Stats on Colorado Corrections Industries Use of Prison Labor for Private Companies

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[Prison Labor] [Colorado]
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Stats on Colorado Corrections Industries Use of Prison Labor for Private Companies

"Colorado prisoners at the Skyline Correctional Center who start out at $.66 a day, milking about 1,000 goats...

Colorado Corrections Industries (CCI) "employs some 1,600 prisoners at 17 facilities, generating around $65 million in annual sales. Haystack Mountain is just one of many small- to mid-sized businesses that benefit from prisoner labor; the company began purchasing milk from prison goat dairies at the Skyline facility in 2007...

"Thanks to the grapes harvested by Colorado prisoners, Abbey Winery won a silver medal for its Juniper Valley Chardonnay at the 15th Annual Grand Harvest Awards in California. Haystack cheeses are sold to various high-end stores and restaurants, including Whole Foods, a national grocery chain.

"Kathy Abernathy of Arrowhead Fisheries, which breeds, packs and ships tilapia though CCI, sees the program as a way to 'help an inmate improve his life.' The CCI fish farm has been expanding and produces trout, catfish, koi and goldfish. Quixotic Farming also buys tilapia from CCI for less than a dollar a pound, which they then resell to retailers like Whole Foods, where it is sold for up to $12 a pound...

"The prisoners participating in such programs are underpaid, prohibited from unionizing and sometimes work under the threat of disciplinary action if they refuse."

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