05/01/2012 06:01 EDT | Updated 07/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Saskatchewan Triple Bunking: Don Morgan Justice Minister Says Public Safety First Priority

REGINA - Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan says if maintaining public safety means it's necessary to triple-bunk prisoners in cells, then so be it.

Morgan was responding to questions from the Opposition New Democrats about overcrowding in correctional centres.

NDP Leader John Nilson asked about the impact of Bill C-10, the federal bill that increases sentences for drug and sex offences and reduces the use of conditional sentences such as house arrest.

Critics say the changes will do nothing for public safety and will increase jail populations.

Morgan says the province wants to get drug dealers and sex offenders off the street and will make space in jails if needed.

He says the bill will impact the jail population, but he won't speculate on how much.

The exchange in the legislature came after Saskatchewan's ombudsman noted in his annual report released Monday that correctional centres in Saskatchewan already house almost twice as many inmates as they were designed to hold.

Also on HuffPost

15 Things Critics Fear In The Tory Crime Bil