Registered: May 2005
01-10-12 08:14 AM
gwb-trading: The total number of prisoners who work in the U.S. in paid positions is under 100,000. This does not really impact the unemployment rate or compete with the private sector; nor is this in any form "job creation" (especially since the number has gone down for the past three years). The 8 million illegal immigrants working in the U.S. have a much greater impact on the unemployment of American citizens and competing in the private sector.
- By law, inmate-produced goods can only be used inside prisons or sold only to government agencies - and does not directly compete with private businesses or labor. This law is from the 1950s.
January 10, 2012
SouthAmerica: Reply to gwb-trading
The law about prison labor changed in 1979.
The prison industrial complex became a big business in the US since the 1970's and a source of job creation, which includes the construction of all these prisons, and the large amount of people necessary to keep the prison system operating 7/24 365 days per year.
It takes a lot of people and money to warehouse 2.3 million people in the United States prison system.
US Prison Labor
...The United States has seen a recent increase in the number of private firm/correctional facility partnerships that uses prison labor to manufacture goods and provide services. On the rise since the creation of the Prison Industries Enhancement (PIE) program in 1979, prison-industry partnerships have risen 200 percent.
Described by some as a program designed to fill the boring days of an inmates life and a way to prepare them for life after release by giving them marketable skills, PIE fills a need for cheap labor.
However, many others have begun to notice the fundamental flaws with the program, among them low wages, the increased number of inmates, and the refusal by correctional facilities to allow inspectors into plants.
...In 1979 the Justice System Improvement Act allowed for privatization of prisons and for the transport of their goods across state boundaries. After this change in law, prison industry profits jumped from $392 million to $1.31 billion. However, the Depression legislation still holds true for state and federally run prisons.
...Many companies use prison labor, so it is likely that most Americans have bought goods or used services provided or created by inmates. Items ranging from clothing, such as Victorias Secret and blue jeans, and computers to services such as data entry and telemarketing are all made and performed by prison labor. As another bonus, prison made goods do not have to be labeled as such and often are appealing to companies who wish to be able to put "made in the USA" on their products.
Companies that Use Prison Labor In the USA
MicroJet, Nike, Lockhart Technologies, Inc., United Vision Group, Chatleff Controls, TWA, Dell Computers, Microsoft, Eddie Bauer, Planet Hollywood, Redwood Outdoors, Wilson Sporting Goods, Union Bay, Elliot Bay, A&I Manufacturing, Washington Marketing Group, Omega Pacific, J.C. Penney, Victoria's Secret, Best Western Hotels, Honda, K-Mart, Target, Kwalu, Inc., McDonald's, Hawaiian Tropical Products, Burger King, "Prison Blues" jeans line, New York, New York Hotel/Casino, Impereal Palace Hotel/Casino, Crisp Country Solid Waste Management Authority, "No Fear" Clothing Line, C.M.T. Blues, Konica, Allstate, Merrill Lynch, Shearson Lehman, Louisiana Pacific, Parke-Davis, Upjohn