January 8, 2018 8:53 am

Union calls for better safety for B.C. jail guards

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Corrections officers across British Columbia are concerned about increased violence in correctional facilities.

READ MORE: Union says 3 correctional officers in Edmonton and Calgary were assaulted

Dean Purdy of the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union says an officer at the Surrey Pre-Trial Centre was attacked by an inmate last week and may lose a finger.

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“The violence has spiked recently, but it is pretty normal to have ongoing violence in our correctional centre. But the assault on our staff is when we really get out backs up because it’s against one of our own.”

He says in some cases, one officer can work with more than 70 inmates.

Purdy says while they’ve met with the government and asked for a number of changes to improve safety, incidents like this make it harder to find employees.

“Our officers are already getting picked up by RCMP and municipal police and to have something like this happen only makes the issue that much harder.”

In an email, BC Corrections says following a safety review in 2016, it made changes aimed at stopping future assaults from happening.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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