This whole story was pushed out by the unions when they needed a circuit breaker to get Labour’s Asian Bashing off the front pages.
And although it’s delivered on that, the good news is that Serco have been found wanting, and the Government gets to clean it up before it gets out of control.
The Corrections Department will step in and put their own management team into the privately-run Serco prison in Mt Eden following serious allegations of assaults and other inappropriate behaviour.
The announcement was made at a press conference this afternoon following a meeting between Corrections chief executive Ray Smith and the Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.
Mr Smith says the department has invoked the “step in” clause of the contract, and says a potentially substantial financial penalty may be imposed on Serco following the spate of violent incidents at the remand prison.
The clause allows the department to insert its own prison director from Tongariro and a “crack team” of 20 from Corrections team from across the country to oversee the daily running of the prison, however, the Serco staff will remain onsite. Read more »