Yes. You read correctly. In Victoria, all prisoner transfers are carried out by private contractor G4S who get paid per prisoner and per ‘movement.’
The system is ridiculous. Using the Loddon Correctional Centre in Castlemaine, which contains both medium-security Loddon Prison and low-security Middleton Prison as an example, let’s look at prisoner John* who has been re-classified from ‘medium’ (B1/B2) to ‘minimum’ (C1/C2) security.
John is serving a sentence at Loddon Prison. He’s been well-behaved and his sentence ends in eight months. As such, he’s going to be re-classified as a minimum security inmate and moved to Middleton Prison, which is just at the other end of the prison staff and visitor car park of Loddon Prison.
Rather than two corrections officers simply walking John from Loddon across the car park to Middleton, G4S will come up from Melbourne and get paid taxpayers’ money to transport an inmate less than 500 metres.
Yes. G4S will send a prison van from Melbourne up the Calder Highway (A79) to Castlemaine. John will then be loaded into the G4S prison van and driven less than 500 metres across the car park and re-processed at Middleton Prison – across the car park.
Once G4S have ‘transported’ John across the prison car park, G4S is again paid to drive that prison van all the way back to Melbourne.
It’s well-known amongst prisoners that the private transport provider G4S uses their prisoner transport contract to milk taxpayers for every cent.
Yes, you, the taxpayer, pay G4S to drive an empty prison van from Melbourne to Castlemaine to move an inmate from one side of a prison complex carpark to the other.
Surely, two guards could place an inmate in handcuffs and walk them across the car park to the other prison complex.
There really is no need for G4S to drive a prison van all the way from Melbourne to Castlemaine to move one inmate less than 500 metres across a car park.
G4S gets paid by the Victorian Government for each ‘prisoner movement’ so of course they’re happy to drive an empty prison van all the way from Melbourne just to move one bloke across a car park.
Not all criminals and grifters are inside prison walls. Some of the biggest grifters of the prison system are the private prison service providers.
They even collect payment ‘bonuses’ for successful transfers without incident.
Victorian taxpayers are paying G4S thousands of dollars a day to transport inmates across a car park. This is just at one prison complex.
Your state taxes are at work, propping up a multinational private security company G4S with a shady past.
Don’t forget, without criminals to transport and house, G4S would be broke, so it’s in G4S’s business interests to ensure crime continues and there are prisoners to transport.
Without criminals, G4S can’t give a return on investment to its shareholders.
Now. Ask yourself who the real criminals are?
G4S did not respond to a request for comment.
The Minister for Corrections, The Hon. Enver Erdogan, MP, did not respond to a request for comment.
Corrections Victoria was given 12 months to respond to several requests for comment and did not respond.
*John (not his real name) served time at Loddon & Middleton Prison. They took extensive daily notes on prison life.