Will Corrections be fined?

Just the other day Serco, the private operator of the Mt Eden Remand prison was fined $150,000 after a prisoner escaped. On Tuesday a prisoner escaped from a Correction facility in Turangi:

A daring inmate has escaped from his prison in a Department of Corrections 4WD.

Jamie Paamu Hughes, 29, escaped from Rangipo Prison near Turangi about 11.15am this morning, police said.

Hughes escaped in a white 2005 Toyota Landcruiser, registration CPU985, which had a large grey speaker mounted on the roof.

Hughes is a 160cm tall male Maori of thin build. Police said anyone who sees him should not approach him but should contact police.

If private operators get fined for escapes, what is the sanction for when prisoners escape from state run facilities.

I have an idea…fine the CEO of Corrections, the General Manager of the prison and the Corrections Union the $150,000. Split it evenly. Seems fair.


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  • peterwn

    A ‘fine’ in this instance may send the wrong signal to ‘Corrections’. Their response would be to do away with ultra minimum security thus defeating the rehabilitation objective. It is better to tolerate the odd escape of prisoners under these circumstances than to hinder rehabilitation objectives. Similarly it would be wrong to penalise Corrections if a prisoner on ‘work release’ etc ‘escapes’.

    Having said that, the Corrections officer in charge of the vehicle needs a kick in the bum for not taking the key out of the ignition. Similarly blatant errors with assessing a prisoner as ‘minimum security’ or suitable for work release should be penalised.

    Ideally a prisoner near the end of a sentence should be virtually able to walk out of the prison and not be a risk to the community. Similarly a prisoner at the end of a sentence who is considered a risk to society should if possible remain locked up, and in special cases (eg child molestation) this is an option open to Corrections.

    • Blokeintakapuna

      Or, for sentances over 12 month’s – ship them off to China for the duration. Save the tax payer untold amounts and it would also give the recidivist offenders a huge wake up when all they get is cold, plain rice, water and 18 hours a day hard labour to “pay” for their nutritious rice meal each day …

      Sure, some minor offenders could be kept in NZ, but the rapists, murderers, recidivist drunk drivers and anyone wiht more than 2 convictions in 10 years – export them to somewhere where NZ citizens can be safe from these individuals.

      …and if the crims don’t like the treatment – don’t do the crime. Simple really!

      • Euan Rt

        Would the NZ govt get a kickback from the sale of their organs?

      • Mike

         And they get to learn a new language in the process!

  • NotLen

    At 160cm this bloke would hardly reach the pedals.  I would have thought the getaway car would have been pretty easy to spot.  A white Land Cruiser with a large speaker on the roof and nobody driving.

  • I would not want the CEO employees on a contract where is performance was based on number of escapes. Prision riots would be another mater however. 

    Penalties like this work were they have broad control and discretion how the Department works. This is the case for an Independent Reserve Bank

    A much better solution would be to turn corrections into a SOE and thus make it compete for the work from the government. (We may also get a few private prison contracts overseas as well..)

    Then when somebody escapes we just fine the SOE.

  • Rockyr

    It was nobodies fault. Every care was taken not to hurt the escaper’s feelings.

    • Blokeintakapuna

      yeah – or just as well he didn’t break a leg trying to escape – the tax payer doesn’t want to pay out $100K or so in compensation… ohh hang on, we don’t have a Labour government offering hand outs and apolagies

      • jay cee

        happened under national as well, actually a guy broke his ankle escaping and claimed under acc. another was able to claim for an injury that he got when was burgling a place as he claimed it was his “proffession” cheeky but true. back under the bolger admin by the way.