How the Federal Government Shutdown Affects Prisons and Jails

Congress failed to approve a budget for the fiscal year 2018, to fund the ongoing operations of the United States federal Government, and the federal government is now shutdown as of midnight on January 19, 2018.  Many people are wondering how this will affect federal prisons, state prisons, and city and county jails.

This is the first time the federal government has had to shutdown in about 4 years.

The shutdown happened because there is no budget to pay for ongoing federal government operations, and lawmakers failed to approve any temporary funding measures either.

Lawmakers returned to Congress on Saturday to try to find a way to pass a temporary measure that will restart government agencies and return the federal government to normal operations.

Family, friends, and loved ones of federal prison inmates, as well as those incarcerated at other prisons and jails are wondering what effect, if any, this will have on inmates.

Generally, when the federal government shuts down, federal prisons are not affected as much as other federal agencies.

Will federal prisons be affected by the federal government shutdown?

The federal prison system will be largely unaffected by the government shutdown, since it is part of the essential services that provide safety and security.

Will inmates be released from federal prisons because of the government shutdown?

No. Inmates in federal prisons will not be released, and they will have to serve their time.

Will I still be able to visit someone in federal prison?

Yes.  Visitation at federal prison will not be affected.

Will federal prison employees be furloughed during the government shutdown?

No.  Employees, including correctional officers and wardens, at federal prisons will not be furloughed, and will continue to be paid normally.

Will state prisons be affected by the federal government shutdown?

No.  Even though state prisons receive some federal funding through grants and special programs, state prisons will not be affected by the federal government shutdown.

Will I still be able to visit someone in state prison?

Yes.

Will state prison employees be furloughed during the government shutdown?

No.

Will city and county jails be affected by the federal government shutdown?

No.  Even though city and county jails receive some federal funding through grants and special programs, jails will not be affected by the federal government shutdown.

Will I still be able to visit someone in county jail?

Yes.

Will county jail employees be furloughed during the government shutdown?

No.

Will federal courts be closed?

No.  The federal court system has approximately 3 weeks of funding left, and will stay open during that time.  It is possible, if the shutdown continues past three weeks, or for an extended time – that federal courts could actually close.  It has happened before.

Comments

  1. MarryBelle says:

    If someone is scheduled to be released this week will the government shutdown affect this??

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