CALGARY, Sept. 15, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Over 500 members of the Union of
Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO-SACC-CSN) marched to and rallied
in front of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Calgary constituency office
today to deliver a message that the government's 'Tough on Crime'
policies are failing correctional officers and Canadians.
"For the last number of years we have been hearing about the
government's crime and safety agenda," said Pierre Mallette, National
President of UCCO-SACC-CSN. "What we see is a failing policy that is
putting correctional officers at risk and ultimately Canadians."
During the past three weeks Mallette and members of his executive have
traveled across the country meeting with correctional officers to hear
first hand what is happening in Canada's fifty-two correctional
facilities. In these meetings he has heard about the rising number of
attacks on correctional officers, the growth of gangs in prisons and
the increase in overcrowding resulting in double bunking.
Kevin Grabowsky, UCCO-SACC-CSN Regional President for the Prairies
pointed out, "The government is locking up more inmates in fewer
prisons while giving us less resources to rehabilitate them. This is a
recipe for disaster," He went on to say, "We have requested to sit down
with the government to find a solution but so far we have heard
Even Howard Sapers the federal correctional investigator pointed out
recently in the Calgary Herald, "Because of overcrowding, fewer
prisoners have access to programs and education designed to help their
rehabilitation." He went on to warn, "This is not the best combination
for public safety,"
"Canadians need to know how the Harper policies will affect them," said
Mallette. "What happens inside our facilities tends to follow on the
outside. Gangs and violence becomes a way of life for inmates. We are
moving away from a system of rehabilitation to an American system of
warehousing prisoners that will have long term consequences"
UCCO-SACC-CSN members followed up their rally with a canvass of Prime
Minister Harper's riding of Calgary-Southwest knocking on over 10,000
doors to raise their issue and asking voters to sign a letter and
The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers represents 7,400
correctional officers working in Canada's 52 federal penitentiaries.
Note to media:
Representatives of UCCO-SACC-CSN from the various regions are available
for interview in both official languages.
SOURCE: UNION OF CANADIAN CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS (UCCO-SACC-CSN)
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