As the government shutdown approaches four weeks, the longest in history, the negative effects become more
apparent. Inmates at federal prisons have been unable to visit with family members and attorneys. In some cases inmates medications have been withheld. A group of inmates at Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan have responded by going on a hunger strike in protest.
MMC was already short-staffed but now the shutdown has only made things worse. Not only have family visits and recreation time been canceled but more importantly, medical care is being negatively impacted as inmates cannot get their medications or access to providers. In addition, commissaries are low on stock to the point of rationing some essential supplies and classes, transfers and library access have been canceled.
A writer for the ACLU, Daniel McGowan, stated that “visits are a critical part of prison life. They help prisoners connect to the outside world, build and repair relationships with their families, and aid reentry, all of which contribute to reducing recidivism,” he wrote.