The next thing you know, we’ll be giving inmates beer

Re: “Drugs don’t belong in prisons,” David Marsden, Opinion, Feb. 4.

I was a correctional officer in Manitoba for several years in the 1960s, before transferring to the sheriff’s department.

I agree with David Marsden’s views on this subject matter. How long will it be before correctional services starts to give inmates beer as a pacifier?

It takes excellent leadership from the top, Correctional Service of Canada, wardens and chief correctional officers to prevent drugs from entering the institution. The chief correctional officer I worked under carried out systematic searches on a routine basis.

Whenever I worked on other shifts, chief correctional officers were not as responsible in conducting searches. They would rather put in their shift time without creating any hassle from the inmate population.

Do as little as possible was the name of the game, so as not to generate any paperwork.

Some correctional officers who had more than 20 years experience did as little as possible, and never carried out any difficult institutional tasks in bad weather, such as hospital escorts, sports field patrol and farm and institutional perimeter patrols.

They sat on their butts for eight hours and never missed their coffee breaks.

Many correctional officers who had other employment did less on the midnight to 8 a.m. shift so that they would be ready and rested for their other job.

Fred Gifford, Red Deer

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