Guard overwork cited in death of prison inmate

A grieving family is thinking about suing after a coroner determined that overwork may have played a role in a death at Orsainville Prison in the Quebec City region in 2016.  

After three previous attempts, inmate Gaetan Laurion hanged himself in his cell in the prison infirmary.  

A coroner discovered that the guard who was supposed to monitoring surveillance cameras was asleep at his post, having worked 45 hours in the previous three days.  

Another guard who was supposed to be doing rounds every half hour neglected them for two hours running.  

The guards' union tells La Presse that it is loathe to tell guards to limit their overtime, as most are able to determine how many extra hours they can handle without compromising performance.  

The union also says a hiring freeze implemented in 2015 means more overtime is being demanded, and is sometimes made mandatory..