prison and society
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seitdem durch eine gesetzesänderung härtere strafen verhängt werden,steigt die zahl der gefangenen. deshalb wird der vorschlag gemacht, ein neues „großes super-gefängnis“ zu bauen und es von einer privatfirma betreiben zu lassen.......

SUPER jail urged to cope with overflow

Tougher sentencing group the Sensible Sentencing Trust is calling for a "super prison" to be built, run by private enterprise with bonuses for reduced reoffending. The trust's spokesman, Garth McVicar, made the call as new figures showed prison inmate numbers are at record levels after a toughening of penalties for serious offences.

Mr McVicar said the Government should ditch all proposed new prisons and build one large-capacity prison in the central North Island, which focused on reducing inmates' high levels of reoffending. The prison should be privately run with a system of performance bonuses. Currently there were few incentives to reduce reoffending, he said. "The present system is experiencing phenomenal growth with an exceptionally high recidivism rate." The trust believed a private jail, with the operator paid incentives for each inmate who did not reoffend, was essential to reducing the growth in inmate numbers. The central North Island appealed as a location for a super jail because of its large areas of undeveloped land, the proximity of the army in the event of riots, and remoteness, which would discourage escapes, Mr McVicar said. Justice Ministry figures issued at the weekend show police prosecuted a record number of people last year, but convictions were at their lowest level in a decade.

While only 66 per cent of prosecutions resulted in conviction - down from 72 per cent in 1994 - the number of custodial sentences rose to 8540 custodial sentences last year. The average custodial sentence, including life imprisonment and preventive detention, rose from 12.9 months in 1994 to 16 months in 2003. The total prison population averaged 6086 last year - the highest ever - with 82 per cent of inmates being sentenced and 18 per cent on remand. Justice Minister Phil Goff said the report showed the Sentencing Act 2002 was having its intended result.

[  The New Zealand Herald


nachdem bekannt wurde das ein geplanter knast von einer privatfirma geleitet werden soll,protestieren die anwohnerinnen......

Villagers' safety fears over private prison plan

RESIDENTS near the site of a planned prison in West Lothian have said they fear for their safety after it was announced the jail would be privately run. The Scottish Prison Service confirmed yesterday that the 700-cell prison to be built on a 35-acre site between Addiewell and West Calder will be built and run by the private sector.

Villagers are now considering legal action over fears the facility will destroy the area’s reputation and turn a safe community into one blighted by crime. Danny Russell, of Addiewell Community Council, said: "People were against this when they thought it was going to be a state prison, but they will be even more up in arms now. "They say it will bring 400 jobs and pump millions into the local economy - rubbish." Bernard Kane, chairman of the Muirhall Residents’ Association, has said he would leave his home if prison chiefs were to buy it from him. He added: "We are worried about our security and there is a big fear now that the community won’t be safe, you just have to look at the shambles at Kilmarnock Prison."

[  news.scotman


reliance ist eine sicherheitsfirma, die gefangene transportiert. in schottland ist diese firma seit einiger zeit in der kritik, hier einige artikel dazu:

Reliance security row:

Reliance Custodial Services recently had its £126 million contract with the Scottish Executive rolled out across Scotland despite the justice minister, Cathy Jamieson, originally postponing the expansion following a series of high-profile mistakes by the company. Figures show that on some days, up to one in five prisoners in the firm’s care each day, currently about 50, are delivered to courts late. Since taking over prisoner escort contract in May, Reliance has mistakenly freed at least 20 inmates, including a convicted murderer, James McCormick, 17, who went missing from Hamilton Sheriff Court.

In the wake of the latest mistake, Kenny MacAskill, the SNP justice spokesman, called for urgent action to be taken against the firm. "This is the next in a long line of disasters for Reliance," he said. "Reliance was a mess in Glasgow and is now becoming a mess throughout Scotland. The buck stops with the minister, and action is needed now to put an end to this shambles."Scotland’s freedom-of-information watchdog recently admitted defeat in his attempts to force the security firm to make public details of its £126 million contract with the Scottish Executive. Kevin Dunion, the Information Commissioner, conceded that the Scottish Prison Service was legally entitled not to publish specific parts of its contract with Reliance because of a confidentiality clause.

[  news.scotsman.com

Secrets remain over Reliance's SPS deal

SCOTLAND’S newly installed freedom of information watchdog admitted defeat yesterday in his attempts to force a controversial prison security firm to make public details of its £126 million contract with the Scottish Executive. Kevin Dunion, the Information Commissioner, said the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) was legally entitled not to publish specific parts of its contract with Reliance due to a confidentiality clause that allowed the firm to withhold the financial details of the agreement from the public. But Mr Dunion criticised that clause yesterday, claiming it was not in the best interests of the public.

He also said such a clause would not comply with guidance for public bodies when the Freedom of Information Act comes into force on 1 January. Since taking on the contract to escort Scotland’s inmates to and from prison to court, Reliance has repeatedly come under criticism for its performance - in particular, the accidental release of a number of suspects from custody, including a convicted murderer, James McCormack. In the wake of the criticism, opposition MSPs and members of the public expressed concern over the nature of Reliance’s contract with the Executive, especially the fact that details of the financial punishments the company faced for accidental prisoner releases or escapes had not been revealed to the public.

Mr Dunion, who had full access to the contract, said there was little he could do to force Reliance to release the information. He said: "The information requested is subject to a contractual confidentiality agreement between SPS and Reliance and, given that the Code of Practice does not set aside statutory or other legal restrictions on disclosure, the SPS is entitled to withhold the information." Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP’s deputy leader, who originally asked that Mr Dunion examine the contract, said the ruling proved Cathy Jamieson, the justice minister, and those acting on her behalf, had failed to protect the public interest when the contract was being drawn up. She said: "The Executive have given a private company a veto over the public interest and that is completely unacceptable. The First Minister should demand that Reliance waives the confidentiality clause and allows the contract to be released in full."

[  news.scotsman.com

Holyrood to capture control of prisons and private contracts

SCOTTISH ministers are to take greater control of the way the country’s prison service is run and of contracts awarded to private firms, it emerged last night. The changes would affect contracts such as that awarded to the escort and security firm Reliance, which has been at the centre of a series of controversies over mistaken releases of prisoners.

An Executive spokeswoman said last night: "The plans wouldn’t affect the current Reliance contract, which runs for the next seven years, but it will impact in the future." The changes are contained in the Criminal Justice Plan, which the Executive hopes will address Scotland's high levels of re-offending, and which is expected to be announced next week. The details emerged last night as Reliance defended its role, claiming it had overcome the "teething problems" that have marred its reputation since it took over court escort duties in Scotland this year. The company’s optimism about its abilities followed an announcement that pre-tax profits across its UK operations had risen 13 per cent to £6.8 million during the six months to 29 October.

After starting prisoner escort duties in Scotland in April, the firm saw its reputation flounder amid controversy surrounding a number of embarrassing incidents including wrongly releasing James McCormick, a convicted killer, from Hamilton Sheriff Court only weeks into its contract. Last month one of its own prison guards was attacked with a knife at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. However, last night Reliance said the poor publicity it had attracted was unjustified, did not reflect the complexities of the work and failed to examine the wider picture of errors made in prison-escort duties in Scotland before the firm took over responsibility. A spokesman for Reliance said: "The image we have is unfair. Figures for transfer and escort duties were not published before we took over. Anecdotal evidence ... indicates we are doing an excellent job. Reliance has held up its hands when it made a mistake and has had to take it on the chin." Analysts said the company’s rise in UK profits reflected a strong demand from the public sector for security services. Its turnover of £149.5 million was virtually static a year ago, reflecting challenging market conditions in manpower security due to an excessive number of competitors. Neil French, the group finance director for Reliance, said the good results were due in part to security escorting being a huge market, the share his company had of that sector, and what he claimed was a lack of competitors.

A spokesman denied the increased profits were in any way due to cost-cutting in staff training, which they said were comparable to that provided in the Scottish Prison Service, and pointed instead to its eight-year record in running escort duties elsewhere in the UK. Earlier this year, the Scottish Executive agreed to make details of Reliance’s £126 million contract public. But all references to cash payments and financial penalties were blanked out of the 152-page document, published on the SPS website on 20 May. A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service last night said it supported Reliance’s assessment of its performance. He said: "The SPS has been satisfied with the improvement in Reliance’s performance to date, We are satisfied the company is providing value for money for scarce public resources."

[  news.scotsman.com

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