Our Sydney pollies have just privatised Parklea. Parklea is a correctional centre in name, in practise a prison. The privatisation is to leverage out the socialists, the unions and inefficient work practises. Nothing like greed to stress the protocols to breaking tension and to exercise the "Crims dont deserve a holiday camp" public mood. Rees has also integrated a daytime detention centre for dropouts into years ten and eleven in the state's schools by raising the school leaving age. Still, the question of Morality, the question of Virtue has been totally dislocated. It is Politically Incorrect. Seeing as we cannot go there yet, for one, and secondly that it would only open opinionated argument, here follows an assertion and a proposal which then leads again to our quest.
If we are to take America as an example and their incarceration practises, privatisation, profit and recividism go hand in hand. The Macquarie model was an exemplar of financial genius for seven years, inconceivable earnings for the financial engineers but, paying the piper, then in year nine the model is bankrupt for the owners and all this time riding roughshod over the gouged public. Similarly Parklea Private may save 5% on running costs, they may even get the capital bonus of selling off the grounds but if their prisoners consecutively line up for a second and third visit then Rees has merely tidied the 2010 budget at the exponential expense of all future budgets and Society broadly. He wouldnt be the first to execute such chicanery, Carr in his PPP's signed NSW up for all manner of future (possible) liabilities now current to the tune of millions every day. Yes Carr left for Macquarie before the mess hit the fan and he left us and now Rees with massive subsidence in all future budgets. What public opinion calls any to task for this? Why does the media not? When mooted in 05 K.Packer had registered interest in NSW Correctional privatisation, and why would he not with KBR Halliburton as a model for such plutocrat wannabees to emulate.
Will Parklea Private be a short term saving and a future liability? Unsustainable?
The answer to such an assertion could possibly be defined by thorough well designed multi-generational studies. We have excellent research institutions and staff. Some might begin such work.
An alternative "enlightened free market" approach to privatisation that pays for results would weed out the providers who are not really rehabilitating nor correcting. Were part of the revenue stream connected with the future fruitfulness in society of the "corrected" prisoners, then the sustainable practisers would be the survivors.
Here again we are looking at a multi-generational problem and todays self assured public views may be twelve or thirty years in the remaking. No polli will be recalling past mistakes, few voters will even register a change in views or practises thirty years on.
The quest therefore is for a view of Life that is sustainable, even fruitful, towards Life, towards Life in abundance, towards Virtue and towards our (politically incorrect and out of favour) view of Morality itself.