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Federal correctional officers in B.C. to protest 'increasing' violence, assaults

According to the union, officers are left with physical and psychological injuries from work.

Federal correctional officers in B.C. are planning to protest violence they are experiencing on the job.

A group of them plans to gather on April 18 at the Correctional Service of Canada Pacific Regional headquarters building in Abbotsford at 11:30 a.m. 

The union representing the officers released a statement on Wednesday stating, "violence doesn’t stop at the walls."

According to the union, the protest is to denounce violence against the officers who are routinely subjected to physical and verbal assault.

"It is not uncommon for them to leave their shifts with physical and psychological injuries,” says a spokesperson with the union. 

"These working conditions and operating under a management structure that is systemically disconnected and unsupportive to the front-line needs has caused one of the worst diagnosed mental health crises documented in Canadian history.”

Between 100 and 150 members are expected to participate in the rally.

On April 11, correctional officers gathered in Laval, Que. to also protest the same concerns in penitentiaries. 

Several union representatives will be at the protest on Thursday. 

Nearly $300,000 worth of drugs and items were recently seized inside a medium-security prison in B.C. In March, staff members working at Mission Institution found and seized two smartphones and accessories, methamphetamine and other undisclosed drugs. 

In February, Correctional Service Canada staff at Kent Institution discovered and seized a drone, cannabis concentrate, and handmade weapons. That same month, Kent Institution staff members found contraband and unauthorized items with an estimated institutional value of $17,800.

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