The Government Shutdown
Most of us non-government employees never fully realized the effect that the total government shutdown would have on our own lives. Although I remember government shutdowns in the past, I dont remember it ever effecting me like this one. Maybe because it was shutdown for over a month. But in federal prison, all staff and guards are paid by the government, and when it shuts down, they stop getting paid. And although they are considered "necessary" staff, they all are required to report to work daily. Any yes, they will get paid eventually, but after three week health insurance stops getting paid, benifits shut down, which becomes a real crisis for many people. To say being an officer of the law, specifically a guard in a maximum security prison is stressful and often hard work is an understatement. But not getting paid, but still required to show up everyday make a difficult job that much more difficult. Often what makes prison most doable for us inmates are the programs if offers, and a few days of good food served. When funding is cut off programs stop, educational programs, recreational programs, as well as staff shortage occurs as non essential staff are furloughed and officers "call in" much more frequently when they dont have the incentive of getting paid. Officers are in prisons to maintain control and ultimitely keep inmates safe from each other. And again without the incentive of a paycheck motivation to risk your own life to help another dwindles substancially. Medical care becomes limited, and even the food we are served and quanity we are served changes. Grateful that the government is back in session and hopeful it will remain the case for time to come.