11 Dec 2009

Sydney prison privatisation had 'negative impact'

8:21 pm on 11 December 2009

A Corrections Association conference has been told that the privatisation of a jail in Sydney had a negative impact on its staff, their income and the prison's safety levels.

Matt Bindley, one of several New South Wales prison staff and union representatives invited to speak at the conference, worked at Sydney's Parklea Prison for 13 years but transferred out when the management was handed over to the private sector last month.

Since then, Mr Bindley says, the number of staff working dayshift has been cut by a third, and staff income levels are lower.

Parliament has cleared the way for the private sector to run prisons in New Zealand, by passing the Corrections Bill.

The president of the Corrections Association, Beven Hanlon, says its members have received letters from the department about the process of putting the management of some prisons out to tender.

He says private prison operators have also been taken through some jails, which he says has been demoralising for staff.