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

Rent-It Centre takes over curbside collection contract in Tofino and Ucluelet

Rent It Centre’s bid was $25,865 lower than the only other bidder, SonBird Refuse and Recycling.

Tofino’s first cannabis dispensary opens

“I don’t know where it’s going, but happy how it’s gone so far.”

Tofino welcomes much needed veterinarian to town

West Coast has not had a full-time vet since Dr. Jane Hunt surrendered her licence in 2004.

Looking back on the West Coast’s top 10 news stories

Tofino and Ucluelet’s top headlines of 2019.

Regional district looks at plans for Alberni Valley and West Coast landfills

Current plans were created in 2012 and require updating

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

VIDEO: Ucluelet kids relish snow day on Vancouver Island

“We only get a snow day once a year, maybe.”

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

Most Read