The NSW Coalition’s plan to privatise the State’s prisons is a serious risk to the State’s democracy, putting in place a dangerous incentive for multi-national corporations to lobby and donate to any political party that will drive their profits by gaoling more citizens.
Privatised prisons are no solution to the chronic overcrowding in the State’s prisons that has been caused, not by rising crime, but by decades of political failure from state Labor and Coalition MPs.
Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“The Baird government’s plan to privatise the State’s prisons and allow powerful multinational companies to profit from gaoling ever greater numbers of NSW residents is a dangerous move for our democracy.

“Large-scale private prisons are not the solution to chronic prison overcrowding, they are a failed US experiment that should not be adopted here.

“The problems in our gaols of assaults, security breaches and high levels of repeat offenders are caused by a prison system creaking at the seams from overcrowding and none of this will be solved by privatisation.

“Broken bail laws and ugly law and order auctions between Labor and the Coalition driven by weak state MPs who can’t look past a tabloid headline to vote for evidence-based criminal law reforms have caused the blow out in the State’s prison population.

“Every time there is a violent crime the first response of the major parties is to increase penalties and blame judges for being soft.

“It’s an insult to the intelligence of the NSW people to have politicians continue to say that prison is the first and best answer to crime.

“We’ve always had gaols, and we’ve always had crime but in the log term reducing crime means helping vulnerable communities.

“Dysfunctional state politics won’t be fixed by privatising the State’s prisons, it will likely be made even worse.

“There is a real and ongoing risk for NSW politics when multi-national corporations have a billion dollar interest in putting more and more citizens in gaol.

“We have seen repeated human rights abuses in the privatised off shore refugee detention facilities run by the Commonwealth, and it is exactly those same corporations like Serco who are lining up to profit from privatised NSW prisons.

“The state’s politicians are failing when we have the highest prison population in history at the same time as violent crime is at historic lows.

“The Greens will be standing by the State’s highly professional public sector prison officers in opposing the privatisation of any gaols in NSW,” Mr Shoebridge said.