02/17/2014 03:38 EST | Updated 04/19/2014 05:59 EDT

Guards want more done to protect against violence in Newfoundland prison

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Correctional officers are looking for more protection against what they say is an increase in violence at Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's, N.L.

About 50 unionized workers gathered to protest outside the gates of the prison today.

Guard Paul Taylor says the officers want the Department of Justice to outfit them with sidearms such as pepper spray.

Taylor says they also want to see more staff and the ratio between inmates and guards increased.

Justice Minister Darin King says an operational review will focus on a recent attack in the prison chapel, but will also look at conditions leading up to the incident, safety protocols and the subsequent lockdown and response.

King says the findings will not be made public because of security concerns.