Prison Privatisation Report International
No. 45, January 2002
Published by the Public Services
International Research Unit (PSIRU),
This publication is supported by a grant from the Foundation Open Society Institute.
IN THIS ISSUE
Sodexho wins first three
The contracts to build, maintain and operate all non-custodial services at three semi-private prisons in Chile have been awarded to a consortium known as Besalco_Astaldi_Sodexho (BAS) (see PPRI # 38 & 36).
Besalco and Astaldi are,
respectively, Chilean and Italian construction firms. Sodexho
is the French catering and facilities management company
with interests in prisons in
contracts are worth around $75m and the prisons should be operational by 2004.
The prisons situated in
Rival bidders for the contracts included Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) of Spain and the Brazilian/Chilean consortium Torno_Mendes Junior. But since Chile has based its programme of ten new semi-private prisons on the French government’s model which Sodexho has been involved with for over ten years, a consortium involving that company was always the likely winner.
BAS is expected to bid for the contracts for the next two prisons to be commissioned in Concepcion and Valdivia, in the south of the country.
new prison programme is aimed at providing 16,000 beds to deal with an overcrowding
problem in the country’s 101 prisons: the prisoner population is 34,000 but the
facilities only have the capacity for 23,000. According to
No news not necessarily good news
If Group 4's proposals to privatise the prison system in Lesotho and build the world’s largest private prison are still under discussion then negotiations are going on without the knowledge of the prison service (see PPRI # 43 & 41). The director general of the prison service, Mr L Siimane, told PPRI that privatisation has not been raised in recent months.
The minister of justice who was involved in the negotiations is no longer in post: he was dismissed by the prime minister. Shortly after his successor was appointed he resigned to form an opposition party to the government. Although the current minister has not discussed the future of the prison service Mr Siimane does not believe that the privatisation plan has been shelved. Government elections are due in April/May 2002.
New public prison commissioned
According to architects Friis & Moltke A/S, the Horsens prison is being designed as small ‘villages’ in order to avoid the monumental and inhuman design characteristic of many old prisons. It has been inspired by new prisons in Canada, Holland and, in particular, the Ringerike Kretsfengsel in Norway. These countries’ prison policies are said to have most in common with Denmark’s.
Knesset committee hearing
The Knesset Knesset Labor and Social Welfare Committee held a hearing into
possible prison privatisation on
The ministry for internal security is arguing for privatisation on the grounds that more prisons are needed and there is no public finance available. The treasury, however, has allocated 400 million shekels (approx £66.67m) for new prison construction until 2004. Unlike the first time private prisons were mooted in Israel there is now some opposition to the policy being developed.
UKDS wins another
The award is the company’s second in as many months, having also been chosen in November 2001 as preferred bidder for a women’s prison at Ashford, Middlesex (see PPRI # 44). Financing will be provided by Royal Bank Project Investments Ltd and the construction partner is Interserve Project Services Ltd. UKDS already operates HM Prison Forest Bank in North West England (see PPRI #37).
Group 4 retains contract
Group 4 has retained its contract to manage HM Prison Wolds in North East England. The new contract is worth £45m. The prison service rejected an in-house bid which was said by the director general of the prison service to be “excellent but in value for money terms not quite enough to wrest the contract from Group 4,” when he announced the decision on 10 December 2001. The company has managed the prison since it opened in April 1992. Wolds was the first contractually managed prison in England and Wales (see PPRI #35).
Group 4 was penalised a total of £43,856 for contract failures at Wolds between October 1999 and January 2001, according to figures released by the prisons minister in October 2001.
Two public prisons threatened
Two public sector prisons in England have been given
six months to improve their performance or face being handed over to private
companies. Prisons at Leicester and
Reading are two of the oldest in the prison estate, dating from 1825 and 1844
respectively. Ostensibly, Leicester was chosen as a candidate by the director
general of the prison service because of high levels of attempted suicides and
assaults, a failure of prison staff to engage with prisoners and overcrowding.
However, it is also thought that an unpublished prison service report about the future of the prison estate identified Reading and Leicester as prime sites for sale and redevelopment.
The privatisation threat has been criticised by the Prison Officers Association, Prison Governors Association and penal reform organisations. A recent attempt by the prison service to contract out HMP Brixton, also identified as a failing prison, failed to attract a private sector bidder (see PPRI #36, 31 & 5).
The National Probation Service for England and Wales is contracting out the facility and estate management of most of its 900 buildings. Contracts of three to five years will be awarded from 2002 onwards. The estate is being split into four regions and the transfer of services phased. The first tranche will include 88 approved hostels. Services to be contracted out include delivery and management of repairs, maintenance, cleaning and technical services.
Although probation services are not being included in these contracts the programme is being regarded by critics as a precursor to future privatisation under the private finance initiative, a strategy already underway for new court complexes and police stations.
Scotland: a critical report
“High drug use, a high staff turnover, indications of violence, suspect reporting, a contract system that does little to encourage prisoner welfare, poor accountability to parliament and little opportunity for the government to change its policy once decided make HMP Kilmarnock a bad deal.”
This finding about the Premier Custodial Group Ltd-run prison is contained in a recent report on the Scottish Prison Service by the Scottish National Party (SNP) Research Department. The report was also critical of the prison service’s privatisation of medical services and social work within the state system. “If privatisation has led to savings - and there is no way of knowing because of the secrecy surrounding it - it has also led to poorer conditions for medical staff and has placed prisoners at risk.”
The Scottish Prison Service: an SNP Survey, SNP Research Department, December 2001. Contact:Robert Seaton, email: email@example.com
Unit Fines: Bringing Justice to Sentencing, SNP Research Department, December 2001.
The department of justice is expected to rely on public-private partnerships for its new I£311.6m prison redevelopment programme. However, a government spokesperson told PPRI that it is “much too early to say” if the model will extend to the management and/or operation of particular institutions.
Industry steps up PR
The Association of Private Correctional and Treatment
Organizations (APCTO) has stepped up its promotional
efforts on behalf of the private corrections industry in the
CCA’s military market
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) regards the
military as a source of potential business. The company currently has a
contract with the US Air Force at Luke AFB in
The proximity of company facilities to military bases across the US make CCA “a good partner for the military’s corrections needs.” The sales pitch continues: “The Department of Defense has varying needs across the country, with about 2,500 beds in the system. They need the ability for active personnel to be able to go to war, or move from base to base, even in peacetime. CCA offers the military a safety outlet. We can not only build facilities more cost effectively, but also offer many programmes and services that meet the military’s demands and specifically target the type of offenders that make up their prison population.”
nAn average of between five and ten per cent of staff at most facilities
and up to 45 per cent at some Corrections Corporation of
some 500 CCA employees affiliated with the military through active, reserve or
National Guard duty, the military links run from top to bottom in CCA. The
company’s co-founder and chairman emeritus Tom Beasley graduated from the US
military academy at West Point and served as US Army officer in Vietnam, the
Panama Canal Zone and Nicaragua. Chief development officer William T Baylor is a Lt. Colonel in the
US Army Reserve and, in addition to his CCA duties, is an instructor at the
Army’s Command and
n As at 10 January 2002, CCA stated that it owns or manages 70 facilities, including 68 correctional and detention facilities, with a total design capacity of approximately 65,000 beds in 21 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, of which 68 facilities are operating (two of which are idle) and two are under construction.
Back to the floor
Corrections Corporation of
The programme, aired on 14 December 2001, showed Mr Ferguson spending three days at CCA’s New Mexico Women’s Correctional Facility in Grants. On the first day he admitted that he had “no experience” and that “not everyone is fit for corrections”. He was soon confronted by a prisoner suffering from Hepatitis B and C who was working in the prison kitchen and complaining that she should not be assigned to such duties because of her health. Other prisoners complained that they were “doing nothing ... no schooling, no job, no programming.”
A caseworker told Mr Ferguson that, compared to a similar state facility, CCA’s facility had two fewer caseworkers. There were also two vacancies for caseworkers. Mr Ferguson asked the caseworker how she coped. “We do it slower,” she replied.
He was told that there was “a staffing crisis right through the jail,” with officers working 12 hour shifts and, overall, a third less staff than there should be. Mr Ferguson was also told that there were only two officers in charge of 100 prisoners in the medium security unit. No area - including the showers - were “off limits to male guards.”
In the control room he learned that 100 doors are centrally controlled by one person in order to “keep staff levels down” but some of the doors don’t lock. Prisoners are locked up three times a day for a count.
Mr Ferguson was shown leaving the facility after ten hours on the first day. Meanwhile, prison officers said they “didn’t get to go to lunch” and only “went twice to the bathroom” during their shifts.
On the second day it was revealed that the CCA prison shop is a profit-making enterprise and that the canteen is run by contract caterers, to save CCA 20 cents per prisoner per day.
Prisoners told Mr Ferguson that “sewerage backs up in the kitchen” and “none of us are medically cleared to work in the kitchen.”
Some prisoners work in the prison as call centre operators for the New Mexico department of tourism. Mr Ferguson learned how to operate the electronic control system which is designed to prevent different category prisoners - clothed in different coloured uniforms - from mixing. Mr Ferguson’s attempt at the controls was shown to be allowing prisoners to mix.
A new pay rise was announced during his visit; but new officers would receive a higher pay rise than existing staff; a 65 cents per hour increase. Staff said that pay rates were “at least $2 per hour less than at other facilities.”
On day three, Mr Ferguson worked in the segregation unit where prisoners are kept for 23 hours per day. Staff complained about the amount of paper work they have to do. Mr Ferguson suggested computerisation.
Finally, he was shown relating his experience to his executive colleagues at CCA headquarters. “I had an interesting four days ... I do have a better appreciation and what I learned is that we push a lot of paper ... food was institutional,” he said.
Brian Ferrell, an aide to the Governor of Tennessee, has quit his $88,000 per annum post to become vice president of government relations - a lobbyist position - for Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). Tennessee’s former finance commissioner, John Ferguson, left the state last year to become CCA’s chief executive officer. Mr. Ferguson’s assistant, Leslie Higinbotham, also joined CCA soon after.
Supreme Court rules in industry’s favour
The Supreme Court has ruled that federal prisoners held in private correctional facilities cannot sue the contractor for financial damages for alleged violations of their constitutional rights. Since federal prisoners in publicly run prisons cannot sue the government - although they have the right to sue individual officers subject to the defence of qualified immunity - the court decided that it could not allow prisoners in private facilities greater legal protections than their public sector counterparts.
case of Correctional Services Corporation v Malesko
involved John Malesko who,
was serving a sentence at Le Marquis Community Correctional Center,
a halfway house in
Mr Malesko’s living quarters were on the fifth floor. CSC had a policy of only allowing offenders to use the elevator to reach the sixth floor or above. But, due to Mr Malesko’s known heart condition, he was allowed to use the elevator to reach the fifth floor.
On one occasion a correctional officer refused to allow Mr Malesko to use the elevator. Mr Malesko protested, but the officer still refused to let him use the elevator. On climbing the stairs Mr Malesko suffered a heart attack and fell.
Three years later, Mr Malesko sued CSC and individual officers for $4m; the latter claim was dismissed due to statute of limitations. Since federal appeal courts have disagreed on claims against companies the Supreme Court took the case to resolve this conflict.
Mr Malesko’s lawyers argued that private companies running prisons for profit should be held to a higher standard than government-run facilities. But the court disagreed, stating that this was a decision for Congress make. The judges ruled 5-4 in favour of Correctional Services Corporation.
Correctional Services Corporation v Malesko, No. 00-860.
n An editorial in the Washington Post 2 December 2001 called the decision “perverse” and referred to the opinion of Justice John Paul Stevens who, dissenting from the decision, stated that companies that manage prisons are no less agents of the government than are government employees, and they are no less in need of deterrence from unconstitutional behaviour. A “tragic consequence” of this decision, Justice Stevens wrote, “is the clear incentive it gives to corporate managers . . . to adopt cost_saving policies that jeopardize the constitutional rights of the tens of thousands of inmates in their custody.” The Post’s view was that this should be unacceptable, and Congress, if not the court, needs to clarify that it is.
Benchmarks for Victoria’s two private prisons have been reduced to allow them to cope with overcrowding. At Group 4-run Port Phillip Prison (see PPRI # 42, 37-34 & 28-15), rates for positive drug tests, self mutilations, education and industry participation have been reduced. Without these changes the prison would not have met its performance standards as defined by the contract.
The Sunday Herald Sun, 2 December 2001, reported that Group 4 had asked for benchmarks to be reduced because of increased numbers, the presence of a chronic self-harming prisoner and a high proportion of difficult prisoners.
The newspaper refers to an annual report which states that although the number of prisoners harming themselves had fallen, those harming themselves more than three times in one year had risen four per cent. One prisoner had self-mutilated six times. Other issues raised included:
nthe prison has been running at 17 per cent overcapacity with an average of 679 prisoners. The state average was 15 per cent overcapacity.
nThere were 128 prisoner on prisoner assaults and 24 assault on staff.
correctional services commissioner, Ms Penny Armytage,
told the newspaper that services at the prison had “substantially improved.”
She also said that the decision to relax standards was made after a rigorous review.
ACM manager charged
John Meyers, a senior ACM manager, has been charged by WorkSafe Victoria for allegedly threatening a staff member at the company-run Melbourne Custody Centre.
An occupational health and safety representative had alerted WorkSafe to unsafe staffing levels last year. It is alleged that Mr Meyers threatened to sack the officer if he contacted WorkSafe again. Charges under the Occupational Health Act were due to be heard at Melbourne Magistrates Court. Both the company and Mr Meyers deny the allegations.
Wackenhut retains and extends health services contract
The government of Victoria has renewed its contract with Wackenhut Corrections Corporation subsidiary Pacific Shores Healthcare to provide primary medical, dental and psychiatric nursing services at nine state prisons and extended the contract to a further two facilities under a deal worth around US $19m. The contract runs from 21 December 2001 and is for two years with a two year option.
Pacific Shores Healthcare has provided primary inmate health care services to nine prisons since January 1998.
n A 24 hour strike by nurses at Melbourne Assessment Centre,
n The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has advised its members not to accept jobs with Australasian Correctional Management (ACM) and has called on staff to boycott immigration detention centres run by the company.
The organisation said in December 2001 that medical staff should not work for ACM because of serious concerns about the company’s treatment of asylum seekers. Dr Louise Newman said: “We’re concerned about the way ACM is treating detainees, including children and unaccompanied minors, in these centres. These are environments which are fundamentally traumatising and disturbing to the people in there.” Dr Newman believes that a boycott would force the department of immigration to admit detainees to hospitals where they should be treated.
Competition for immigration contracts
Australasian Correctional Management (ACM), the current
holder of a federal government contract to operate
The Australian Protective Service, the state agency that ran the service before privatisation in 1997, will be bidding as will Chubb Protective Services, British owned and Australia’s largest security firm. Chubb was involved in running Australia’s first privately managed prison from the outset - Borallon in Queensland - and now provides home detention and prisoner transport services in New Zealand. Chubb also guards the asylum seekers that were headed for Australia last year but are currently being held on the island of Nauru in the South West Pacific.
Serco, another British owned company - and Wackenhut’s British joint venture partner in Premier Custodial Group Ltd - is also thought to be considering a bid.
The federal government is retendering the contract early after a series of riots, escapes, other incidents and a range of problems which have led to doubts about value for money at ACM-run detention centres
ACM’s original contract was for ten years, renewable every three years with the company having the first right to bid until 2008. But, in 2001, the government rejected ACM’s bid and decided to put the contract out to open tender.
In December 2001, the government issued an exposure draft of the request for tenders. It contains “stronger mechanisms for the management of detention services” and responds to concerns raised by the Ombudsman and other inquiries into the reporting of incidents. It also stated that detainees had become increasingly non-compliant with violent protests, burning of buildings, mass escapes, assaults, the manufacture of weapons and other forms of inappropriate behaviour. Most were calm and cooperative at first but the longer they were detained the greater the chance their behaviour would deteriorate.
The final request for tenders is due in early 2002.
n Corrections Corporation of Australia (as was), settled a federal court claim against the government after claiming that the 1997 tendering process for the immigration detention centres contract favoured ACM. The company settled out of court for an undisclosed sum in October 2001 (see PPRI #39).
Labor’s policy in
Evaluation of the bids for the five year contract to run Queensland’s Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre will be completed by mid-2002 with operations under the new contract commencing by the end of 2002 (see PPRI # 44, 43 & 41). The prison has been run since it opened in 1992 by Australasian Correctional Management (ACM).
“The Labor government’s policy is to ensure that prisons remain publicly owned with a limited number of privately operated prisons. This contrasts with the approach of the last National-Liberal government which was keen to increase the number of privately run prisons and had plans to sell infrastructure off to private concerns,” said Tony McGrady, minister for corrective services, in a press statement on 11 December 2001.
“I examined aspects of the selection process and note that neither the report of the Junee monitor nor reports of the Community Advisory Council were formally taken into account as part of the tender evaluation. I would expect that these reports will be taken into account in any future review of the management contract.”
So said the New South Wales inspector-general of corrective services in his annual report for 2000/2001 after noting that Australian Correctional Management (ACM) was reappointed to manage the prison in 2001 (see PPRI # 41, 40, 38 & 35).
Junee Correctional Centre is New South Wales’s (NSW) only privately managed prison. It has been run by ACM since it opened in April 1993. In 2001, the contract was retendered and ACM won a further five years with a three year extension option. The new contract commenced on 1 April 2001.The department of justice is increasing Junee’s prisoner population
from 600 to 750.
Although the monitor’s report for 1999/2000 concluded that ACM met its contractual obligations under the management contract, the inspector general noted that the monitor “continued to indicate that there were some compliance problems which had been reported on adversely since 1996/97, and it was also apparent that some other deficiencies required follow-up action.” The inspector general’s report was published before he received the monitor’s 2000/2001 report on Junee.
The monitor’s report 2000/2001
As background, the report included the deficiencies identified in the monitor’s 1999/2000 review. These included:
nself-help/victim support groups: there was ongoing concern relating to the differing opinions between the department of justice and the programmes unit at Junee as to the delivery of Men’s Groups programmes. It was perceived by the department that these programmes were “leaderless and that groups such as sex offenders would have the opportunity to gather unsupervised with a resulting networking.” The monitor noted that these concerns have been addressed by assurances that all programmes have a facilitator in attendance.
ncore welfare services: there were concerns related to the fact that “there are not dedicated welfare positions within the staffing of programmes. Counsellors at Junee are generalist counsellors.” The company stated that the counsellors, in conjunction with the Chaplaincy, address the prisoners’ welfare needs.
nalcohol and other drugs (AOD) services : concerns “again related to the fact that there are not dedicated AOD positions within the staffing of programmes.” The company assured the monitor that the generalist counsellors are able to address the prisoners needs.
ncase management: the monitor reported “ concerns regarding the general maintenance of case files and other difficulties experienced during absences of the nominated case officer.” These issues were resolved by having a nominated back-up case officer.
nurinalysis: during the review period the monitor “again raised concerns relating to ACM’s failure to ensure that inmates returning a positive result were charged in line with departmental procedures.” Changes in accountability resolved these concerns.
nbuildings maintenance: a maintenance survey conducted in November 1999 “indicated that the centre was looking tired and in need of maintenance to finishes and floor coverings.” Work has continued in these areas.
ninmate employment: employment levels were “consistently falling below the national performance indicator of 65 per cent.” ACM have since made gains by increasing the number of business units.
The 2000/2001 assessment
The monitor’s 2000/2001 performance review of Junee also found that ACM “continues to satisfactorily meet its contractual obligations” but, despite some assurances made by the company in response to the monitor’s previous report, “continued attention” was required in the following areas:
ncore welfare services: “the level of qualification for the unit counsellors stationed in the accommodation areas appears to be unattainable. This will be an issue which will require continued monitoring.”
n case management: this area, “in particular the recording and management of inmate applications continues to be of concern.” ACM has implemented procedures intended to increase accountability in this area.
nbuilding and maintenance: “there are ongoing issues relating to the replacement of high cost items in the kitchen area. ACM has a contractual obligation to maintain and replace all assets provided by the department [of corrective services]. This will require ongoing monitoring.” Also, the floors in the accommodation areas “are beginning to show signs of wear.” ACM is investigating options but “ this also will require ongoing monitoring.”
ninmate employment: “this is an area that has been reported on regularly in other reviews. Actions taken by ACM to increase the level of work available to all inmates ... have fallen short of the benchmark. The plan to increase the inmate population from 600 to 750 inmates, including up to 80 unconvicted inmates, will place further pressure on ACM to meet this benchmark.”
Junee Correctional Centre 2000-2001 Performance Report, Appendix 31 to the Annual Report 2000/2001, NSW Department of Corrective Services. See also Inspector-General of Corrective Services, 2000/2001 Annual Report.
Inspector reports on AIMS’ escort contract
A far-reaching investigation into Western Australia’s court security and custodial services contract has exposed limitations in the government’s contracting process and monitoring as well as the performance by the operator, AIMS Corporation (formerly Corrections Corporation of Australia, see PPRI # 43, 42, 38 & 34).
The inspector of custodial services, Richard Harding, described his first encounter with AIMS’ transportation system thus: “a Mazda van was about to be loaded with prisoners for medical escorts. The locked compartment contained two inward-facing metal benches with no restraints or grab handles to prevent passengers from sliding around as the vehicle braked. There was no natural airflow and very little natural light, for the back window was very closely grilled. The compartment was claustrophobic and cramped. An elderly Aboriginal prisoner ... told me that he had been ill on his last journey because of the shaking and discomfort of the van and, more particularly, because he had no sense of where he was or what land he was passing through ... it was evident from such a brief encounter that safety, comfort and duty of care issues were taking second place to security - an impression that was fortified when it emerged that even minimum security prisoners were handcuffed at all times when not in the vehicle.”
The inspector also stated that: “our own view, unequivocally, is that some way of improving passenger safety must be found: the limitations of the current [vehicle] design are not acceptable” and that, “in the midst of a bureaucratic fandango, prisoner safety and care issues got left out.”
Although the benefits of contracting out have been tangible, it was stated that “the hazards have, to this point, offset those benefits. Divided responsibilities have enabled questions of passenger safety, dignity and reasonable comfort to be evaded. The department and the contractor have focused on commercial issues and have reached such a stage of mutual disillusionment that service quality is at risk, and neither party has monitored service quality in an appropriate way.”
Other findings included:
nof the eight complaints received by the Ombudsman’s office over an eight month period, five have been upheld and the results of the other three are still pending;
nevidence gathered from prisoners and prison managers is that many prisoners are fearful of travelling in the vehicles. Some even decline other necessary services - for example, medical escorts - rather than be transported in these vehicles;
n not even the basic toilet facilities are provided for prisoners being transported in the metropolitan area;
nevidence has been gathered that prisoners sometimes have very restricted access to water;
n[staff] asked ... if they would stop if a prisoner were seen to self-harm they responded that they would not do so;
ntransportation of those in custody is inconsistent in quality and, at its worst, unacceptable;
n despite being asked for evidence of internal compliance monitoring procedures AIMS was not able to provide the inspector with detailed information;
nthe price for the provision of all services for the first year of operation was A$11.7m ... this consisted of A$11.06m as the budget cost, A$165,000 (1.5 per cent of service costs) as AIMS’ profit margin and A$497,781 as a performance linked fee. The latter fee is assessed at bi-yearly intervals against 19 performance measures. AIMS has been paid the full amount of the bi-yearly fee due after the first assessment. Following demands by AIMS employees for increased remuneration and an increase in the scope and volume of transport services provided, the department agreed to increase the total contract price by A$4.15m (to a total of A$15.88m) for the contract year 1 August 2000-31 July 2001.
The inspector’s recommendations
The department of justice must reassess the acceptability of the vehicles in the context of the contractual obligations placed upon the contractor in relation to “safety, security, comfort and duty of care” and the department’s own obligation to grant or withhold approval of the design submitted by the contractor.
2. INNOVATIVE DESIGN TO ADDRESS SAFETY ISSUES
The contractor should develop and implement innovative strategies that address the issues of anchor points, safety harnesses, bench seat design and evacuation hatches so as to conform to its contractual obligations.
3. COMFORT AND WELLBEING DURING JOURNEYS
The contractor must address such questions as breaks for private toilet use, the improved provision of fresh meals and drinking water, access to natural light and the method of climate control to improve the conditions experienced by prisoners whilst being transported.
4. ENVIRONMENTAL, REGIONAL AND ABORIGINAL ISSUES
Factors unique to the provision of transport in remote areas of Western Australia, such as climate and distance, and the fact that most prisoners carried on these transports are aboriginals to whom certain factors are particularly oppressive, must be given specific consideration by the department of justice and the contractor in the design of vehicles and in the development of the rules and procedures governing prisoner transportation.
Vehicles that are appropriate for the movement of prisoners who are infirm or who have a disability must be made available and utilised by the contractor. In addition, proper equipment (such as wheelchairs) to assist prisoners who have problems with mobility due to infirmity or disability must also be utilised in moving prisoners.
The contractor must provide proper training to its employees to ensure rigorous procedures are in place relating to safety, rescue and vehicle evacuation. It must also continuously monitor that employees follow the established procedures. The procedures used to monitor the health and safety of prisoners whilst in transport must be improved.
The contractor must reassess its systems and practices in dispatching transport services to ensure a more reliable and timely service.
The blanket policy of using restraints on all prisoners during transportation is not acceptable and must be reviewed. Discretionary use of restraints based upon security classification, age, infirmity and gender must be utilised.
9. DEMAND CONTROL
The department needs to develop measures to control demand for transport services from custodial facilities to ensure the genuine transportation needs of prisoners are maintained while eliminating excessive use of the service.
The department needs to introduce a system to allow prisoner experiences of transport services to be documented and linked to the Department’s recently introduced grievance system.
11. CONTRACT COMPLIANCE AND COST PRESSURES
The department should develop and implement improved measures to ensure that the contractor is delivering all services in the most efficient manner and not driving its own costs.
12. CONTRACTOR’ S INTERNAL AUDIT SYSTEM
A complete and concise operational audit system should be planned and implemented by the contractor as a matter of priority.
13. DUTY OF DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO MONITOR COMPLIANCE REGARDING SERVICE QUALITY
The department of justice must rigorously monitor and enforce compliance with the quality of service issues and work together with the contractor to facilitate the achievement of the above recommendations, including the renegotiation of any terms of the contract as necessary.
14. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT SHOULD TAKE A LEADERSHIP ROLE IN THE
DEVELOPMENT OF STANDARDS RELATING TO VEHICLES USED FOR PRISONER TRANSPORTATION
The department of transport should accept that it has responsibility for setting and enforcing standards of vehicles used in prisoner transportation, and produce a new code that reflects the passenger safety concerns identified in this report.
Report of an Announced Inspection
of Adult Prisoner Transport Services, Office of the Inspector of Custodial
Available on the Internet at: www.custodialinspector.wa.gov.au/newoicsframeset.html
Prison Privatisation Report International
Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)
School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
University of Greenwich
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