Corrections officers facing charges for doing their jobs - BCGEU

Four of our own are facing criminal charges after coming to the aid of a fellow correctional officer, who was violently attacked.

In September 2017, a living unit officer at a regional correctional centre in the Lower Mainland was the victim of an unprovoked, violent attack by an inmate. A number of your brothers and sisters responded to this emergency and eventually secured the inmate.

After an internal investigation, eight responding officers were dismissed and six were disciplined. A report on the incident was forwarded to the Maple Ridge RCMP, who conducted an investigation and made no recommendation with respect to laying charges against any of the officers. The inmate who assaulted the unit officer was not criminally charged.

In November 2018 the crown prosecutor filed criminal charges of 'assault causing bodily harm' against four of the correctional officers in connection with this incident. These officers and their brothers have also been engaged in a labour relations dispute since December 2017 and the matter is currently in arbitration. 

Without prejudicing the case, we note that this situation could happen to any one of us working in corrections and sheriff services. The Union will vigorously defend our members, despite the lack of support from the employer. We are all on trial every day, so we must stand together and support our colleagues.

In solidarity,

Dean Purdy
VP Corrections and Sheriff Services Component