A workplace inspection review completed by the Labour Department supports the refusal of some corrections officers in the province to do inmate transfers.
The Justice Department received the results of the review Friday and the report includes a list of 14 orders that the department will have to answer to by May 30.
“The most important one of all is that the department itself has upheld the right of our members to refuse (to do transfers) in saying that they believe there is reasonable cause to have concern for one’s safety in facilitating the outside escorts,” said Jim Gosse, president of the union representing corrections officers in the province.
Corrections officers at the Burnside jail and other facilities in the province have been refusing to do inmate transfers since dangerous offender Jermaine Carvery escaped while being transferred for minor day surgery April 3.
The guards say they aren’t properly trained or equipped to perform outside escorts and have been asking Justice Minister Cecil Clarke to provide them with batons, pepper spray and even Tasers.
Gosse said the report orders the Justice Department to do more work looking into equipment used for transfers in other provinces, to remedy officers’ lack of training and to ensure inmates’ criminal histories are considered when assessing their risk level for outside escorts. The Justice Department said in a release the 14 compliance orders are being reviewed by staff and a response will be issued when the review is complete.