Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Swallowing Bitter Pills and Searching for Alice

Today's Edmonton Sun newspaper ran an article (p.35, Program has inmates supervised by 'lifers'" by Kathleen Harris) about an "in-reach" socialization programme being run by the Correctional Service of Canada. To summarize, the CSC is paying $55,000 per inmate (there are currently 24 occupying thes positions) to groups like the John Howard and St. Leonard Societies. This has been penned the "Lifeline" programme and the criteria for the position states that the individual must be a "Lifer" (that is someone who has been sentenced to life in prison for murder) who has been paroled for at least five years, and still under community supervison. The role of this former inmate is to take currently incarcerated inmates out for shopping trips or transfers to halfway houses. The mentality behind this programme is that current inmates will conduct these affairs with a peer as opposed to a Correctional Officer or individual who represents "authority". To this point, I can see the intention behind this programme. Idealistically (a word I use tongue in cheek after four years as an Officer in a Maximum Security prison), a former inmate modelling life as a law abiding citizen in the community, inspite of 15+ years of incarceration time to a convict presently serving a sentence is a good idea.
…Then, as always, in true CSC style, there is the proverbial kick in the nuts. To quote directly from the article: "According to the CSC, each lifer draws a salary of at least $41,000 a year, with the rest covering program administration costs."
Here's my outrage: In the CSC there are two Correctional Officer designations, CO1 and CO2. The annual salary range at present for a CO1 is $34,277 - $50,071, and for a CO2, $40,379 - $53,137. My present salary, as I am just shy of four years of service, is $37,683. So, a lifer paroled in the community is paid $3,317 MORE than I am working for the same Service in a Max as a Guard!
Yes folks, this comes from the same Service who would not permit Officers to wear handcuffs or stab-resistant vest because they were considered "intimidating" and did not foster a sense of trust with the inmates. I am truly employed in Wonderland - O Alice, wherefore art thou???!!!! Upon reflecting on the courses I took by attending University, I have re-evaluated that, as our politicians clearly portray, crime does pay! It's not the degree(s) that you have (I have a BA and BEd.), but whether or not it's in the first or second.... manslaughter inmates need not apply!


  • At 4:52 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The innocent do not come to the max. What did you do?


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