From a press release:
A report released today by Simon Fraser University criminologist Neil Boyd presents a disturbing picture of British Columbia’s prisons. The report, “Correctional Officers in British Columbia 2011: Abnormal Working Conditions”, is based on a survey of more than 200 correctional officers in the province.
Among the report’s findings, during the past year:
– More than 90 per cent of correctional officers had been exposed to blood, and more than 75 per cent to feces, spit and urine;
– Two thirds had received a credible threat of harm from an inmate;
– Almost 40 per cent had been hit by feces, urine, vomit or spit, and more than one in four had been physically assaulted by an inmate;
– More than 80 per cent had responded to a serious injury to an inmate, and almost 20 per cent had witnessed the death of an inmate;
– More than 90 per cent indicated their jobs have become more difficult and stressful.
These numbers come at a time when prison populations include increased numbers of mentally disordered inmates and gang involved inmates, and inmate to staff ratios as high as 60 to 1. Prior to 2002 inmate to staff ratios were typically 20 to 1.