The government shutdown is hitting close to home for some prison workers. Until the budget is signed, the 300 people who work at the federal prison are forced to go to work without pay.
Dave Dauman, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council of Prison Locals, said they are exempt from furloughs. They’re responsible for managing a prison population of about 1,100 men.
Dauman said morale is down because families are wondering how they’re going to make ends meet. Despite the shutdown, he said the prisoners they're guarding are still getting paid.
"They get paid with a little different funding. It's called a trust fund account,” said Dauman. “However, some of that money comes from the federal budget so the work they'll do at the institution they'll still get paid for."
Dauman said the last time this happened was in 1995 and workers went 21 days without pay. The workers will eventually get their back pay but that doesn't stop the late fees and penalties they face for paying their bills late.
“We do a job that’s very dangerous. People get hurt daily. It’s time for our government to step up and sign a budget,” Dauman said.
News3 tried to contact officials at the Department of Justice, however, the people who answer the media line are furloughed. We also tried to contact leaders at the prison in Oxford. Our calls to the warden were not returned.