Earlier today, we sent this letter to the new Minister of Public Safety. This meeting is imperative to clearly define the priorities related to the issues that affect us daily in our role as correctional officers.
We can testify every day that inmates have fewer and fewer consistent disciplinary consequences and/or consequences for the actions they take while incarcerated. Violence is increasing, and assaults on staff are also on the rise at an alarming rate.
In addition, we want to discuss our work tools and those we need to obtain to do our jobs properly. And of course, we want to discuss the harmful needle exchange program and its more coherent and effective alternatives.
Let’s be Proud, United and Strong.
Dear Minister Leblanc:
First and foremost, on behalf of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers‐CSN (UCCO‐SACC‐ CSN), I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as our new Minister of Public Safety. I am the National President of UCCO‐SACC‐CSN representing nearly 7,400 Correctional Officers employed by the Correctional Service of Canada. Canada’s Federal Correctional Officers perform one of the most difficult and dangerous occupations as agents of Public Safety 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week/365 days a year. Our membership is facing increasingly dangerous work conditions since the last few years.
I am writing you this letter as it is my hope that we can meet shortly to discuss some very important issues faced by our members. There are three key issues that I envision for our initial conversation. First, UCCO‐SACC‐CSN hopes to discuss the rise of the violence in correctional institutions across the country and the lack of inmate accountability. Assaults on inmates by inmates, assault on civil staff and on correctional officers are dramatically rising. We would also like to discuss necessary funding for better tools and technology to do our jobs and also a process to expedite that purchase. We are also seeing a significant increase in drug introduction as a result of the significant drone use as you might have seen in the media. We would like to have a conversation on the protracted actions taken by Correctional Service of Canada so far. Finally, we would like our discussion to touch on the challenges associated with CSC harm‐reduction programs. At this moment, the Overdose Prevention Sites (“OPS”) have been shown to be more suitable from the health and safety point of view as well as better from a rehabilitation perspective than the Prison Needle Exchange Program. We would like to discuss your support for the implementation of the OPS.
We look forward to discussing these crucial issues with you. I am frequently in the National Capital Region along with members of the National Executive and advisors and would, very much, welcome a meeting with your office at your earliest convenience.
Once again, our sincere congratulations for your appointment and we are looking forward to working with your office.