Since 2010, the number of inmate assaults has continued to grow at an alarming rate. The number of assaults has increased from 321 in 2010 to an all-time high of 855 in 2013.
Statistics provided from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services show that from January to July 2014, there have been 448 assaults on staff. If that trend continues, there will be a record number of assaults in 2014.
There were 13 assaults on staff in just a one-week period from October 6-12.
After negotiations with OPSEU, the province is in the process of training and issuing all correctional officers with mandatory safety equipment such as pepper foam (oleoresin capsicum) and handcuffs which is to be carried at all times.
That said, your MERC team has made it clear that unless the root causes of overcrowding, understaffing and inmate living conditions are addressed, we do not expect a significant drop in these unacceptable numbers any time soon.