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

PHOTOS: Check out the bells and whistles added to Westhills Stadium

Rick Stiebel/News Staff Clusters of tradespeople buzzing around busy with last-minute preparations… Continue reading

Victoria contractors file civil claims for work on Sooke Tim Hortons, Petro Canada

Contractors file civil suits against Petromaxx, T’Sou-ke First Nation

Both suspects arrested from Oak Bay armed robbery

Perpetrators allegedly used a firearm to rob Oak Bay Avenue resident

Saanich councillor slams McKenzie Interchange Project

Coun. Judy Brownoff said the project will only create more greenhouses gases and traffic

VIDEO: Come along for the ride on Tour de Victoria

Reporter captures video footage of his Tour de Victoria ride

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

66% of B.C. residents want opt-out system for organ donation: poll

Support was lowest in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces

Vancouver Island rainbow crosswalk covered in mysterious black substance

Black substance spilled intentionally near Qualicum Beach school and difficult to remove

RCMP originally planned to arrest Meng Wanzhou on plane, defence lawyers say

The allegations have not been proven in court. Meng was arrested Dec. 1 at Vancouver airport at the behest of the U.S.

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Ethics commissioner ready to testify on Trudeau, SNC-Lavalin: NDP critic

A new poll suggests the report hasn’t so far hurt the Liberals’ chances of re-election this fall

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month

Prices showed strength in other areas, including an 18.9 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

Most Read