In the last few months, a correctional officer had his finger severed, another had his head stomped on and yet another was assaulted with feces thrown in her face by inmates.
Vancouver (23 Feb. 2018) — Correctional officers will be protesting outside of the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre (FRCC) to bring attention to the rapidly increasing incidents of violence against correctional officers.
The rally will take place on February 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre: 13777 256 St, Maple Ridge. The event is organized by the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE).
Violence in correctional facilities continues to increase
Correctional officers work day and night to keep inmates safe from violence, but their job is stressful, dangerous and sometimes life-threatening. In the last few months, a correctional officer had his finger severed, another had his head stomped on and yet another was assaulted with feces thrown in her face by inmates.
"Prison violence continues to escalate and assaults on corrections officers have skyrocketed. These officers put their lives at risk every day and it's just a matter of time before one of our members gets killed on the job," says Dean Purdy, BCGEU Vice-President, Corrections and Sheriff Services. "We have managers who haven't worked a day on the frontlines of a maximum security correctional centre. How are these officers supposed to protect themselves if senior management won't protect them?"
The union is concerned about the health and safety of its members, who are being targeted.
BCGEU/NUPGE calls on government to bring staff-to-inmate ratio back to manageable levels
Prior to 2001, the inmate-to-staff ratio in B.C.'s correctional facilities was capped at 20:1 The ratio is now as high as 72:1, and recent statistics from Corrections B.C. show that assaults on officers and inmate-on-inmate violence continue to rise.
"This is the only jail in Canada that has one officer with up to 72 inmates. It's not good enough," said Purdy. "There is an opportunity now for the new B.C. NDP government to bring the staff-to-inmate ratio back to manageable levels. Unless changes are made, B.C.'s correctional officers will continue to be put at high risk."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE