Serco, refugee jail profiteers

This video from Australia is called Serco – RUNNING NUKES AND PRISONS FOR PROFIT.

By Jay Fletcher in Australia:

Serco — profiting from refugee detention

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The activity of British-based transnational conglomerate Serco in Australia has remained relatively unknown since it began taking government contracts in 1990. That is until the refugees locked up in its detention centres — under a $756 million government contract — started speaking out.

Horrific suicides, hunger strikes, self-harm, riotous protests, burning buildings and under-trained staff have finally put Serco in the headlines.

The unrelenting revolt of refugees in detention has called into question Serco’s huge contract with the federal government and whether a private company can be held accountable when refugees’ rights are violated.

Before visiting the Curtin detention centre in far-north Western Australia in early April as part of a solidarity convoy, Victoria Martin-Iverson told Green Left Weekly she knew the conditions would be grim.

“This is a humanitarian and psychiatric crisis,” she said. “We charge a private company with the responsibility of delivering services to people in detention, but they cut costs every way and anyway they can.

“It makes a profit off the misery of asylum seekers, off the illegal imprisonment of people who have not committed or been charged with a crime.”

In November, Serco’s contract was doubled from $370 million to $756 million. But the May 14 Herald Sun said Serco would soon be paid more than $1 billion as the cost per asylum seeker detained rises.

Serco has run Australia’s growing refugee detention system since 2009, but its global reach is frightening. With an annual profit of £4.3 billion ($6.6 billion), governments all over the world outsource to Serco.

It is one of the largest air traffic control operators in the world. It runs most of Britain’s traffic lights, as well as its nuclear program, and has contracts for Britain’s weapons and defence systems. It is a provider of services from security to cleaning to many private companies.

It is Britain’s largest employer of scientists.

Serco owns and runs many public transport networks, as well as hospitals and schools. It is most known for running prisons on the cheap in Britain, the US, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

“This is a private company that very aggressively markets itself as a solution to government,” Martin-Iverson said.

“In Australia they are already bidding for child welfare services, parole, foster care, transport, custodial services, cleaning services.

“There is no single public service that the government supplies that Serco is not actively and aggressively lobbying to have the contract for.”

A charity condemned Britain today over its “appalling” treatment of torture victims claiming asylum, who, as a result, risk being returned to the very countries which tortured them: here.

Britain: Controversial privateer Serco is bidding to secure a multimillion-pound contract to run one of David Cameron’s flagship “Big Society” schemes: here.

22 thoughts on “Serco, refugee jail profiteers


    Organize a Solidarity Demo in your area!


    At the California State Franchise Office

    (Tax Collection Office for the State of California)

    1212 6th Ave. between 47th & 48th

    In Manhattan, NYC

    Take F or D to 48/50 Rockefeller Center


    Right now there are 200 prisoners at Pelican Bay on a hunger strike. They are experiencing life-threatening health conditions according to an urgent update received by the Hunger Strike Prisoner Solidarity Coalition and from medical personnel at the prison. The California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation continues to refuse to negotiate. It is urged that phone calls be made to the following authorities immediately, demanding they enter into negotiations before they have (more) deaths on their hands: Gov. Jerry Brown: 916-445-2841, fax 916-316-0558; CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate: 916-323-6001; Pelican Bay State Prison Warden Greg Lewis: 707-465-1000 x 9040; and Ombudsman Ralyn Conner: 916-324-6123. See for updates.

    “The prisoners are progressing rapidly to the organ damaging consequences of dehydration. They are not drinking water and have decompensated rapidly. A few have tried to sip water but are so sick that they are vomiting it back up. Some are in renal failure and have been unable to make urine for 3 days. Some are having measured blood sugars in the 30 range, which can be fatal if not treated.“

    SHU prisoners at Pelican Bay have said they are willing to risk their lives and will continue to strike until their demands are met. The CDCR continues to refuse to negotiate.

    How you can help save these heroes lives:

    1. Make phone calls per the request of the Solidarity Committee (info below).


    3. Sign the prisoners’ online petition at

    Please make these calls and demand that the authorities enter into negotiations before they have (more) deaths on their hands:

    Governor Jerry Brown – (916) 445-2841, fax (916) -316-0558; CDCR Secretary Mattrew Cate – (916) 323-6001;Pelican Bay State Prison Warden Greg Lewis (707) 465-1000 x 9040; and Ombudsman Ralyn Conner (916) 324-6123.

    New York Rally called by International Action Center & the Bail Out the People Movement. For more info call 212.633.6646 or visit or

    The five core demands of the hunger strikers, as listed on are:

    1. Eliminate group punishments. Instead, practice individual accountability. When an individual prisoner breaks a rule, the prison often punishes a whole group of prisoners of the same race. This policy has been applied to keep prisoners in the SHU indefinitely and to make conditions increasingly harsh.

    2. Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria. Prisoners are accused of being active or inactive participants of prison gangs using false or highly dubious evidence, and are then sent to longterm isolation (SHU). They can escape these tortuous conditions only if they “debrief,” that is, provide information on gang activity. Debriefing produces false information (wrongly landing other prisoners in SHU, in an endless cycle) and can endanger the lives of debriefing prisoners and their families.

    3. Comply with the recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons (2006) regarding an end to longterm solitary confinement. This bipartisan commission specifically recommended to “make segregation a last resort” and “end conditions of isolation.” Yet as of May 18, 2011, California kept 3,259 prisoners in SHUs and hundreds more in Administrative Segregation waiting for a SHU cell to open up. Some prisoners have been kept in isolation for more than thirty years.

    4. Provide adequate food. Prisoners report unsanitary conditions and small quantities of food that do not conform to prison regulations. There is no accountability or independent quality control of meals.

    5. Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates. The hunger strikers are pressing for opportunities “to engage in self-help treatment, education, religious and other productive activities…” Currently these opportunities are routinely denied, even if the prisoners want to pay for correspondence courses themselves. Examples of privileges the prisoners want are: one phone call per week, and permission to have sweatsuits and watch caps. (Often warm clothing is denied, though the cells and exercise cage can be bitterly cold.) All of the privileges mentioned in the demands are already allowed at other SuperMax prisons (in the federal prison system and other states).
    San Francisco Pelican Bay Solidarity Demo 7/21/11
    Solidarity action July 9 in San Francisco.

    WW photo: Judy Greenspan

    “Picture yourself in a 6-by-10-foot cell, probably ugly drab green, spending 23 hours of your day locked down with no human contact,” stated Linda Evans, former political prisoner and member of All of Us or None, who spent over 16 years incarcerated in U.S. prisons. “Today we need to show unity … throughout our community,” Evans declared.

    Pelican Bay is a maximum security prison located in Del Norte County, along California’s northernmost border with Oregon. The prison, which opened in 1989, has been the object of many lawsuits, including Madrid v. Gomez, a class action which exposed and challenged the torture and inhuman treatment of prisoners incarcerated there.

    On July 1, hundreds of prisoners at PBSP went on hunger strike to win five simple but key survival demands: SHU prisoners want an end to group punishment and administrative abuse; the abolition of the “debriefing” policy and modification of active/inactive gang status criteria; CDCR to comply with recommendations regarding long-term solitary confinement; the provision of adequate and nutritious food; and the expansion of programming, correspondence and other privileges for indefinite SHU-status prisoners.

    Since the hunger strike began, prisoners at more than 11 other California prisons have joined the protest. Former prisoners and other supporters have also been on solidarity hunger strikes.

    According to California Prison Focus, the vast majority of prisoners in the SHU are people of color and more than half are Latino. The SHU is used to lock down prisoner organizers, non-conformers, political prisoners and prisoners who are “alleged” to have gang affiliations.

    Once inside the SHU, the prisoner is faced with “debriefing,” that is, either snitching and giving the CDCR more names of prisoners to lock up or not cooperating and then spending years in SHU confinement. Many prisoners have chosen not to debrief and have been locked down in these cement cages for decades. Hugo Pinell, one of the San Quentin Six, has been locked down in the SHU for more than 40 years.

    For more information about how to support the PBSP-SHU prisoners in their hunger strike, visit

    It is urgent that we step up our pressure on the California prison system and Gov. Jerry Brown as 200 of thePelican Bay hunger strikers are experiencing life-threatening health conditions as reported by the central clearinghouse of info about the hunger strike,

    How you can help save these heroes lives:

    1. Make phone calls per the request of the Solidarity Committee (info below).


    3. Sign the prisoners’ online petition at

    Please make these calls and demand that the authorities enter into negotiations before they have (more)deaths on their hands:

    Governor Jerry Brown – (916) 445-2841, fax (916) -316-0558; CDCR Secretary Mattrew Cate – (916) 323-6001;Pelican Bay State Prison Wardern Greg Lewis (707) 465-1000 x 9040; and Ombudsman Ralyn Conner (916) 324-6123.

    New York Rally called by International Action Center & the Bail Out the People Movement. For more info call 212.633.6646 or or


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  4. Nov 11 2012

    Serco’s Bahrain Consulting Office secures new contracts in KSA

    Serco harnesses Bahrain’s strategic location to access Gulf market

    International service company Serco has boosted its GCC business in the region with two significant projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, having secured consultancy contracts with the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu and “ELM” (Al-Elm Co.), which will be serviced from its recently opened new consulting offices in Bahrain. Serco Consulting offers a range of management and operations consulting services across the financial services, telecommunications, utilities and public sector markets.

    Serco’s success in the region comes as consultancy-focused multinationals Boston Analytics and Thomson Reuters have also recently set up bases in Bahrain in order to increase their access and operations in the Gulf region.

    Vivian Jamal, Director of Business Development, at the Bahrain Economic Development Board ( EDB ), said: “We are delighted at the success that Serco has achieved following its decision to establish a consulting presence in Bahrain, reflecting the Kingdom’s suitability as a destination for international consultancies looking to access the trillion dollar Gulf market.”

    Commenting on Serco’s recent expansion, David Beresford, Managing Director of Serco’s consulting business, said: “Our presence in Manama continues Serco’s long association with Bahrain and further strengthens our commitment to the region.”

    Serco’s Manama office director and consulting regional leader, Damon Dermody, said: “The combination of well developed financial services and business process outsourcing markets, as well as the geographic proximity to Saudi Arabia, means we are placed to serve our clients from Manama.”


    About The Bahrain Economic Development Board ( EDB )
    The Bahrain Economic Development Board ( EDB ) is a dynamic public agency with an overall responsibility for attracting inward investment into Bahrain, and is focusing on target economic sectors in which the Kingdom offers significant strengths.

    Key areas of focus include manufacturing, ICT, and logistics and transport services as well as other sub-sectors. The Financial Services sector in Bahrain is particularly strong and the EDB supports in the continuing growth of the banking industry and key sub-sectors, including Islamic Finance, Asset Management, Insurance and Re-Insurance.

    For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit; for information about Bahrain visit
    About Serco
    Serco is a FTSE 100 international service company, which combines commercial know-how with a deep public service ethos.

    Around the world, we improve essential services by managing people, processes, technology and assets more effectively. We advise policy makers, design innovative solutions, integrate systems and – most of all – deliver to the public.

    Our global BPO business has over 50,000 employees across 98 locations, with a presence in 10 countries providing the complete spectrum of business services to customers in the public and private sector around the world.

    As a dynamic global service organisation, our people have the expertise and intimate knowledge of our customers’ markets as well as best practice processes and technologies to exceed expectations. We have the vision, agility and determination to deliver cutting-edge business process solutions and set ever-higher standards in the markets we serve.

    More information can be found at

    Further information
    Jenan Al Maskati, Bahrain Economic Development Board
    Tel: +973 17 589 930

    © Press Release 2012


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