Once again we find another absolutely ridiculous result of the supposed government shutdown.
If you recall, only non-essential federal employees were being furloughed without pay while workers deemed essential would continue to work and be paid. Now ask yourself if guards at federal prisons are essential or non-essential workers? I know the only ones stumped on that question would be true blondes. But what if I told you that even though federal prison guards are essential and are still working, they are not being paid?
Yep, that’s right. According to Sandy Parr who represents over 38,000 federal prison guards from around the country, they have been deemed essential workers and have been ordered to show up for work. However, Parr says that the guards are not being paid during the shutdown, even though they risk their lives each and every day.
To add insult to injury, Parr says that inmates who work and live at the federal prisons continue to get paid, even though the guards aren’t. Jeff Roberts, a federal prison employee stated:
“The inmates who have committed the crimes in this country and are incarcerated by violating the laws of common society, they’re not affected by the shutdown, but the employees that we trust to keep our communities safe are.”
If guards are not being paid, then what would happen if one of them was injured on the job accidentally or by an inmate? Would their medical be covered? If a guard is killed on duty while not being paid, would the guard’s family receive the death benefit? Remember that they withheld the death benefit from the families of fallen servicemen until Congress stepped in.
This makes as much sense as National Park Rangers being paid to keep people out of the parks during the shutdown. After all, if the rangers are still getting paid, then why weren’t they able to allow visitors to the parks? Why did they have to shut down private businesses including those that generate money for federal government at a time they need it the most.
If you live near a federal prison and felt uneasy before, you may want to make sure that you take extra precautions to keep your house locked and secured and that you arm yourself just in case. I know I would.