(THE NEW/files) Correctional officers protested in front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre, calling for better working conditions last month.

Letter: Justice, prison reform needed

‘Corrections’ is a misnomer.

Editor, The News:

Re: Guards hold noon-hour protest over safety in front of Fraser Regional prison.

Other countries around the world, even the U.S., led by Donald Trump, have instituted justice and prison reform to begin to address antiquated and ineffective systems that do little other than guarantee a revolving-door, so-called ‘correction’ system.

It is disheartening that Dean Purdy, of the BCGEU, and his members are more concerned with protecting those guards that were fired and disciplined for their behaviour rather than using their influence and power to address the core issues for the violence itself and the very broken ‘correction’ system.

‘Corrections’ is a misnomer. There is no rehabilitation, no education opportunity, no job preparation, no drug or mental health assistance.

People who have proven their inability to live within our social norms, most of whom have mental health and addiction problems, are caged as commodities with no attempt to address the issues that brought them to this place, virtually guaranteeing more of the same in the future.

Anyone interested will see news reports, documentaries, books and articles about beatings, rapes, suspicious-circumstance deaths, drug addiction, gangs, and more, within the walls of our institutions.

Much of this information comes from persons intimately knowledgeable of the system itself, such as ex-wardens, who have tried to fight the bureaucracy, to no avail.

Taxpayers, and those working within the system who genuinely wish to see improvement for all concerned should refuse to be complicit in this failure and demand better from those in positions of authority.

Noella Neale

Port Coquitlam

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