Auckland's Mt Eden prison operator Serco has been accused of bribing inmates with bigger helpings of food and televisions in their cells to encourage them to behave.
The prison officers' union, the Corrections Association, said that in addition to larger meals, Serco served dessert every night, unheard of in the State prison system, Radio New Zealand reported.
Association president Beven Hanlon said the "luxuries" allowed the private prison operator to get by with a skeleton crew but guards were feeling vulnerable and leaving on a daily basis.
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