Kamloops correctional officers to rally against prison violence

A number of correctional officers will be protesting outside the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre (KRCC) on Oct. 17. 

The event is being organized "to bring attention to the rapidly increasing incidents of violence against correctional officers," states a news release from the British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU).

Violent incidents have been rising every year for the last five years, notes the BCGEU. 

"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," says Dean Purdy, BCGEU vice-president of corrections and sheriff services, in 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 the issue," he adds.

According to the BCGEU, prior to 2001, the inmate-to-staff ratio in B.C.'s correctional facilities was capped at 20:1; it's now as high as 72:1.

The BCGEU has held similar rallies in Surrey, Prince George, Maple Ridge, Oliver and on Vancouver Island.

The Kamloops protest will run from noon to 1:30 p.m, at 2250 Trans Canada Highway.

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