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Escape prompts precautions

Jermaine Carvery’s escape from custody last week has promptedcorrections officers to start refusing to escort some prisoners thisweek because of ongoing safety concerns.

Jermaine Carvery’s escape from custody last week has prompted corrections officers to start refusing to escort some prisoners this week because of ongoing safety concerns.

Jim Gosse, the president of local 480 Nova Scotia Government and Employees Union that represents corrections officers, said officers refused to transport a prisoner Tuesday due to inadequate staffing.

“If they notice that there are issues, whether it be one of security concerns, lack of equipment, insufficient or inadequate staffing, then they’ll be refusing under the (Occupational Health and Safety) Act,” Gosse said yesterday.

The Justice Department did not return calls on the issue.

The union says Carvery’s escape points to inadequate training and equipment provided to the province’s corrections officials.

“We’re taking out potentially dangerous offenders and we’re taking them out into communities where you and I both live. If we’re going to do that safely, we need the tools to do the job,” Gosse said.

Corrections officers receive training for applying leg and hand restraints, but none for the transporting prisoners, which they do about a dozen times a week, Gosse said.

 
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