New Zealand Labour Party

Private prisons poaching in state jails

The Corrections Department-sanctioned poaching of public prison officers for the new private prison at Wiri has to stop, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. 

“It is unacceptable that prison staff are being trained by Corrections and then being poached by SERCO which amounts to a private company benefitting from taxpayer-funded staff training.

“The department has opened up the public prison system by allowing the Serco director of Wiri to walk around Spring Hill Correction Facility today actively recruiting taxpayer trained staff.

 “The first year of training for each prison officer is estimated to cost $120,000. Once recruited by the private sector then the taxpayer has to find another $120,000 to replace that officer. This amounts to a win for SERCO and a loss for the taxpayer. 

“Spring Hill is under-staffed as it is and it is not surprising there has been a number of incidents at that facility recently. Poaching of staff will only exacerbate that situation,” says Kelvin Davis.