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Jail Industries: Real Work, Real Value

NCJ Number
Sheriff Volume: 52 Issue: 6 Dated: November-December 2000 Pages: 10-12
Joseph T. Trevathan
Date Published
November 2000
3 pages
This article examines a successful jail industries program.
York Street Industries is a thriving business enterprise that generates revenue while putting Hampden County, MA, jail inmates to work. It operates in a 10,000-square-foot shop that is part of a larger inmate programs and services building in the jail complex. In Fiscal Year 2000, the mix of products and services included: chair manufacturing, furniture repair, supplying uniforms to other Massachusetts correctional facilities, silk screening T-shirts for fund-raisers, sports teams, and in-house projects, assembling hygiene kits for sale to mental health agencies and correctional facilities, mattresses and mattress covers, a major school furniture project, and custom wood-restoration projects. Fifty-five inmates participated in the industries program in Fiscal Year 2000, and were paid a stipend ranging from 50 cents to $1 per hour. Working for York Street Industries is considered a highly desirable job within the institution and there is considerable competition for the limited number of positions. The program's gross revenues for the year were $498,802, from a mix of local, county, State, and private customers.