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Component 1 - Rally Against Prison Violence - BCGEU

DATE:             Monday, September 9, 2019

TIME:              11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

LOCATION:    Okanagan Correctional Centre
                        200 Enterprise Way
                        Oliver, BC 


Correctional officers will be protesting outside of the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC) to bring attention to the rapidly increasing incidents of violence against correctional officers. 

Targeted violence towards Correctional Officers has been on the increase every year for the past five years. Yet the lack of support from the Corrections Branch continues today. 

"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," says Dean Purdy, BCGEU vice president, Corrections and Sheriff Services. "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."

Prior to 2001, the inmate-to-staff ratio in BC'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, BC's correctional officers will continue to be put at high risk."