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View Full Version : Canadian Humor? Off The Deep End.....



imported_Conrad
03-22-2004, 06:48 PM
Monday, March 22, 2004 3:40 p.m. EST
Canadian Prison Guards Forbidden to Wear Protective Gear

Canada's corrections department will not be letting guards at its highest security prisons wear stab-proof vests because, spokesman Tim Krause says, "If you have that kind of presence symbolized by [a stab-proof vest], you're sending a signal to the prisoner that you consider him to be a dangerous person."

In other words, simply by donning protective gear, you might hurt the feelings of a potentially dangerous criminal locked up in a maximum security facility, and therefore guards are not allowed to do so, reports the Calgary Sun.

Oh, and also, according to Krause, "It interferes with what we call 'dynamic security.' We want staff to talk to prisoners, to see how they're doing."

In other words, by trying to protect yourself, you might not be able to ascertain how the inmates really "feel."

Kevin Grabowsky, of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, put it most succinctly: The idea a prisoner might be "offended" is a "complete crock."

One guard at the Edmonton Institution has decided to wear his vest anyway, inexplicably valuing his own life over the feelings of convicted felons, to the complete shock and chagrin of Corrections Canada.

JimD
03-22-2004, 09:12 PM
I think our prison guards should have to do their rounds in their underwear in case the prisoners think the guards are more stylishly dressed than they are. The guards should also intentionally use poor grammar and pretend not to appreciate commonly accepted truths or moral values. That way the prisoners would not be made to feel stupid or anti social. This would at least be a start toward the sort of penal reform our nation is sadly in need of.

Bruce G
03-22-2004, 09:48 PM
Why even have a prison in the first place if you are so worried about their feelings. Hell, they are probably feeling isolated from the world- so just go ahead and let them go free... what stupidity... put a prisoners feelings over a guards safety :(

imported_Conrad
03-22-2004, 11:14 PM
I want to meet the person who thinks these things up! :eek: :D

High C
03-22-2004, 11:22 PM
Just standard political correctness. Who's surprised?

JimD
03-23-2004, 12:10 AM
Also, our inmates should be allowed to drink as much beer as they want while watching NHL players bash each other's heads in on prison tv because beer is a legal substance and besides, what's a hockey game without suds? They should also have as many conjugal visits as they want to promote healthy sexual attitudes and the prison gates should be left open so they can come and go as they please so they don't feel cooped up. And they should be well paid monetarily for being in jail because its not as easy a job as some may think. :(

Ian McColgin
03-23-2004, 08:55 AM
There's been a few years of union-management dispute in Canada about prison management and guard working conditions.

There are two sides here, which the original news story (from the Edmunton Sun, cited by Clagary, cited in part in the above unsoursed article) points out. IE, both union and management are looking at the same general goals.

If one bothers to look back to the stories about the 2003 riots at Kent Maximum and the union's health studies etc, one sees that much of the union's beef is that management has retreated from the idea of a 'correctional' facility. Purely 'punative' facilities are a much worse work environment for guards.

Rather than read a highly biased editorial as if it were a story, how about an actual working newsman's news story?

Wednesday March 17, 2003
Max guard defies rules with stab-proof vest

DOUG BEAZLEY, EDMONTON SUN

Corrections Canada won't let guards at maximum-security prisons wear stab-proof vests because it sends a confrontational "signal" to prisoners, says a department spokesman. "If you have that kind of presence symbolized by (a stab-proof vest), you're sending a signal to the prisoner that you consider him to be a dangerous person," said Tim Krause.

"It interferes with what we call 'dynamic security.' We want staff to talk to prisoners, to see how they're doing."

Guards disagree. Last month, the Sun reported that a guard at the Edmonton Institution - commonly referred to as the Max - had been threatened with disciplinary action several times by prison brass for wearing a self-purchased stab-proof vest on the job.

The guard, who asked not to be named, said he fully intends to wear the vest - made of a light Kevlar layer - when he next works a shift on one of the Max units later this month.

"Yes, I'm violating the rules. But management is stepping on my right to defend myself," he said, adding guards are sometimes forced to work shifts without backup on units where homemade knives have been found.

"What am I supposed to do if something goes wrong? Stand there and say, 'Stab me - I dare ya?'"

The guard said that over the past month, two more Max guards have bought vests, bringing the number of guards at the prison violating the federal equipment code to four.

Kevin Grabowsky, regional president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers and a Max guard for 25 years, said the notion that inmates might be "offended" by the sight of a guard wearing light armour is a "complete crock."

"You don't go to a max pen for stealing candy from the 7-Eleven," he said. "A lot of these guys are career criminals.

"The feds treat dynamic security like it's the be-all and end-all. We agree with the need to communicate with inmates. But we can't do our jobs without tools. Would you ask a cop to take his gun off before going into a domestic dispute, because someone might be offended by it? It's ludicrous."
http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/EdmontonSun/News/2004/03/17/384726.html

Anyone notice the difference between a news story about a working conditions dispute and an editorial about 'coddling criminals'?

High C
03-23-2004, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
....Rather than read a highly biased editorial as if it were a story, how about an actual working newsman's news story?....Anyone notice the difference between a news story about a working conditions dispute and an editorial about 'coddling criminals'?A difference without a distinction. The underlying facts remain the same in both articles. It's poor policy, and endangers those guards. Foolish, whatever the motivation.

Ian McColgin
03-23-2004, 09:27 AM
First off a caveat, which should be plain enough since I source the stories.

The unsourced editorial claimse to cite the Calgary Sun.

My source for a news story was the Edmunton Sun. So far as I can tell from their web sites, it's the same story.

What are they, companion papers?

I source it precisely because the Calgary Sun article which I could not raise in all its glory, might indeed be a bit different.

Now, to the point about why High C is right off the chart on this one: The editorial makes an inferance as if it were a fact and as if it were carried by the news story rather than by the editorialist's opinion:

"In other words, simply by donning protective gear, you might hurt the feelings of a potentially dangerous criminal locked up in a maximum security facility, and therefore guards are not allowed to do so, reports the Calgary Sun."

The news story reports a corrections department policy, not an issue of 'hurt feelings.'

This is actually huge spin, taking the issue away from the guards legitimate concern for how a corrections facility is run as a correction facility - a major union concern for the last dozen years - and over to a ridicule and punish the offenders bit that will infact do nothing to support the long term safety of the guards.

One may legitimately editorialize in different directions from common facts. But an editorial becomes a bit of baseless propaganda when it pretzels one issue into a different one with misleading claims about what was 'reported' in the news.

There is a difference between news and reasonable opinion and propaganda. I am ever so sorry that ideologues cannot recognise it.

[ 03-23-2004, 09:28 AM: Message edited by: Ian McColgin ]

High C
03-23-2004, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
There is a difference between news and reasonable opinion and propaganda. I am ever so sorry that ideologues cannot recognise it.http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/oliphant/oa048.jpg

Bruce Taylor
03-23-2004, 09:41 AM
What are they, companion papers?Yup. The Sun Media chain owns tabloids in 8 of Canada's bigger cities. All of them feature splashy covers, local girls in skimpy clothes, graphic images from car wrecks, and plenty of hack and slash conservative commentary.

http://www.quebecor.com/htmen/2_0/images/img_2_1.jpg

Ian McColgin
03-23-2004, 10:01 AM
Good quip High C.

In my day I've done lots of investigative work. We had to be spot on with the facts. Sued thrice for lible and in each case, truth is a defence and we won.

I've also worked for a politician and I know the evolution from trying to understand which level of practical compromise is best to how to 'spin' the issue to make it seem even better.

Having written stuff that was fact and 'objective' analysis (that is, at least making all biases and hypotheses plain) and having written stuff that's 'editorial' and having certainly written my share of 'propaganda,' I can lay reasonable claim to seeing the difference.

Nothing wrong with having deeply held opinions, but any opinion that becomes a truth filter is a serious self-limitation.

It's persuasive when you use objective analysis as a tool for persuasion. It's acceptable politics to reduce analysis to propaganda. (Fun, too.)

But it's actually lieing to put propaganda forward as if it were fact. It's lieing to one's self to confuse one's own propaganda with an objective search for truth. When you believe your own press releases, you're riding for a fall.

WWheeler
03-23-2004, 10:49 AM
...on the other hand, prisoners have been prohibited from smoking, in order to meet union demands to protect guards from second-hand smoke. Caused a riot in several prisons.



Prisoners in Alberta jails may be about to lose one more freedom, the freedom to smoke.

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, AUPE, representing correctional employees, wants a total indoor and outdoor ban on smoking in provincial jails, including the Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Centre.

It‘s long overdue, says Fort Correction Centre guard and city councillor, Don Westman.
I don’t know what they’re (the province is) waiting on. AUPE President Dan MacLennan says they’re responding to health concerns from prison employees exposed to second hand smoke.

an easy google, for those interested.