Scrap gaols 'ideology': Burney

Education is a vital part of the rehabilitation process

Former NSW corrective services minister Linda Burney has released a statement in reaction to the NSW government’s plans to open education services in NSW gaols to private providers:

Gaol education privatisation to impact prisoners and their teachers

The decision to scrap all but 20 teaching positions from NSW Corrective Services is nothing short of a disaster for our community. The provision of quality education to inmates is not only a responsibility of government, it is an imperative for the community — education is a vital part of the rehabilitation process.

For the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community these cuts are particularly troubling: rates of incarceration are already too high and taking measures to prevent recidivism are amongst the most important actions. We should be promoting education for inmates, not cutting services.

Again a purely ideological pursuit will see those most disadvantaged communities worse off.

Before mass privatisations such as these are even considered the government needs to demonstrate clearly what its case is for cutting 138 teaching positions — I suspect it doesn’t even have one.