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

Salmon Arm beats Vernon in BCHL video final

Silverbacks to meet Cowichan Valley Capitals in league’s simulated video Fred Page Cup final

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

COVID-19: Interior Crisis Line calls increase

Calls directly related to pandemic up 25 per cent over final two weeks of March

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Okanagan nordic centre loses out on 2021 nationals

Sovereign Lake near Vernon was to host 2020 Canadian championships, canceled due to COVID-19

Most Read