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[Prison Labor] [Allred Unit] [Texas]
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CCA Making Money in Texas

Prisoners in the belly of this dungeon prison, Allred Unit gulag, are confronted with the reality of unjust conditions and oppression. The prison administrators have continually ignored complaints about the poor quality of the food, conditions of confinements and the physical abuse of prisoners by the ignorant, intolerant, racist, poorly trained corrections workers.

Since their inception, they have been racked with serious use-of-force complaints and complaints about poorly trained corrections workers, lack of guards, and poor food facilities. Corrections Corporation of Amerika keeps prisoners fed and housed for $60 a day and still makes a profit.

A detailed 174 page after action report, prepared by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, noted the CCA's deficiencies and serious errors in administrating the prison dungeon plantation gulag. The disciplinary system here is totally unjust.

Food is a major cost for prisons. Outsourcing of food supply and preparation is one item many Texas prisons are attempting to implement to save money. Companies are cashing in on this cow, submitting low bids to feed prisoners, with poor food quality. The prisoners here on lock-down are pissed off at the poor quality of the food and the inedible meat-type products.

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[Prison Labor] [Florida State Prison] [Florida]
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Prison Labor in Florida's Control Units

In the Florida Department of Corrections there is a program called close management which is a control unit. It has 3 levels that you can be placed on and once you complete each level without any disciplinary reports you are eligible to move forward to the next level within six months. I am currently being housed on close management II here at Florida State Prison which holds about 1,285 prisoners. Only the prisoners who are housed on CM III are permitted to work, which is about 205 prisoners. And they are limited to certain jobs without pay, such as houseman and laundry, which is totally different from general population because there is only one job that actually rewards you for your labor and that's canteen. All the canteen operators who are employed by FDOC are paid $65 a month. Other than that one specific job the remainder of the jobs such as inside-ground, plumbers, law clerks, electricians and cooks are employed without pay.

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[Prison Labor] [Texas] [ULK Issue 8]
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Texas Prisoner Forced to Work for No Pay

In Texas, every general population prisoner is required to work. They either work in the service of prison upkeep (i.e. maintenance, food service, field labor, support service inmate, etc.) or they work in one of the various factories owned by TCI (Texas Correctional Industries).

TCI is not part of the state. It is not part of the prison system. TCI is a private conglomerate which contracts with the state for prisoner labor. They operate metal fabrication plants, stainless steel works, meat packing plants, furniture factories, computer restoration plants, and many others throughout the 130+ prison units around the state. These industries do indeed provide products which the prison system needs for itself, but these products are also sold to other states for their prisons and jails at prices greatly marked up. The profits come from the fact that the prisoner labor is free.

Texas prisoners do not get paid for working.

Now there are a couple of pilot programs which started a couple of years ago, that do pay their workers a tiny bit. But these programs employ less than 1% of the 150,000+ prisoner population, and there are no plans to extend or expand these programs.

When general population prisoners in Texas attempt to involve the U.$. Department of Labor, OSHA, or other labor organizations concerning the exploitation of prisoners, we are told that prisoners in Texas "volunteer" to work, and are therefore not entitled to any support. They fail to mention that if a prisoner refuses to work, he is subject to disciplinary action, loses commissary and recreation privileges, has his good time credits taken away, gets locked up in administrative segregation - all of which has a negative effect on chances for parole. So the Catch 22 is: either work for free, or suffer the consequences.

Oh, they tell us that our good time credit is our pay. But good time only affects non-3G prisoners. It means nothing to the rest of us.

Furthermore, the extent of embezzlement within TCI is outrageous. The managers and department heads, even the foremen, are ripping off the tax payers with their thefts. I personally have witnessed many such incidences. For example: the maintenance department receives a new pump which it does not need at the time, so it is put into storage. Three weeks later I can't find that pump. A month after that, the supply truck delivers another pump which has the exact same serial number as the first.

Another example: just before Thanksgiving, the meat packing plant receives a truckload of frozen turkeys. The plant closes on Friday evening, and come Monday morning there are 120 frozen turkeys missing. The official ruling is "inmate theft." But no prisoners are at the plant on weekends.

And again: the stainless steel fabrication plant makes the round circles which are used for the seats we sit on at the chow hall tables. I saw a bill for 24 of those seats, the price? $40,000 for 24 one foot circles of stainless steel.

The factories build all the bars, the bunks, the toilets and sinks, the steel doors, etc., using prison labor. Then TCI sells all that to the contractors who build the new units at an unbelievable mark-up. The contractor then builds the prison, and sells it back to the state for an even more exaggerated price. Meanwhile, briefcases of cash keep changing hands. How else do you think the state gets away with telling the tax payers that a new prison costs $64 million when the outside of that prison is all pre-fab, and the inside is all prisoner built? Where is the oversight? Where is the accountability? The nature of bureaucracy allows these things to go on. Hell, they learned it from the feds, there's no one left to tell. Those officials who are supposed to look out for these things just take their share too.

The nature of capitalism ensures that the abuses of prisoner labor and the rape of tax payers in Texas will continue unchecked while the imperialistic standards thrive.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This is an excellent exposure of the prison labor conditions in the state of Texas and the benefit that private industry is getting for this free labor. The stories of corruption ring true across the whole federal government. See our article on Halliburton/KBR and Blackwater to see parallels in the military industrial complex.

We only disagree with the author in their assessment that the tax payers in Texas are being raped. While it is true that the State is paying ridiculous prices for goods, this is no different than the state paying high salaries to guards: these things actually work to ensure good jobs for those working in the service to imperialism. And the vast majority of taxpayers in Amerika are benefiting from imperialism so we can't agree that they are being raped. The criminal injustice system is helping to prop up the system of imperialism that benefits the taxpayers, and a little more money exchanging hands to enrich another imperialist institution (TCI) does not change this situation.

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[Prison Labor] [California]
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Jobs and rehab in California prisons

Jobs at this prison, what a joke. I've been sitting on my ass for 3 years and still no job. They have few jobs at this place, if you are lucky you can be a slave and work in a chow hall and bust your ass for 10 hours a day. They have 30 people and only 7 are fortunate to receive a pay number. The highest paid slave is the clerk, he makes 32 cents an hour but he owes restitution so they take 55% and he has to pay $5 for medical so he will take home $1.40 a month. The pig who is his supervisor makes $43 an hour with all the overtime he wants.

As for other jobs, if you are into boot licking you can be a janitor in the watch office. All you have to do is clean after the pigs and rat on everyone, for that you get a whole 8 cents an hour. If you want to learn a trade they have a few vocational classes. They have auto body and paint. You get to paint and repair pigs personal cars for free. Does society know that these scumbags are driving BMWs, Porsches and $50,000 Corvettes? While our families are suffering from the recession these scumbags are buying cars, houses and all sorts of fun toys, all from the peoples taxes.

I have no money, no family, no income, I get a bar of soap, a razor, some tooth powder and a roll of toilet paper once a week. They added the word rehabilitation to CDC. I want to file a lawsuit for false advertisement. They offer no form of rehab at all. This is a human storage unit with babysitters who pull in $130,000 a year, all on the tax payers.

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[Prison Labor] [California] [ULK Issue 6]
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Prison workers paid overtime for 2 hours labor

The program at this prison is getting worse and changing daily. The new excuse is the budget. We are only getting program every other day because they can't afford to pay staff overtime. What a joke! On the days we are locked down it's common to see 10 cops sitting on their fat, overpaid asses, on the yard and eating sunflower seeds.

I overheard a nurse saying that she was working a double shift. She said she was making $48.50 an hour. Her job consists of dispensing medication to prisoners. What the hell, this lady is making $582 for her 16 hour day, she passes out pills two times a day, it takes about one hour to dispense pills so she is actually doing 2 hours of work and the rest of her day she sits and complains that our economy is messed up. Damn! She is why our economy is what it is.

They are still shipping people to different states. A bus load left a few days ago for Arizona. They will not transfer anyone who has any medical or dental issues or if you are CCCMS. By a prisoner agreeing to transfer they are helping this state. It's crazy that California not only has the biggest prison system but now we are taking over the prisons in other states. When will it stop.

They changed the name to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. They offer no form of rehabilitation on this yard. Do you know if I could file a lawsuit for false advertisement?

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[Prison Labor] [California]
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CDCR taking 55% of money sent to prisoners

My respects to all of you. I just wanted to let you know your letter was a touch down and is being passed around so others can be enlightened on topics that you provide so the struggle can be strengthened by more support on the inside.

As always, the condition in the SHU is poor, but I want to bring up another issue. The CDCR is taking 55% of all money loved ones or friends send. This is strong arm extortion at the highest level. It can also be considered robbery since none of my victims have been given a penny in reimbursement. I'm not alone in this concern. 95% of the prisoners are effected by this extortion. This needs to be addressed to the state legislators so they know the prison is not providing jobs to prisoners to earn money to pay off any restitution owed. It's been said it may go to 60% soon. It is not fair to friends or loved ones to pay any restitution we owe. I am slammed down 24/7 as well as everyone in the SHU, so none of us are able to get jobs.

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[Prison Labor] [Pennsylvania]
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Prison Labor at SCI Fayette

SCI Fayette has about 1800 to 2100 prisoners, of those 1200 to 1400 work for the DOC doing various work assignments. Jobs are related to running of the facility, such as maintenance, commissary, grounds crews, schooling, laundry, barber shop, library and janitors. Some also work for "Correctional Industries." The pay scale is as follows in $/hour:

Step AStep BStep CStep D
Class 10.190.200.210.23
Class 20.240.250.270.29
Class 30.330.350.380.42

People usually work from 120 to 160 hours per month, so top pay would be $50.40 to $67.20. Correctional Industries (CI) makes 51 cents or about $81.60 a month. Like similar programs that exist in all 50 states, Pennsylvania Correctional Industries produces things such as furniture, clothing and personal care products primarily for purchase by state agencies. However, on their website they claim they are unique in that they are completely self-sufficient. Like most examples of "industries" in prisons, they allow the state to save money, but there is no private profit being made.

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[Prison Labor] [Oregon]
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Prison Labor at Oregon State Pen

There are about 2500 inmates housed here and about 1600 of them have jobs, the other 900 are inmates in control units.

The prison offers many jobs such as industry, kitchen, yard, unit, education, assistants, etc. Now all the industry jobs pay between $100 to $175 a month and all the rest pay between $25 to $75 a month, which is bullshit since the minimum wage is like $7.75 and the amount we get paid is only a small percentage of regular outside community jobs.

By working in the prison it keeps us focused and able to purchase the necessities we need to contain proper health & hygiene and things like food, electronics, etc. But the state charges us double or triple the price the items cost on the streets.

The kinds of work we do here consists of building furniture, welding, plumbing, electrical, repairing equipment, washing laundry and the rest are tutors for the education department and unit orderlies. There are also kitchen duties such as cooking, washing, dishes, wiping tables and serving the food.

The industry jobs make couches, chairs, tables and desks for the outside world. Other jobs make jewelry, saddles, clothes and toys. The lifers club has a lot of these items in the visiting room so when our people come to see us they can purchase them.

The Prison Blues clothes are made by prisoners at EOCI in Pendleton and SRCI. They have construction programs where we build trailers and sheds for people to live in. So we do more than make license plates, like in some states. But again, almost all the money made goes to the staff's checks, only 10% gets put toward the inmate trust fund.

Now the state of Oregon is making such a big profit off us working for pennies and they can't even give us better yard equipment so we can exercise without having to be careful the cables don't break while we're pumping the weights. So it's real sad that we live in these conditions.

If the inmates refused to work these jobs like slaves which we our slaves of the state then nothing would get done. The officers are so lazy all they do each day is sit around and eat donuts. There ain't no real labor in this job for them, but they bitch about always being tired. So if it weren't for us they wouldn't be making such a nice chunk of money and treating us so bad.

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[Prison Labor] [Connecticut]
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Prisoner innovation stolen and sold back to them

Prisoners make all the clothing and uniforms as well as envelopes and greeting cards here in MacDougall-Walker CI in Connecticut, and then they sell them back to us. They even sell jail pillows now. Not real pillows, jail pillows, the ones the prisoners used to make back in the day and they confiscated them (we use to make 'em out of old mattresses, the ones that were ripped up and no longer useful). Now the state confiscated all those pillows and are now manufacturing our idea in the prisoners workshop. Same kind of pillow we use to make with the old mattresses the state is making and selling back to us for $15. They stole our idea and sell it back to us.

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[Prison Labor] [Control Units] [New York]
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Slavery and Racism justify SHU time in NY

2/22/08

This facility has banned ALL MIM materials and they refuse to allow me duplications of the Media Review Notices- the only copy I have was sent back for appeal purposes because it is not "legal" materials!

These fascist pigs have also taken 8 months and 8 days of good time from me because I reported their employee who was using me as a slave, and have started a civil suite over it. (see enclosed)

[excerpt from claim]The complaint/grievance was the result of the claimant's having been enslaved by Mr. Snye, the horticulture instructor of Riverview. The claimant was forced to choose between completing a web-site for one of Mr. Snye's personal business ventures or punitive physical measures (being forced to shift enormous stones and to engage in other extremely demanding physical labor) and, if the claimant contineud to refuse, expulsion from the program. Threats of bogus charges and accompanying disciplinary measures were consatntly looming, along with vague, yet clear indications that there would by SHU time, if anyone found out.

Safety concerns led the Inspector [General] to place the claimant in another facility immediately. Within 24 hours of the claimant's arrival there, threats toward the claimant required that he be placed in involuntary protective custody, and be housed with inmates who are in trouble.

Current conditions have arrested the claimant's ability to progress in rehabilitation.

Removal from ASAT (Alcohol Substance Abuse Treatment) hinders the claimant's potential time allowance.

Could someone put some pressure on these pigs, particularly Officers Bartsch, Peters (who is the absolute worst pig I've ever encountered), and Program Assistant Jeff Portersnok, who arbitrarily, with Bartsch as assistant, removed me form the brainwashing program, effectively diminishing my good time chances to zero - because he took it upon himself to investigate the slave labor at Riverview!

Officer Peters arbitrarily writes disciplinary reports and calls me a "Commie Bastard" regularly, as well as disrespects my family, my person, and my property.

If some pressure could be applied that won't result in retaliation it would help not just me, but the entire compound.

In Struggle,
a New York Prisoner

2/24/2008

I am writing regarding Mr. B. Peters, an officer at Cayuga Correctional Facility who works the 7-3AM shift in B2 Dorm. I have only been in this dorm for 30 days and it's been the worst 30 days of my life. Mr. B. Peters harasses me constantly as well as many other inmates at this facility.

On February 14, 2008, Mr. B. Peters searched my cube with me present and during the search he said that he doesn't like me. I have never done nothing wrong to this cop and he continues to make slick remarks, call me names like little shit and spick. He also told me that he can't wait to pack me up. I am honestly in fear for my safety and I am nervous that he might throw something in my cubby while I'm in program or something. I am also scared that he might retaliate because I'm writing you this letter.

On February 22, 2008 he gave me a ticket for disobeying a direct order. This officer tells me to put my personal sheets into a plastic bag without any explanation as to why he wants my sheets. Then when I asked him why I have to put my sheets in a bag and bring it to him he said that he doesn't have to explain anything to me because I'm in prison. He also mentioned that if I don't comply with his demand, he will send my ass to the box. And since he was so rude and disrespectful I chose not to give him my sheets... Due to the ticket he wrote me I'm looking toward 30 days in the box.

In Struggle,
a second New York Prisoner

4/7/2008

Today, despite tremendous opposition by my captors, I have successfully defeated the censors here at this Cayuga Correctional Pig Pen (see enclosed).

Now, the bad news, today was supposed to be my release date. I have sent copies of numerous document to the party bolstering my position, and even the state of New York admitted their errors in respect to the employee who enslaved me, and yet they still won't let me go free.

Another comrade here, who has a sexual assault investigation pending against Sgt. Hoadley, the grievance sergeant, is being held past his date now 2 or 3 months.

Please let me know what is happening as I am certainly becoming less and less able to proceed. My body is locked up, and I feel my mind is going too.

a New York Prisoner

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