Correctional officers will be outside of the Surrey Pretrial Centre on Friday to protest prison violence. (Neil Corbett)

B.C. officers to protest violence against prison guards

Officers will gather for a rally at Surrey Pretrial Centre on Friday

The inmate-to-officer ratio in B.C.’s correctional facilities is as high as 72 to 1, according to one union, and officers have had a enough.

“Prison violence continues to escalate and assaults on corrections officers have skyrocketed,” said Dean Purdy, vice president of corrections and sheriff services with the BC Government Employees Union, in a news release on Wednesday. “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.”

READ MORE: ‘Double-bunking’ still a problem for B.C. provincial jails

Correctional officers plan to protest outside of the Surrey Pretrial Centre on Friday to bring attention to the issue.

Prior to 2001, the inmate-to-officer ration was 20:1. Targeted violence against corrections officers has seen an annual increase over the past five years, according to the 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,” said Purdy.



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

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