The Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre at 4216 Wilkinson Rd. was cited in a recent Auditor General progress audit on correctional facilities as the worst offender in B.C. for overcrowding, with 66 per cent of inmates “double bunked” as of 2018. (Koa Barroeta photo)

Overcrowding, targeted violence spur protest at Saanich jail

Correctional officers to rally outside Wilkinson jail Friday morning

Overcrowding in B.C.’s correctional facilities and targeted violence towards correctional officers has motivated a protest, set to hit the Wilkinson Road jail Friday morning.

The Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre at 4216 Wilkinson Rd. was cited in a recent Auditor General progress audit on correctional facilities as the worst offender in B.C. for overcrowding, with 66 per cent of inmates “double bunked” as of 2018. When the audit began in 2015, the target was half that, set at 32 per cent shared living units.

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

“We are the only jail in Canada that has one officer with up to 72 inmates. It’s not good enough,” said Dean Purdy, BCGEU vice president, Corrections and Sheriff Services. “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.”

Prior to 2001, the inmate-to-staff ratio in B.C.’s correctional facilities was capped at 20 to 1. The ratio is now as high as 72 to 1, according to the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union.

RELATED: B.C. officers to protest violence against prison guards

Targeted violence towards correctional officers has been on the increase every year for the past five years.

“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 Purdy. “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.”

The protest Friday is expected to run 10 a.m. to noon at the jail in Saanich.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Trio brings roller skating fever to Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

HISTORY: How a lighthouse came to Sooke

Elida Peers | Contributed Last week a young boy in a family… Continue reading

Most Read