PRIVATEERS are seeking to double the prison population in a bid to cream off extra cash from public services, a union leader remarked yesterday.
Prison Officers Association chairman PJ McParlin warned members of probation union Napo that big business had its eyes on the entire criminal justice sector.
His intervention followed the government’s decision to shelve the planned privatisation of court enforcement, following a five-year campaign from public-sector union PCS.
Mr McParlin slammed Boris Johnson for a recent visit to New York where he called for the devolution of jails and probation, saying the London mayor had made the trip “to continue the sell-off of justice.”
And he stormed: “No-one will ever convince me that it’s in the interests of private companies to reduce the [86,000-strong] prison population.
“They want 186,000 in prison, rest assured that’s what they want. They don’t care if they’re mentally ill … they want a share of the profits.”
The union’s general secretary Mark Serwotka said ministers had “squandered in excess of £7 million” on privatisation.