Union of Canadian Correctional Officers will gather in Calgary on September 15th to draw attention to dangerous work conditions, overcrowding and risk to Canadian safety.
MONTREAL, Sept. 11, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Over 500 members of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO-SACC-CSN) are expected to gather in Calgary on Saturday, September 15th to draw attention to what is happening in Canada's correctional institutions. "For years we have heard Prime Minister Harper and his party talk about getting 'tough on crime'. The reality is that federal policies are making prisons tough on correctional officers, with increased risk, and will make many inmates more dangerous to our communities once they are released," says Pierre Mallette, National President of UCCO-SACC-CSN, representing correctional officers at Canada's fifty-two federal institutions.
Over the past three weeks Mallette and representatives from UCCO-SACC-CSN have been traveling across Canada meeting with correctional officers to hear first hand what is happening in Canada's prisons. "Our members are telling us that today's prisons are a much more violent place than they were six years ago when the Conservatives took power," said Mallette. "
During his tour Mallette and UCCO-SACC-CSN representatives heard about the rise of gangs in prisons; the impact of overcrowding; and the cutbacks to programs that help rehabilitate inmates. "The message is loud and clear. The current 'tough on crime' approach is not working when it comes to handling Canada's prison population," according to Mallette. "Canadians need to know that once these inmates are released from prisons they are at increased risk of reoffending."
The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers has made a request to meet with federal officials to discuss ways of protecting Canadians and officer safety without any success. "We are coming to the Prime Minister's riding before the House resumes with a message to him and his constituents. It's time to put away the rhetoric and sit down with the professionals who are responsible for keeping Canadians safe," said Mallette. "Cutting millions from Correctional Services Canada's budget, closing prisons and reducing rehabilitation programs are not the answer."
On Saturday, September 15th members of UCCO-SACC-CSN will hold a march and rally in front of the Prime Minister's constituency office located at 1600 - 90th Avenue SW in Calgary at 1:00 PM followed by door knocking campaign in the riding of Calgary Southwest.
The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers represents 7,400 correctional officers working in Canada's 52 federal penitentiaries.
SOURCE: UNION OF CANADIAN CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS (UCCO-SACC-CSN)
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