16 Jul 2010

Opposition pressures Minister over private prison firm

6:13 pm on 16 July 2010

Opposition parties are calling on the Government to respond to renewed criticism of a firm that wants to run an Auckland jail.

G4S, one of the companies vying to run the joint Mt Eden-Auckland Central Remand Prison, has been condemned by Britain's chief inspector of prisons for the second time in a fortnight.

The inspector says that there is bullying and violence at the firm's Brook House immigration removal centre at Gatwick, near London, and that drug use is rife and staff are demoralised.

The office of Corrections Minister Judith Collins said last week she could not comment because of the tender process involving G4S.

But the Green Party says the new report should be the catalyst for the Government to abandon its private prisons policy.

The Labour Party says Ms Collins's silence means she accepts the bad reports.