Prison Privatisation Report International
No. 54, April 2003
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
|THE GLOBAL MARKET||UNITED STATES|
First to legislate against private prisons
The government of
Labour Party, which leads the present coalition
government, included in its 1999 election manifesto an undertaking to end the
private management of prisons. In January 2000,
Bill makes provision for the contract with ACM to continue until its scheduled
The Bill, which also includes a range of other measures including the extension of prisoners minimum entitlements to meet international standards, is unlikely to become law before mid-2004.
More details of the Corrections Bill are available on the internet at www.beehive.govt.nz and www.corrections.govt.nz/policylegislation/reform.htm
system up for grabs to the
DynCorp International, a subsidiary of Computer
Sciences Corporation, has won a contract worth up to $50m for the first year to
provide up to 1,000 advisors to help organise
Dyncorp is a controversial company. One of the largest
donors to GeorgeW.Bushs 2000 election campaign, in
November 2002 it was awarded a $31m contract by the Defense Threat Reduction
Agency to assist governments in the former Soviet Union, Eastern European and
Baltic countries to develop programmes to increase
border security and detect weapons of mass destruction. Its
armed employees are the core of the police force in
Four new prisons are to be commissioned in
A task team comprising correctional services, the national treasury and public works was set up in November 2002 to review the contracts. The team recommended that there should be negotiations with the contractors to improve value for money by reviewing standards, amending fee payment structures, accommodating additional prisoners and renegotiating debt financing.
The treasury also recommended that feasibility studies should be carried out before any new prisons are commissioned. During a discussion at the correctional services portfolio committee on18 March 2003, the department of corrections would not be drawn on how the new prisons would be commissioned. However, a department representative stated that the wish was to have a 50-50 sharing with the private sector, ie, the private sector would provide the structure of the prisons but the department would run the operations. The committee said that no decisions would be made just yet.
The Adam Smith Institute hopes to
reschedule its high level training course to encourage prison privatisation in
Private management on the way?
The government of
There is a property business in
began an article in The Business Times,
article concludes with the suggestion to find a local firm with enough
security rating to take over the job, allow it to gain experience in managing Changi and, in time, it could go overseas and run prisons
in other Asian countries. Properly conducted, this could be yet another export
New public prison opens with Group 4's help
The private sector has played a major role in
the development of
4 was involved in the design of Bordelais as well as
the recruitment and training of staff, drawing on expertise from its prison in
prison project was handled for the government of
Bordelais is a new concept for the government as well as
being the first of its kind in the
Group 4 responds to opportunities,
the prison business is not marketing led and the company has no marketing
strategy for the
40 year concessions
The government of
to Trade Partners UK,
Premiers latest win
Premier Detention Services Ltd has been awarded
another immigration detention centre contract. The £48m 326 bed facility at Harmondsworth, near
Sercos legal battle with Wackenhut over the right to own Premier outright continues. A Serco spokesperson told PPRI that a high court hearing is schedule for the summer.
More problems at child jails
Up to and including 31 March 2003, financial penalties reflecting contract failures at the UKs three privately financed, designed, built and operated Secure Training Centres were: Medway £910,874; Rainsbrook £155,152 and Hassockfield £74,572 (see PPRI # 48, 43, 40 & 37). The figures were released by the home office in an answer to a parliamentary question.
The Centres, which hold persistent offenders aged between 12 and 17, were inspected by the social services inspectorate in 2002. Group 4 subsidiary Rebound ECD-run Medways inspection took place between 9-11 April 2002 and Premiers Hassockfield was inspected between 7-16 May 2002. Both reports were published in December 2002. Rebound-run Rainsbrook STC was inspected in November 2002 and the report is due to be published in May 2003.
This was Medways fourth annual inspection. It took place following a period during which the normal life of Medway was disrupted by a management investigation, disciplinary process and resignations. As a result there has been a complete change in personnel in senior management posts... the effect of the instability was to put on hold or bring to a stop many of the positive aspects mentioned in the previous report. Staff turnover was exceptionally high at 42 per cent.
The report set out some positive features but the inspectors made twenty four recommendations for improvements. Their findings included:
systematic and focused crime avoidance work has almost entirely slipped from the agenda and timetable;
equal opportunities and anti racism policies were not firmly embedded into the day to day practices ... the whole way in which valuing diversity was addressed needed considerable attention. We overheard conversations between staff ...some of the language used to describe young people of differing ethnic and cultural backgrounds could be construed as offensive and racist.
the lack of strategic management was identified as a major cause of the difficulties experienced at the centre since its opening (in );
staff shortages caused staff to
regularly work extra hours. The three week rolling rota
was not popular with all staff.
very little had been done to create individual targets that could be measured and linked to the assessed needs of the young person. Information was not always shared effectively between departments. There were a number of inconsistencies in the way in which information was stored on the files;
some young people had complained about some of the distraction techniques used by some staff members ... the use of physical control was now being systematically monitored and information contained in records was analysed. It is important that this oversight is maintained. The sue of single separation was being used as a means of control more widely than was acceptable under national guidance and regulations.There were three practices which appeared to contravene good practice understandings in relation to single separation;
progress reported in the last inspection report relating to the use of structured activities had not been sustained.. The use of organised purposeful activities, geared to helping the trainees to develop skills and interests and linked to reduce offending was patchy;
challenging targets to promote a good practice of learning were not always set. On occasion teaching materials were inappropriate and this resulted in little work being completed..There was too little feedback on what happened to young people moving on to the community part of the sentence to allow the centre to assess the relevance of their work in preparing students for the next stage;
Most of the young people we spoke with were not familiar with the concept of crime avoidance work.
Hassockfield was opened in September 1999 and this was the centres third annual report. Remarkably, the inspectors did not mention that the centre is run by a subsidiary of Premier Custodial Group Ltd. However, they noted that the establishment had a very difficult two years of operations with high levels of staff turnover including two changes at director level which caused major disruption to the development of adequate standards of care and control of the young people. The inspectors noted that since May 2001 Hassockfield has been more settled with the result that improved performance has been seen on a number of fronts. However, there were 23 improvements recommended. Included in the findings were:
the May 2001 inspection report had recommended that the statement of purpose be updated and extended. Work had taken place although the revised statement fails to reflects the aims of the STC and the services which are available to support the achievement of them.
the central thesis of our last report, namely that there was a shortfall in child care expertise remains fundamentally unaltered....
it was intended that staff in the admissions unit carried out a comprehensive social skills assessment with young people, we found little evidence to suggest that these happened as a matter of routine
there were still no fully effective quality assessment and evaluation systems in place and this remains central to the STCs development.
Incident recording procedures had been revised as recommended during the last inspection however, the procedures were inadequate and further work was needed ... procedures for recording incidents of physical restraint, periods of single separation and use of sanctions particularly needed to be revised.
there was clearly insufficient awareness of the diversity agenda ... and this was an area that needed attention as a matter of priority.
the teachers were qualified for their planned teaching roles. Some 18 lessons were observed: half were good but almost a third were unsatisfactory or poor. Classroom accommodation was poor. Rooms lacked storage space, were poorly ventilated and, because of their size, lacked flexibility. Facilities for teachers were cramped. The staff room was too small and storage arrangements for student records and teaching materials in a narrow corridor were unsatisfactory. The library is a stark room which sometimes doubled as a storage area.
The health care team had been very short staffed in the early part of this year and the manager had needed to take part in the duty nurse rota in order to ensure adequate nursing cover ... a review of the terms and conditions of the nursing staff had been undertaken and this had resulted in improved pay and conditions. These ... had made it easier to recruit nursing staff.
previous inspection reports have drawn attention to the inadequacy of the buildings in this establishment which complicates the task of achieving an environment conducive to practice which will positively impact upon young peoples lives. High ceilings, reverberating noise and echoes nd large areas of featureless wall space combine to potentially give the effect of a soulless encampment. We noted the significant attempts to treat these structure and design defects by a refurbishment programme introducing new furniture and different colours.
Social Services Inspectorate, Inspection of
Medway Secure Training
The Youth Justice Board has a four year plan to build STCs to provide another 400 places.
Public prisons face contracting out
Two failing publicly run prisons in
further prisons will be performance tested in June 2003. Over the next seven
years all publicly run prisons in
According to UKDS...
PFI (Private Finance Initiative) in prisons
has proven that it works better when the whole service is given over to the
private sector, with none of the usual boundaries between the public and
private sectors. Ill oppose any plans by the government to move just towards
service management contracts. According
to publicprivatefinance, March 2003, that was
the response of Mr Herb Nahapiet, managing director
of Sodexho-owned UK Detention Services Ltd, to the
possibility that the prison service in
Identifying the potential
A growing number of security firms, research
companies and consultancies are trying to identify new criminal justice markets
for themselves and/or their clients. As well, in June, a conference in
PPRI has learned that one company is specifically researching the presence of the private sector engaged in the justice and public safety sector in a number of possible areas, such as: police ... prosecution service ... courts ...custody and rehabilitation ... community programmes ... immigration ... to identify to what extent the private companies are providing or could provide services more efficiently at a lower cost ... looking at the international justice and public safety markets in ... the UK, South Africa, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia or any other countries ...
is reviewing privatised justice opportunities in a
number of international markets outside of the
A third is currently researching PFI (Private Finance Initiative), specifically in the custodial sector. A fourth is a consortium actively involved in the PFI process operating in the health, education and law and order sectors ... seeking to bid for a central detention centre project... Yet another is conducting detailed research into developments in the global privatised justice markets.
Identify the challenges faced by the home office and the prison service... discover where next in the emergency services sector for PPP/PFI ... compare PFI versus conventional prisons ... evaluate PPP/PFI in overseas prisons ...meet and network with leading industry players ....
are some of the benefits of attending described in the brochure for a PPP/PFI
in prisons and emergency services conference on 11 and
Private sector more efficient? The SMI conference on prisons and
emergency services clashes with another major event in
How they see it #1: Like patching pot holes ...
BBC presenter: [talking about the
Harold Brubaker: I think its important to hear their viewpoints.
BBC: But you will concede, wont you, that the more people that are locked up, the better business it is for private prison companies?
HB: Oh yes, but theyre only about five or ten per cent. If it ever be at 50, 60, 70 per cent then what you say would hold some air but until then its just a small pea in the pond.
BBC: But you can see that there may be some sort of vested interest in companies like Wackenhut and CCA pushing for harder, tougher legislation.
HB: Absolutely. Yes I can visualise the point.
BBC: As speaker of the house in the state congress Brubaker pushed through legislation that opened the door to the prison companies. And he is still convinced that privatisation is the magic panacea.
HB: I was driving down the road one day and I saw the state trucks out there with a state tractor patching a pot hole. And I counted seven people. Four were standing there holding shovels while one guy was on the tractor working. And then the other two were just looking. I picked up the phone and I called a local contractor. I said if you were patching a pot hole, and I gave them the basic dimensions, how many people would you send out to do it? And he said two. I said thats what I thought. Private can do it cheaper. Privatisations the absolute way to go.
BBC: But isnt the business of running a prison slightly more complicated than patching holes in the road?
HB: I would disagree.
How they see it #2: enormous increase in juvenile crime over the next 15 years...
BBC: ...their spokesman in the
Paul Doucette, APCTO: We are
extremely optimistic about the growth potential for this business. Right now
today in the
Private numbers dropped in 2002
The number of prisoners held in privately
operated facilities in the
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin, April 2003, NCJ 1988877
APCTO activities update
The private prison industrys lobby group, the Association of Private Correctional & Treatment Organisations (APCTO, see PPRI # 50, 46-44, 40 & 37) has established a new bi-partisan congressional caucus on public-private partnerships (PPPs) with the aim of protecting and expanding privately run prisons used by federal, state and local governments. The caucus will eventually seek to expand the privatisation of other government services.
In April 2003 APCTO released a study which claimed that, between 1999 and 2001, states without private prisons saw corrections costs increase by an average of 18.9 per cent while states with at least some private prisons or jails saw costs increase only 10.8 per cent.
Prison Privatisation Report International
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