Newspaper Article Stirs Controversy Over Pitting Guards Against People in Prison
Date:  01-08-2019

Guards' misplaced anger over Trump's government shutdown causes bitterness over holiday meal for the incarcerated
From Mother Jones:

On Christmas Day, federal inmates were served holiday meals by prison employees, as happens each year. But this year, because correctional officers are working without pay due to the ongoing government shutdown, it made headlines.

Late last week, USA Today published the complaints of disgruntled prison guards who wrote to the newspaper to gripe that the inmates were “laughing” at the guards during their holiday meals for working without a guaranteed paycheck.

“We’re not getting paid, and the inmates are eating steak,” Joe Rojas, a union chief at the Coleman prison complex in Florida, told USA Today. Rojas “remains miffed” over the dish, reported the Washington Post; the paper then listed an array of standard holiday dishes, called the inmate meal a “feast,” and published a quote from an inmate’s email that was copied by a guard who was screening it for security reasons. The Post made no mention of the potential breach of the inmate’s privacy. NBC News reported that one prison served “a fancy meal of steak and shrimp” on New Year’s Day, too. The tone of the articles ranges from outrage (“‘I been eatin like a boss’: Federal prisoners served steak by unpaid guards during shutdown”) to inappropriately punny (“Hard to digest: Inmates eat holiday steak during shutdown while prison workers go unpaid”). Continue reading >>>