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Lost Your Job? Maybe a Felon Found It! Prison Gigs Aplenty...

While California inmates were busy fighting fires this month, prisoners in South Carolina were stitching up some brassieres for Victoria's Secret. That's right. Check that tag, your bra might be the new license plate, an arguably more useful product, I'd say.

Mother Jones has a whole list of common goods that are now sourced to prisons. Drinking some coffee? Yup, that too. What else?

  • Eating: CA inmates produce 680,000 pounds of beef, and Starbucks has hired WA prisoners to pack up holiday coffee blends.
  • Playing: Nintendo Gameboys and Microsoft mouses are packed in the pokey.
  • Learning: TX and CA inmates make everything from lockers to juice boxes.
  • Wearing: The above mentioned Vicky's bras, as well as leisure wear for JC Penney

And the best prison product? To see it,


  • Interruptions: Inmate call centers. That call you get during dinner? May just be coming from inside the big house.

Though the info is grabby, my eye wandered to this link included with it: A Glossary of Prison Slang. Oh, yes. Break out the flashcards.

Would you be more likely to buy goods from companies who use prison labor? Starbucks calls the practice, "entirely consistent with our mission statement." Is it consistent with yours?


Join The Conversation
amybdk amybdk 8 years
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
I can tell you as an ex-wife to an inmate these are great tools to help lower the recividism rate. And I'm sorry, but they shouldn't be making the same wage as someone on the outside doing the same job. Otherwise where's the motivation to get out? Then my ex would be in heaven to sitting his butt in a place where he doesn't have to pay rent, pay for food, or cook for that matter, make the same money as someone on the outside and all he has to do is sew some tags in a couple hundred bras a day. That's a little too cushy if you ask me. I think the small wage is fine as long as their learning something that they can use when they get out and helps build the self-esteem. Those things are way more important than the wage ultimately.
syako syako 8 years
"Not everyone is born to be a rocket scientist, and IMO it's elitist to devalue manual labor." :notworthy:
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
Sewing is a *great* alternative to prison. Shoot, even learning to properly pack electronics for shipment is a good option to living on the street. And it's *never* too late to learn a good work ethic. Not everyone is born to be a rocket scientist, and IMO it's elitist to devalue manual labor. Schools *do* still teach sewing and cooking courses, they're electives. I believe the community colleges teach design. I know I took a couple of classes a "few" years ago, and I sometimes see news stories about community college class fashion shows in the local paper. Actually, the biggest competition for low-skilled apparel jobs in the US is sweatshops full of illegal immigrants from Central and South America and southeast Asia. Los Angeles' American Apparel is an open employer of illegal labor and a big supporter of pro-amnesty actions. Therefore, let's address *that* problem, too.
stephley stephley 8 years
How many of you are recommending your children take up sewing as a career? If it's such a great idea, why aren't we agitating for it to be taught in the schools? Are they being taught to design as well - because I'm guessing this is an assembly line type thing where the prisoner takes the same little bit from each bra and runs it through a machine - not actual sewing. The kind of job the prisoners can follow to China or Bangladesh when they get out.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
hypno, guess you're just not a connoisseur of melons. :innocent: I'd also like more information. If the company is paying the prison system something close to a reasonable wage, and the prison is holding some of it for restitution or other penalties imposed as part of the judgment, that's perfectly fine. If they're keeping any of it to contribute toward their costs, like board or housing, I would have a problem with it. This is a great opportunity for job training. Even basic skills can be translated to work outside prison. Sewing is pretty universal, and could be developed into a career path, too. I don't believe they should have any jobs where the prisoners interact directly with members of the public. I seem to recall--some time ago, and the memory is fuzzy--a case where a prisoner in a phone bank struck up a conversation with a woman, and it developed into a personal relationship. They got together when he got out, and it did not go well. Or maybe that was an episode of "Law and Order", but it's still plausible.
bleached bleached 8 years
LOL... I go away for a couple of hours and the convo degenerates... And hypno :rotfl: at #64
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I must not have had my Wheates this morning, I just got the photo that's hilarious.
YayaOzoHead YayaOzoHead 8 years
I posted the wikipedia link as a generic unbiased (I would assume since all the other links I found were very biased) link. You make up your own mind about the topic. Just something to think about.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
No, but thanks for asking.
syako syako 8 years
horny?!?!? :drool:
stephley stephley 8 years
"I wonder if there would be anything as a consumer (other than not buying the product) we could do to express how we feel about this?" You could write to the company (addresses are on websites now) asking them about it's prison programs and if you don't like the response, or what you've read elsewhere, you can write and tell them that. If you have stock in a company, or even a credit card with them, it never hurts to mention that.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
guess not
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
ohhh bored :bored: hmmm :horny: did that work?
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
syako syako 8 years
dang I gave it away! :rant:
syako syako 8 years
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
what is that? forlorn? ohhhh yawn... :yawn:
syako syako 8 years
I like the rollers one... :rollers:
syako syako 8 years
sweet. A new sig. I hope it's not condescending... ;)
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
:clean: and :shopping: are nice, too.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Sy, that could become your new signature emoticon, since so many (including me) have swooped in on :oy:.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
I don't understand why it is bad to use prisoners... It is better then shipping the work to some third world country and it does not raise our prices.
syako syako 8 years
you know what's another one I recently discovered :bored:
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
who different emoticon!
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