Sunday, 15 February 2009

No Private Prisons! Stop the Cell-off!

Sign our "not-for-sale" petition

The State Government wants to privatise two prisons - Cessnock and Parklea. The Government also wants to privatise vital prison functions across the state, including prisoner transport and court security.

Giving our prisons to corporations will guarantee:

  • Increases in costs
  • Lack of scrutiny and transparency
  • Increased risks for the prisoners and the surrounding communities

Essential parts of our justice system should not be sold to corporations to run at a profit.

Help us tell the State Government not to privatise our prisons by signing the petition below.

In two weeks, we will be personally delivering the petition to the Minister.


About stop the cell-off

The NSW Government has announced it plans to privatise two of the State’s prisons – Cessnock and Parklea. The Government also wants to privatise vital prison functions across the state, including prisoner transport and court security.

NSW prison officers oppose these plans because we do not believe corporations should be trusted with a fundamental part of the justice system.
Join us in our campaign to keep prisons in public hands.

What Are Private Prisons?

Large multinational corporations run private prisons for profit.

These companies typically enter into agreements with local, state or federal governments that commit prisoners to their facilities and then have to pay a per diem or monthly rate for each prisoner in that facility.

This means the more people in prison and the longer they are there for, the more money these private companies make. The result: over-crowded prisons that are poorly managed for profit.

Who will buy our prisons?
  • GEO – previously known as Wackenhut this is the second largest prison company in the US, and currently runs Junee Correctional Centre – the only privately run prison in NSW.
  • Group 4 Securicor (G4S) – previously known as Group 4 Falck, G4S now owns US company Wackenhut and has the contract to run Australia’s immigration detention centres.
  • Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) – the largest private corrections company in the world. CCA ran the Metropolitan Women’s Correctional Centre in Victoria until the State Government was forced to reclaim control.
  • Australasian Correctional Management (ACM) – is a private company owned by Wackenhut, which ran Australia’s immigration detention centres until 2003.
  • Australian Integrated Management Services (AIMS) – recently lost the Acacia Prison contract in WA due to serious under performance and budget blow-outs.
  • Serco – a British company that has been criticised in the UK for running prisons with appalling disciplinary and safety records.

The Risks

  • Frequent escapes are commonplace.
In the case of the Victorian Metropolitan Woman’s Correctional Centre, the Government was forced to take control of the prison after repeated escapes, severe contract breaches including inadequate staffing, a lack of proper security services, rampant illicit drugs and excessive lockdowns.
  • Assaults increase.
A 2001 US Department of Justice study showed that in comparable prisons, private facilities had a 49 per cent higher assault rate on staff and a 65 per cent higher assault rate on other prisoners.
  • Higher likelihood of prisoner recidivism.
Recent research demonstrates that private prison inmates have a significantly greater risk of committing more crimes after release than those in public prisons.
  • More complaints.
Junee Prison in NSW, which is run by GEO Group, has consistently been the subject of significantly more complaints to the Ombudsman than any other correctional facility in the state.
  • Private prisons perform poorly.
A leaked report from the UK Prisons Service in 2008, ranking performance of all prisons in six categories, showed that 10 out of 11 privately run prisons in England and Wales were in the bottom quarter of all prisons.

1 comment:

Ahma Daeus said...

A “SINGLE VOICE PROJECT” is the official name of the petition sponsored by: The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP)


The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) is a grass roots organization driven by a single objective. We want the United States government to reclaim sole authority for state and federal prisons on US soil.
We want the United States Congress to immediately rescind all state and federal contracts that permit private prisons “for profit” to exist in the United States, or any place subject to its jurisdiction. We understand that the problems that currently plague our government, its criminal justice system and in particular, the state & federal bureau of prisons (and most correctional and rehabilitation facilities) are massive. However, it is our solemn belief that the solutions for prison reform will remain unattainable and virtually impossible as long as private prisons for profit are permitted to operate in America.

Prior to the past month, and the fiasco of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and now the “Big Three” American Automobile manufacturers, the NPSCTAPP has always felt compelled to highlight the “moral Bottom line” when it comes to corrections and privatization. Although, we remain confounded by the reality that our government has allowed our justice system to be operated by private interests. The NPSCTAPP philosophy has always been “justice” should not be for sale at any price. It is our belief that the inherent and most fundamental responsibility of the criminal justice system should not be shirked, or “jobbed-out.” This is not the same as privatizing the post office or some trash pick up service in the community. There has to be a loss of meaning and purpose when an inmate looks at a guard’s uniform and instead of seeing an emblem that reads State Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons, he sees one that says: “Atlas Prison Corporation.”

Let’s assume that the real danger of privatization is not some innate inhumanity on the part of its practitioners but rather the added financial incentives that reward inhumanity. The same logic that motivates companies to operate prisons more efficiently also encourages them to cut corners at the expense of workers, prisoners and the public. Every penny they do not spend on food, medical care or training for guards is a dime they can pocket. What happens when the pennies pocketed are not enough for the shareholders? Who will bailout the private prison industry when they hold the government and the American people hostage with the threat of financial failure…“bankruptcy?” What was unimaginable a month ago merits serious consideration today. State and Federal prison programs originate from government design, and therefore, need to be maintained by the government. It’s time to restore the principles and the vacated promise of our judicial system.

John F. Kennedy said, “The time to repair the roof is while the sun is shinning”. Well the sun may not be shinning but, it’s not a bad time to begin repair on a dangerous roof that is certain to fall…. because, “Incarcerating people for profit is, in a word WRONG”

There is an urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of cynicism, indifference, apathy and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope.
It is our hope that you will support the NPSCTAPP with a show of solidarity by signing our petition. We intend to assemble a collection of one million signatures, which will subsequently be attached to a proposition for consideration. This proposition will be presented to both, the Speaker Of The House Of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi) and the United States Congress.

Please Help Us. We Need Your Support. Help Us Spread The Word About This Monumental And Courageous Challenge To Create Positive Change. Place The Link To The Petition On Your Website! Pass It On!

The SINGLE VOICE PETITION and the effort to abolish private “for profit” prisons is the sole intent of NPSCTAPP. Our project does not contain any additional agendas. We have no solutions or suggestions regarding prison reform. However, we are unyielding in our belief that the answers to the many problems which currently plague this nation’s criminal justice system and its penal system in particular, cannot and will not be found within or assisted by the private “for profit” prison business. The private “for profit” prison business has a stranglehold on our criminal justice system. Its vice-like grip continues to choke the possibility of justice, fairness, and responsibility from both state and federal systems.
These new slave plantations are not the answer!

For more information please visit: or email:
To sign the petition please visit:


William Thomas
National Community Outreach Facilitator
The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons
P.O. Box 156423
San Francisco, California 94115