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Role of Corporate America in Prison Industries: A Practitioner's View (From Privatization and the Provision of Correctional Services: Context and Consequences, P 119-123, 1996, G. Larry Mays and Tara Gray, eds. - See NCJ-167497)

NCJ Number
R Lammay
Date Published
5 pages
This article examines prison industries, where prison labor is used to manufacture goods competitively for public consumption.
Relationships that corporations have with prison industries include: (1) Employer model (the corporation owns and operates a business that uses inmate labor); (2) Investor model (the private sector invests in a prison shop); (3) Customer model (the corporation purchases a significant portion of the output of a prison shop); and (4) Manager model (the corporation manages a business that is owned by a correctional agency. Corporate prison shops benefit society and prison workers as well as corporations. Prisoners' incomes are subject to Federal, State, and local taxes. Prison workers are required by law to pay toward their room and board, child support, and savings. Additionally, laws consistently require that inmates pay at least 5 percent of their earnings toward victim restitution. Prisoners learn transferable marketable skills, and social skills. The key disadvantage of corporate prison shops is hidden operating costs such as on-site management, transportation, and security, and the possibility of negative publicity and of manipulative inmates. Notes