What Would Happen to Prisons if The Government Shut Down?
A correctional officer in my camp said they should be allowed to stand on the roof with rifles.
On a good day, I would say about half the COs working in this camp don’t do their job properly — and they’re being paid to be here. So you can imagine, if they weren’t being paid, in the instance of a government shutdown, they likely wouldn’t show up at all. In 2019 when our government did shutdown, Federal prisons were affected, along with other aspects of the government, and federal workers weren’t paid — while Trump attempted to hold the government hostage in order to get 5 billion dollars for his “wall”.
During this shutdown, COs at federal prisons were forced in some cases to take on second jobs, go into debt, and still maintain their positions at correctional facilities in order to take care of their families. While some probably stopped going to work (by quitting) and others were furloughed, there were a large number who did continue to come to work daily while not being paid.
In an already stressful job, I would imagine going every single day, not knowing when that paycheck would come just added to the stress. Add further stress to the situation: programs were being cut right and left, inmates were not getting regular visits with their family and friends, there were no staff members there to go over their files to approve releases, and myriad other things that should have been regular daily occurrences. Things got exceptionally rough behind bars, more than they typically already are.
A few days ago when we were at yard, my friend D asked a CO what he thought would happen if the state government shutdown, regarding prisons. He added to it by saying, “What I mean is, if there are no COs being paid to come to work, wouldn’t they have to let everyone go home on an ankle monitor and parole to serve out their sentences or something like that? At least until the shutdown was handled?”
It was an honest and earnest question, he wasn’t being a smartass. He genuinely wondered how the situation would be handled. I know in our state, when there’s a state of emergency, the National Guard can be called up to provide security in prisons, so I believe that might be how a…