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.”
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.