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Butner prison workers facing furloughs

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BUTNER, N.C. -

Federal budget cuts could mean furloughs for hundreds of prison workers in North Carolina.

A letter went out to 1,400 employees at the Butner Federal Correctional Facility informing them that they will be furloughed 14 workdays or 112 hours this year.

"I'm not talking about the financial hit that I'm taking because of the furloughs. I'm talking about the safety of a lot of people that depend on us," said Dennis Johnston, who works at the prison and is VP of the AFGE Union.

"With less staff available to supervise the offenders, we will not as ready to respond to anything that happens," he said.

Nurse Cheryl Daniel, a nurse at the prison and second VP for the AFGE Union, agreed.

"I know there are other federal agencies but to decrease the staffing levels within the secure confines of a prison. It's very scary. It's unimaginable to me, we already operate on an overcrowded understaffing basis but to minimize what we already have is very dangerous," she said.

The furloughs might be avoided if Congress acts in the next few weeks.

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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