Attack on Springhill Institution correctional officer highlights need for better staffing, tools



    MONCTON, Nov. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - A young correctional officer at
medium-security Springhill Institution was hospitalized with a severe
concussion this week after a brutal, unprovoked assault by an inmate.
    The officer was alone in a corridor with about 75 inmates being moved to
the institution's dining hall at lunch time Wednesday when he was attacked
from behind and left unconscious on the floor. A suspect in the attack has
been transferred to the segregation unit at Atlantic Institution in Renous,
NB.
    The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO-SACC-CSN) says the
incident underscores the need for tighter security measures in federal
medium-security institutions. About 800 inmates are housed in medium-security
prisons in Atlantic region, including 380 at Springhill Institution.
    "No officer should ever be working alone with that volume of inmates,"
said Paul Harrigan, UCCO-SACC-CSN Atlantic Regional President. "Our offender
profiles are changing; there is more violence, more gang members and less
control. Our ways of managing our institutions must change as well."
    The injured officer has worked at Springhill Institution for two years
and is the father of three young children.
    "We're lucky this inmate wasn't armed. We need to be better prepared and
better equipped. Correctional Service Canada should supply stab-proof vests
for every correctional officer working in medium-security prisons given the
increasingly violent inmates we deal with," said Mr. Harrigan.




For further information:

For further information: Paul Harrigan, UCCO-SACC-CSN Atlantic Regional
President, (506) 470-9450; Lyle Stewart, CSN communications service, (514)
796-2066


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