UPDATED - BCGEU investigating serious fire at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre

The BCGEU is investigating a serious, intentionally set fire on the segregation unit at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre on January 20. Nineteen Correctional Officers required medical attention for smoke inhalation, burning eyes and lungs.

The incident once again raises serious concerns about chronic overcrowding and increasing violence at B.C.’s provincial prisons. A single Correctional Officer was working on the segregation unit when the fire was started last night.

The BCGEU will be working with the Correctional Officers involved in last night's incident to get a complete picture of what happened. Our union will also work with the officers to ensure they get the medical attention required.

We are also contacting the Workers’ Compensation Board which recently conducted a comprehensive review of all provincial prisons and identified serious violations of health and safety regulations.

We will keep members updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATED January 26: The BCGEU has requested a meeting with Mike Morris, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to discuss ongoing issues in the Adult Custody Division and Community Corrections Division. Our union is particularly concerned with the increasing violence in our provincial prisons and the lack of programs available to offenders upon their release.