NSW Halts Prison Privatisation

3 November 2023

See the full article here.

The NSW Government will be reversing the privatisation of NSW jails after 30 years – starting with Junee Correctional Centre, and Parklea to follow. The government confirms that the current Junee prison contract with the US will not be renewed after 2025. Minister for Corrections Anoulack Chanthivong assured that bringing Junee into public hands would lock in 340 jobs for the region in Corrective Services NSW. 

However, Clarence prison, located near Grafton and operated by Serco, still has several years remaining on its contract. The NSW government plans to take a case-by-case approach for other corrective facilities as the contracts approach renewal. Leading by example, Queensland has now returned all of its prisons into public hands, with Western Australia following – having unwound some of its private prisons.

Similarly, US federal prisons have also returned to the public sector, with the last of US private prison contracts having ended in November 2022.

“President Joseph Biden issued an executive order to phase out the Bureau of Prison’s use of private prison beds, which required the BOP to not re-solicit any expiring contracts with private detention facilities… The BOP Office of Public Affairs notes in June this year they no longer have people incarcerated in private prisons.” – see more here.

The ongoing failure of prison privatisation around the world has been highlighted here. Due to this wider spreading acceptance of the failures of privatisation, we can see a lessening incentive for the expansion of prisons as money-making practices.