After years of campaigning agains the privatisation of prisons, the Public Service Association of NSW has warmly welcomed the state government's announcement that it will bring all the state's prisons back into the public system.
The PSA has long argued that privatised prisons result in unsafe conditions for prison officers, poor outcomes for prisoners, and heavy costs to the taxpayer.
PSA General Secretary Stewart Little said it was excellent that the government had recognised the privatisation of prisons as a policy failure.
"As our union said from the very start, privatising prisons is a fundamentally stupid idea," Mr Little said.
"You can't squeeze a profit from a prison unless you cut corners on safety, on wages, and on rehabilitation.
"Time and again we have seen private operators understaffing their prisons to save on wages, which means more assaults on prison officers and more prisoner on prisoner violence.
"Like the police and the courts, prisons are an integral part of the justice system, and they belong in public hands."
Public Service Association President and Senior Correctional Officer, Nicole Jess, said the announcement of the reform would come as a massive relief to prison officers.
"It's shameful to think profits squeezed from prisons here in New South Wales have been divvied up in board rooms in New York, London and Singapore," Ms Jess said.
"I talk to prison officers every day. Those who work in private prison's universally report poor outcomes for both prison officers and for prisoners.
"All the money that we save from not having to pay profits to private providers should now go back into supporting prisoners rehabilitation."
Tim Brunero 0405 285 547
Anil Lambert 0416 426 722