Corrections officials have turned down a proposal for a sign language course for inmates because of security concerns.

The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers said an inmate committee at Stony Mountain Institution had asked for a sign language course and had offered to pay for it through inmate funds.

The proposal, however, drew concerns from some corrections officers who worried sign language could be used as a tool for inmates to communicate information about drug deals, beatings or even riots without guards catching on.

"It's pretty dangerous for us. We believe it's a security breach all the way around," said Kevin Grabowsky from the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers.

When contacted on Thursday, officials at Stony Mountain said the sign language course was only a proposal.

Late Thursday afternoon, officials from the Correctional Service of Canada called CTV News and said the proposal had been denied because of security concerns.

- with a report from CTV's Stacey Ashley