Correctional officers working in federal prison in Safford speak on impact

Safford correctional officers impacted by shutdown
Posted at 10:32 PM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 00:33:03-05

Roughly 9,000 people live in Safford, AZ. About 200 of them are employed by the federal prison.

Michael Espinoza has worked as a correctional officer in Safford for five years. He says he overseas several duties daily and now during the government shutdown, all for free.

"I am the main income for our family. Every day we walk into a facility, through the gates knowing that we may never come back out. We're already working in a stressful environment, a stressful position and now you're throwing the stress of us not going to work without getting paid."

Espinoza also says the shutdown doesn't exclusively impact them. He believes the community will begin to feel a greater burden as time goes on.

"It's tough whenever it affects this many people in our little small valley. Other staff in other prisons they've been forced to look for other jobs. We're in a small town we don't have very many options to pick up a second job."

Espinoza and his coworkers also ask people to let their voices be heard and contact their congressmen for answers as to when the government shutdown will end.

With no end in sight for now, Espinoza and hundreds of other correctional officers will have to continue to wait.