While federal prison officers worked through the holidays without pay, the inmates they guarded were treated to special yuletide meals, union officials reportedly fumed.
At the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex near Orlando, convicts dined on Cornish game hen and pie on Christmas and beef with black eyed peas and sweet desserts, according to USA Today.
“This is appalling,” Joe Rojas, Coleman’s union chief, told the newspaper. “We’re not getting paid, and the inmates are eating steak. The inmates know what’s going on; they know about the shutdown, and they are laughing at us.”
The usual fare at Coleman – the nation’s largest federal prison – is simple, like scrambled eggs and burgers, USA Today reported. Special meals are served by the Bureau of Prisons during the holidays to boost inmates’ spirits, the paper claims.
More than 90 % of the BOP 38,000 employees are being forced to work without pay as a result of the government shutdown, which began right before Christmas on Dec. 22, union officials told USA Today.
“It sickens me to know these politicians would play politics … with our staffers’ livelihoods after working the most stressful job in America,” the newspaper claims Eric Young, president of the national prison workers union, said.
“That really p—-d off our people,” said Young. “You are seeing prisoners getting steak, roast beef and Cornish hens, and you can’t put that kind of food on the table for your own family. That isn’t right.”