jobs, despite the fact that private prisons are run for profit rather than rehabilitation.

“Replacing stable public service jobs in provincial New Zealand with lower-quality private sector jobs in Auckland is a bad step for the Government to be taking.

“Private prisons are worse for staff and prisoners in terms of safety, and focus on profit and filling beds rather than rehabilitation and protection.

“Corrections’ goal of reducing reoffending by 25% will be made more difficult by this shifting of public funds into private hands.

“We will be vigorously arguing against this proposal on behalf of our 260 members at these three prisons,” said Erin Polaczuk.