Brilliant. Companies get cheap, reliable labor. Prisoners get something to do. Prisoners wages pay for their stay in jail. Jail personnel get paid well. The Prison Industry is a kinetic industry. No wonder manufacturers are moving back to the US of A.
The following is a quick overview with some specific examples of where the prison industry stands today. You can almost hear the money clinking in the background.
The 1980s, though, ushered in a new era of prison privatization. With a burgeoning prison population resulting from the “war on drugs” and increased use of incarceration, prison overcrowding and rising costs became increasingly problematic for local, state, and federal governments. In response to this expanding criminal justice system, private business interests saw an opportunity for expansion, and consequently, private-sector involvement in prisons moved from the simple contracting of services to contracting for the complete management and operation of entire prisons.Federal Prison Industries, also known as UNICOR and FPI, is a wholly owned government corporation created in 1934 by statute and Executive Order that produces goods and services from the labor of inmates of the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons. There are constraints on federal prison labor.
The modern private prison business first emerged and established itself publicly in 1984 when the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) was awarded a contract to take over a facility in Hamilton County, Tennessee. This marked the first time that any government in the country had contracted out the complete operation of a jail to a private operator.
Not so for other prisons.
Legislation: PIECP originally was authorized under the Justice System Improvement Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-157, Sec. 827). The Crime Control Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-647) authorizes continuation of the program indefinitely.
States can apply for Federal Grants!
This legislation provides exemption from federal constraints on the marketability of prisoner-made goods by permitting the sale of these products in interstate commerce (18 U.S.C. 1761(c)), the Sumners-Ashurst Act, 1948) and contracting in excess of $10,000 with the Federal Government (41 U.S.C. 35(d), the Walsh-Healey Act, 1936).
Fifty non-federal prison industry programs may be certified for this exemption when their operations have been determined by the Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance, to meet statutory and guideline requirements. Currently, there are 44 certifications that have been issued to support PIECP operations throughout the United States. In FY 2011, this program is funded through the Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program.Back in 2005, only 37 state and 4 county-based certified correctional industry programs operated in the United States, and these programs manage at least 175 business partnerships with private industry.
Here's how it works. Private industry pays the State or Prison at least minimum wage (we hope) per hour for each prisoner's labor. From that hourly wage, most of the money is distributed as follows in this 2005 example:
As of September 30, 2005, PIECP generated more than
$33 million for victims' programs,
$21 million for inmate family support,
$97.5 million for correctional institution room and board costs, and
$46.6 million in state and federal taxes. (<--that's a lot of labor!)Here's how Utah County splits up the prisoner's wage. The Utah County Sheriff's Office keeps 75%-85% of the wages earned by prisoners. The prisoner get's 10% of the wage and MAYBE another 10% after he/she leaves the jail:
In accordance with PIECP regulations, Jail Industries distributes 20 percent of each paycheck to the inmate.Additionally, all inmates in the Utah County jail on misdemeanor charges have to pay-to-stay. I think the charge is around $45/day. More than Motel 6.
Half of that amount (10 percent) is available for his or her use for commissary items.
The other half (10 percent) is saved and given to the inmate upon release. The savings fund can be tapped prior to release only to pay court-mandated child support, to replace lost tools, or to pay fines and warrants.
The remaining 80 percent is disbursed among several entities:
<> Utah’s Victim’s Reparation Fund (5 percent).
<> The UCSO portion pays for inmate room and board and compensates the organization for administrative and operational costs of the program.
The Jail Industry (JI) program had been a huge success with all three participating groups: local businesses, inmate workers, and UCSO administrators.
As for Utah County Sheriff's Office (UCSO), in its nine years of operation, the JI program has produced over $5,000,000 in gross revenues.
Yes, many inmates now have to pay-to-stay (example), often more than it would cost to put the inmate in a Motel 6. Hotel Jail.
As prison privatization increases, so do the fees the inmates have to pay. We will see this trend continue if the privatization trend continues. Here's a brief history of Jail Fees.
Back to Onshore Prison Labor.
Do you need some business cards printed?
Call your local prison. Many are now running printing businesses IN the big houses. Do you think this has any negative impact on local printing businesses struggling to survive? Well, your government offices can get their printing done at the prison, not so sure you can get your business cards printed. Just the same, those cards you get printed locally could have been printed in you local prison.
Onshore Manufacturing - How prisons are keeping manufacturing and service businesses alive and well IN PRISONS in the USA. 10% of Americans are IN prisons, working cheaply, doing our jobs while unemployment soars for honest, people who don't break the laws of our land.
You may be shocked to learn what your prisoners are making in your area and for whom.
Meanwhile, onshoring manufacturing/services IN prisons means that millions of Americans don't have those same jobs available in their communities.
If you are appalled by Job Off Shoring, then you can now add Job On Shoring to your list of frustrations.
The following lists the websites for prison businesses being run by State prisons. Not all states are listed.
ALEC for one. To learn of some of the private companies using prison labor you have to read
INSOURCING - Identifying businesses involved in prison labor or supporting those who are by Bob SloanIf corporation run government is fascism, what could be more fascist than the legalization for private corporations to have prison inmates working for them for peanuts?
In no time, if not already, prison inmates will be making school uniforms for privatized Charter Schools. Inmates already make lots of gear for the Military Industrial Complex. Go privatization! What next? GULAG America?
Below I have provided a resource for you. A link to many states where you can find out about your State's prison industries.
This is a dark time. We have to stop the privatization of prisons NOW!
WHEN IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH?
I know, it's good to train the prisoners; however, is it good for them to be doing jobs that used to belong to the millions now under or unemployed?
Prison Labor - Onshore Jobs
Another brainstorm by Corporations to find cheap labor?
Prison industries shackle private-sector employers
So, if you lose your job maybe you can steal a loaf of bread and go to jail to find work, a warm bed, and three massively mediocre meals prepared by prisoners at one of the new food production plants being added to prison businesses.
1979 – The Jail Doors Open for Business Carter President – Democratic Majorityhttp://www.ncjrs.gov/...
Workin' for the Man - Captive Labor is fueled by the War on Drugs
Correctional Industries Association was formed to promote the establishment, development, and improvement of Correctional Industries' programs and a closer understanding and relationship between correctional industries and the general public, private industry, organized labor and other interested parties.http://www.november.org/...
Alaska Correctional Industries – Mfg. Prison Uniforms
Alabama Correctional Industries – Non-Resident Construction
With average program revenues exceeding 1.5 million annually, Industries is primarily a self-funded operation and has been described by Washington D.C. consultants as “Unique to the Nation”. This highly regulated program enables participating prisoners to earn money which goes toward reimbursing the state for their room and board expenses, as well as paying victim restitution and child support.http://maine.gov/...
Our Industries Programs include: __Woodshop--MSP, MCC, CCF_Garments-- MCC, DCF_Re-upholstery--MCC_Embroidery--MCC_License Plates--BCF_Wood Harvesting--CCF_Upholstery--MSP_Engraving--MSP
New Hampshire Correctional Industries
- List of State Run Prison Businesseshttp://www.nh.gov/...
The kinds of products you might find are:
Wooden furniture, Wooden game boards, Beaded necklaces, Quilts, Paintings, and other artwork, Porcelain sculptures, Small storage bins, Upholstered furniture, Wooden toys, Hand made clocks, Serving bowls, Leather products like wallets or purses, Lots of other novelties !
Massachusetts Correctional Industries:
As the pioneer in prison labor across the nation, the State of Pennsylvania has much to tell about teaching inmates to work.http://www.pci.state.pa.us/...
Braille Products, too.http://dpscs.md.gov/...
North Carolina – Partners with Correction Enterprises
Prison Industries is a revenue-generated program of the South Carolina Department of Corrections. As such, PI operates like a business and all income is derived from the sale of its products and services. Profits are reinvested to improve PI and the Department of Corrections.http://www.scprisonindustries.com/...
PI is certified by the Justice Department to enter into contracts with private sector companies and manufacture products for interstate shipment under the Prison Industries Enhancement (PIE) program. Inmates working in the PIE program receive prevailing wages for their labor. As with any job, federal and state taxes are deducted from their checks along with deductions for the inmate’s room and board and the state Victim Compensation Fund. Additional deductions are made for family support and remaining money is placed in a trust for the inmate to receive upon release.
Florida – Private, Outsourced Prison Industry
After several tumultuous years of ill-advised corporate restructuring and failed businesshttp://www.floridataxwatch.org/...
ventures, the private sector company that operates Florida’s prison industries program is back
on track. Under a new Board of Directors and new management, Prison Rehabilitative
Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE) has made significant strides in recovering from
financial losses that had resulted in an accumulation of debt and core asset depletion. In 2005,
the company achieved $72 million in sales and generated $6 million net income, the most in
dollars and as a percentage of sales in its 24-year history.
Private industry on prison grounds, expanding the sale of prisoner-made goods could double corrections' business profitshttp://sentencingcommission.alacourt.gov/...
Alabama's prison industries, a $15 million-a-year business, may more than double in size if legislation soon to be introduced in Montgomery is approved.
One bill being written for the Department of Corrections would allow products produced by inmates working for 30 to 60 cents an hour - items ranging from office furniture to mattresses - to be sold to government employees and nonprofit groups. Current law limits sales to state and local governments and to schools, to limit competition with the private sector.
A captive work forcehttp://www.ibj.com/...
$40M prison work program helps inmates, businesses
Texas Correctional Industries:
Lockers, Truck beds, Tire Retreading,http://www.tci.tdcj.state.tx.us/
Soaps/Detergents, Brushes/Brooms, Custom Printing
Utah prisoners build homes
Utah Correctional Industries - Lots of OnShore Businesses in Utah Prisons. Utah seems to have one of the most far reaching OnShore manufacturing and services industry in the nation. It is a wonder there are any jobs in the private sector left!
Asphalt Crack Seal
Clothing & Uniforms
Milk & Beverage Processing
Seating & Upholstery
Wild Horse Program
My personal favorite, REACH. Utah entrepreneurs and developers can hire Utah Prison Services to rehab foreclosed homes. All to help the poor, of course. Question: How many poor will qualify for a mortgage?
UCI REACH Programhttp://uci.utah.gov/...
REACH is an acronym representing REhabilitation thru Affordable Community Housing. The U.C.I. REACH Program's Mission offers a safe and secure setting to instruct inmates in residential construction, and to provide affordable housing to the community.
Qualified inmates are selected from graduates of the Salt Lake Community College and are given training in a working environment at our new Draper site facility. Inside trades include framing, roofing, sheetrock work, electrical, plumbing, painting, siding, rough and finish carpentry, flooring, and cabinet installation. Our outside crews are trained to fully prepare the site, for excavation, cement work, setting of homes, framing, roofing, siding, landscaping, and most importantly to prepare a final punch list and follow through with final finishing touches, before the tenant takes residence.
The REACH program works closely with several housing organizations throughout the State of Utah, including Utah Housing Authority, Habitat for Humanity, Six County Association of Governments, and the Community Development Association of Utah. In cooperation with the clientele, REACH generates custom designs and blue prints with the help of an inmate design team. The team consists of a project manager and drafters that work closely with experienced staff to ensure excellent customer service and quality of product. REACH strives to build to the highest standards of excellence.
Good Grief! Of course it is nice that prisoners have something to do; however, with unemployment rates rising, is it fair for prisons to take any jobs from the private sector?
Back to Pay-to-Stay. I wonder if they charge the mentally ill to pay-to-stay?
There around 500,000 mentally ill in jails, 10 times the number in hospitals.
Or this poor young man who lives at the Utah County Jail on and off again: