Monday, 28 Nov 2022

US prisons operator begins $750,000-a-day contract for Nauru offshore regime

US prisons operator begins $750,000-a-day contract for Nauru offshore regime


US prisons operator begins $750,000-a-day contract for Nauru offshore regime

MTC will be paid $425,000 for each person it keeps on the island over the next two months.

MTC was a controversial choice to take over the Nauru contract, which has previously attracted parliamentary scrutiny over its tenaciously high running costs, despite a dramatically reduced cohort of refugees and asylum seekers held on the island.

The previous contract holder, Canstruct International, won a series of cascading, uncompetitive contract tenders from 2017, with the total cost exceeding $1.82bn over five years.

MTC is the third-largest US operator of private prisons, running 21 corrections and immigration detention centres. But an investigation by the Guardian uncovered a litany of security breaches and custodial failures within MTC-run places of detention.

The refugees on Nauru are eligible to apply for resettlement in New Zealand. So far 16 have expressed an interest in being resettled. But reports from the island suggest many are battling chronic physical and mental health conditions that have made even applying for resettlement difficult.

A spokesperson for MTC Australia declined to comment on the new contract or answer questions about whether the terms of the contract would be altered if the number of people under the aegis of MTC on Nauru was reduced.

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