NSW may be seeing the end of the private-prison fiasco.
One down: two to go. Junee’s private prison contract expires in 2025 and the right to operate Parklea looks like it is next in line.
After years of campaigning by the PSA CPSU NSW the State Government has announced the private contract to operate Junee Correctional Centre will not be renewed and instead the gaol will be run by Corrective Services NSW.
Corrective Services Minister Anoulack Chanthivong announced in November 2023 that the prison in Junee would join the overwhelming majority of correctional centres in NSW that are run by the state.
The current contract, which is held by outsourcing firm GEO, runs out in March 2025.
The Government has also announced the contract to run Parklea Correctional Centre, which is due to expire in 2026, may not be given to a private operator.
The contract to run the state’s other private prison, Clarence Correctional Centre, will be in the hands of a private operator for quite some time, as the operator Serco has years left on its contract.
“This is a fantastic victory, not just for the Officers in Junee, but the entire community” said PSA CPSU NSW President Nicole Jess. “There will be more Officers, and better-paid ones. Local businesses will benefit greatly.
“In addition, the community can better rest easy knowing a safer system is in place, rather than one that cuts quality in the pursuit of greater profits.”
Junee has recently been in the news as inmates were obtaining online information about other prisoners and their offences. Parklea’s poor reputation for violence and understaffing has been news fodder for years, with the previous operator, GEO, removed from the operations after criticism about the way it managed the centre.
“We have always maintained no-one should profit from crime,” said PSA CPSU NSW General Secretary Stewart Little. “The Minister’s announcement about Junee and Parklea is welcome news to anyone concerned about justice in our state.”