POLITICS

Newfoundland and Labrador minister to check on 24-hour shifts at penitentiary

06/10/2015 04:04 EDT | Updated 06/10/2016 05:59 EDT
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador's Justice minister says he'll look into opposition claims that Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's is dangerously understaffed.

Darin King says he's not aware of 24-hour shifts worked by guards and other issues raised by an NDP critic in the legislature.

Gerry Rogers said during question period that last month alone there were 25 incidents where correctional officers worked 24 hours straight.

A 2008 review of the provincial prison system called the practice "unacceptable" and warned staff can't be expected to function past 16 straight hours.

Rogers says staff shortages mean inmates miss programs and recreation as tensions rise and lockdowns increase.

King says he's not involved in staffing decisions but will look into the matter.