Federal corrections officers struggle to make ends meet during shutdown

By Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - A total of 1,500 inmates are currently housed at a federal correctional facility in southwest Miami-Dade, guarded by 240 corrections officers who will miss their second paycheck this week due to the partial federal government shutdown.

Every day, it's costing them more money to come to work.

"We are in desperate need of gasoline," union representative Kareem Troitino said. 

Troitino said he has been seeing many co-workers in crisis as the shutdown is now in its 32nd day.

"I have 32 employees who both of their salaries depend on the government and they have kids," he said. 

Local charities have come forward to bring lunch to the workers. But every day, more and more employees are not showing up. Troitino said that's a security risk for inmates and staff.

"Every day we have medical emergencies," he said. "You can't plan when an inmate is going to have a heart attack, and you have to have extra staff to go to whatever hospital we need to, and that occurs a lot."

There are 180,000 federal inmates in prisons nationwide affected by the shutdown. For corrections officers, it's a job stressful enough without the stress that comes with having no income.

"Here in Miami, we have 1,500 in our facility," Troitino said. "If we can't cover it, perhaps the National Guard can come in and do that service."

To help local federal corrections officers during the shutdown, call Kareen Troitino at 305-281-4085 or email him at Ktroitino@bop.gov.

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