Prison guards working without pay complain inmates eating ‘lavish’ meals, mocking them about shutdown

Screengrab FCC Coleman local 506 Joe Rojas

Federal inmates chowing down on “lavish: holiday meals were reportedly taunting corrections officers working without pay because of the government shutdown.

Adding insult to injury, inmates who work at prison jobs like cooking food, mowing lawns and painting buildings are still being paid by the government.

That’s according to NBC News, which reported that prison staff fretting over paying bills and putting food on their tables are not happy with the circumstances.

More hype to stir anxiety about the shutdown?

Likely, yes. But who knew federal inmates got such extravagant meals on special occasions?

How extravagant? NBC News reported inmates at FCI Pekin in Illinois were served steak and shrimp on New Year’s Day, while Cornish hens and Boston Creme pie were on the menu at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

Inmates at a federal institution in Minnesota chowed on “heaping plates of chicken wings.”

Sandy Parr, a food service worker at Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota, told NBC that “it’s frustrating and maddening.”

“You’re giving a gift to somebody who committed a crime, but yet you won’t pay the people who are supervising them?” Parr said.

Joe Rojas, president of The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 506 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Fla., sent the Bureau of Prisons a letter, according to NBC News.

“This is like kicking someone when they are down,” Rojas wrote.

He told NBC News inmates enjoying a New Year’s Day lunch of grilled steak, garlic macaroni biscuits and assorted holiday pies mocked demoralized prison staffers.

“They are getting a lavish meal,” Rojas said, “and we are working the holidays away from our families wondering if we can pay the rent or make it home.”

But don’t worry, the Bureau of Prisons told NBC News in a statement that the lavish meals were planned “weeks in advance” of the government shutdown.

The special meals being served to “promote morale for the inmate population because they are separated from their families.”

“On Christmas, a facility may serve a special meat choice such as Cornish hen or a special dessert,” the statement said.

Only in America.

Tom Tillison


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