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Hundreds of correctional officers at the federal prison on Wilmot impacted by government shutdown

Government shutdown impacted correctional officers
Posted at 10:16 PM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-10 07:58:44-05

TUCSON, AZ — Corrections officers working at the federal prison on Wilmot are feeling the impact of the government shutdown.

About 500 federal employees at the prison in Tucson are working without pay.

Richard Hernandez has worked as a corrections officer for more than 10 years. He says he and his family's lives continue amid the shutdown.

"There's just a feeling of hopelessness and there's no end in sight. We don't know how long we're going to have to make this last paycheck stretch."

For Hernandez, the most important thing is providing for his family and putting food on the table. He says that's become compromised during the shutdown.

"Every day that it goes it seems like we're making more and more drastic financial decisions because everyday you wake up and you never wake up and feel like, hey it's going to be resolved soon, you wake up feeling like hey this really could stretch a year."

When he is getting paid regularly, Hernandez says he already lives on a tight budget. Getting a different job isn't easy either, he's already spent more than a decade working at the prison and has built seniority.

"It'd be a very difficult decision to leave. I love my job but I have a wife, I have children, I have people that I have to provide for and that's really the deciding factor."