As the federal government shutdown enters month two, federal prisons are struggling amid a shortage of staff and resources. CNN reports that the shutdown is causing workers to log double shifts. In an attempt to ease the problem- maintenance and medical staff workers are filling in for corrections officers.
Last week at the Metropolitan Correction Center in New York inmates initiated a hunger strike to protest the cancelation of family visits due to low staff.
Eric Young from the American Federation of Government Employees and President of the Council of Prison Locals, wrote a letter to senators last Tuesday urging lawmakers to end the shutdown. Prison employees are working mandatory overtime hours without pay. Young stated, “. . . .
We already work in a dangerous and stressful environment where going to work distracted or fatigued can lead to serious injury or death.”
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) both met with federal employees including Bureau of Prisons staff and local prison workers calling attention to all those who risk their lives each day and now are working without pay.
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