The Okanagan Correctional Centre (Western News file photo)

Protest planned as assaults on Okanagan correctional officers ‘skyrocket’

Officers will rally against prison violence on Sept. 9 in the South Okanagan

Correctional officers will be protesting outside of the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver to bring attention to what they are calling rapidly increasing incidents of violence against officers.

According to the correctional officers union, targeted violence towards officers has been on the increase every year for the past five years and they have a lack of support from the Corrections Branch.

READ MORE: Man gets two years in prison for assault on Okanagan Correctional officer

“Prison violence continues to escalate and assaults on correctional 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,” said Dean Purdy, BCGEU vice president, Corrections and Sheriff Services, in a news release. “Inmate over-crowding and double-bunking are serious safety issues that increase the threat to staff safety, but we still haven’t seen much movement by management on this issue.”

According to the union, 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 BC show that assaults on officers and inmate-on-inmate violence continues to rise.

“We are 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 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.”

Officers will rally against prison violence on Sept. 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rossland French immersions school to offer high school courses

Expansion decision means students can continue in French to Grade 9

Rossland Council updated on cost of fixing arena

It will cost $700,000+ to get job done

Kootenay cold snap ups energy consumption as high as 75 per cent

On Jan. 14, natural gas use rose 50 per cent compared to the previous Tuesday

Prominent Slocan Valley environmental activist dies

Marilyn Burgoon was ‘tough and determined’

UPDATED: Man dies in backcountry near Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read