Sign the BCGEU/NUPGE petition to Premier Christy Clark about increasing danger and violence inside B.C. prisons.
Vancouver (02 Nov. 2016) — The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) has been regularly raising concerns over unsafe working conditions in the province's correctional facilities with the government.
Still waiting for Auditor General recommendations to be fully implemented
The B.C. Auditor General issued a report in 2011 that reviewed the effectiveness of the B.C. Community Corrections. In that report, the Auditor General made 8 recommendations. In a progress report released in June, the AG reported on 6 out of the 8 recommendations. It showed that only one recommendation has been implemented; 3 recommendations are not fully implemented and 2 are outstanding. One of the recommendations that remains unimplemented covers staff capacity and overcrowding. It has been a major concern for BCGEU/NUPGE as correctional workers are forced to take on more and more inmates.
“Community Corrections needs to fully implement the Auditor General’s original third recommendation made in 2011. That recommendation called for the division to complete a comprehensive assessment to determine if there are gaps between staff capacity and caseloads. There are significant gaps across the community corrections system. It is a mistake to ignore them,” said Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President.
Safety and care compromised by lack of government action
The BCGEU/NUPGE has launched a petition to pressure the provincial government to address the rising problems in B.C. prisons: overcrowding, double-bunking, gang violence, inmates with addiction and mental health issues, and assaults on correctional officers.
"In 2001 there was a ratio of 1 correctional officer to 20 inmates on a living unit; now, it's 1 officer to 72 inmates," said Larry Brown, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "With this kind of pressure, it's not surprising that rates of violence have increased by 39 per cent."
The petition campaign reminds the public that when sentences are finished, "these violent inmates will return to communities just like yours. Prison violence puts us all at risk."
Join the campaign to help make B.C. prisons safe. Sign the petition to Premier Christy Clark and let her know your concerns.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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