There are more than 2,000 inmates at Beckley, overseen by 363 correctional officers. It's a round-the-clock job -- "Inmates don't go home at night," Carver noted -- and each employee is crucial to the prison's operation.
"If I don't go to work, that means someone else has to carry my load," she said.
There are six federal prison facilities in West Virginia, located in Alderson, Beckley, Glenville, Hazelton, Morgantown and Welch.
The Daily Mail tried to contact representatives at the prison, but was referred each time to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. A recording on the bureau's public affairs phone line said no employees were available because of the government shutdown and resulting furloughs.
The U.S. Department of Justice last month released a contingency plan for the Bureau of Prisons if a shutdown occurred.
"Employees are ... needed to continue inmate custody responsibilities over some 38,700 inmates in contract facilities and process all new designations to federal prisons," the document reads.
Ninety-nine percent of the bureau's employees were exempted from furloughs.
The plan says the bureau's facilities and commissary accounts receive multi-year appropriations and "should have adequate carry over funding to meet expenses during a lapse in appropriations."
Carver said prison staff prepared for the shutdown by stocking up on necessities. Her education department bought extra paper and supplies so they wouldn't run out.
"This is the craziest thing I've ever seen in my life. I'm completely stunned at the behavior of our elected officials," she said.
She said the union is encouraging members to contact their representatives in Congress.
"We're tired of being the pawns."