Inmates Eat Lavish Meals During Shutdown While Prison Workers Go Unpaid

The government shutdown has created an interesting situation at prisons across the nation. 

Florida inmates feasted on lavish holiday meals of grilled steak, garlic macaroni biscuits and holiday pies while guards watched as they work without pay. 

Several workers told NBC News about the aggravating turn of events where staffers are already fretting about bills to pay and children to feed.

Inmates at FCI Pekin in Illinois enjoyed a fancy meal of steak and shrimp on New Years. Cornish hen and Boston Creme pie were on the menu at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. And the prisoners at a federal institution in Minnesota received heaping piles of chicken wings . 

"You're giving a gift to somebody who committed a crime, but yet you won't pay the people who are supervising them?" Sandy Parr, a food service foreman at Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota told NBC News. "It's frustrating and maddening."

To make matters worse, the working inmates were still drawing government paychecks for their prison jobs, which include painting buildings, cooking meals, and mowing lawns. 

Joe Rojas, president of The American Federation of Government Employees at the Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Fla. told NBC News some inmates mocked the demoralized prison staffers while they enjoyed their yummy New Years meals. 

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

Some prison guards are being forced to get second jobs or work 16 hour shifts due to the lack of staff willing to work without pay. 

Read more over at NBC. 

Photo: Getty Images

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