“Once again, we see this government talking the talk, but failing to take action on addressing the crisis in corrections." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Corrections and Criminal Justice
Among the public sector members of the National Union are thousands of women and men who work in Canada’s justice system. These include Youth Corrections Professionals, Correctional Officers, Probation Officers, Sheriffs, as well as those who work in community-based social services, child protection, youth counsellors and other related social services.
These members of the National Union have a wealth of experience and knowledge that we believe can make an invaluable contribution to the development of public policy and legislation on criminal justice issues.
News on Corrections and Criminal Justice
“It’s shameful that while the centre’s CEO climbs higher and higher up the Sunshine List, these members are being asked to take home less and less.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
It is a measure of just how big a disaster privatization of prison food services turned out to be that the same state governor who originally proposed privatization is now proposing bring the services back under public control.
In BC, first responders, sheriffs,and correctional officers will no longer have to prove that their mental injury is work-related.
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.
“This kind of silly game playing is just counterproductive. I hope they’re taking a more serious approach to negotiations with our correctional bargaining team, which is trying hard to fix the crisis in corrections.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
"The details of this attack are very troubling. How does a patient in a forensic psychiatric ward get their hands on a pair of surgical scissors?" — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
“We work in volatile and violent workplaces. We find that giving back to the community is an effective means to cope with the daily stress we face. This outreach keeps us focused on the reason we do what we do every day.” — Chris Jackel, OPSEU's correctional bargaining chair
Youth Correctional Professionals juggle the roles of social worker, counselor, educator, advocate, jailer and supervisor. It is a tough job that is being made more difficult by federal and provincial governments. Change is needed not just for the workers in the sector but also for the young offenders, their families and for protecting our communities.
Correctional Officers of this country walk into an environment comprised of people who have been convicted of breaking the law with not much more than their courage, convictions and intelligence. It is time we all recognize that jails that support both the workers and inmates are essential for a society to deal effectively with crime.