Concern over private NZ jail paying bonuses to operator

New privately-run state-of-the art jail in New Zealand aims to prevent reoffending but fears about lack of transparency.

    A new jail in New Zealand is about to welcome its first inmates as it aims to prevent reoffending among the indigenous Maori - who make up more than half of the country's prison population.

    The new 'housing blocks' will be guarded by reintegration officers, drawn mostly from the local community.

    The privately-run prison has cells fitted with computers, but no internet, so inmates can study and plan their day.

    They also have phones that will be loaded with pre-approved numbers so inmates can keep in touch with family members on the outside.

    If it meets certain targets, the government will reward the British operator of the new jail, Serco with cash bonuses.

    But groups calling for changes to the justice system worry about a lack of transparency when mixing private enterprise with the penal system. 

    Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay reports from Auckland.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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