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NCJ Number: 127323 Find in a Library
Title: Do "Real World" Inmate Jobs Threaten Business and Labor?
Journal: Corrections Compendium  Volume:11  Issue:9  Dated:(March 1987)  Pages:1,6-8
Author(s): D Parsons
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews arguments that correctional industries and inmates employed in private-sector businesses take business and jobs away from community residents.
Abstract: In Brush, Col., the employment of inmates in a hog slaughterhouse has raised the ire of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 in Denver. A union official argues that the pork plant shut down its kill-floor operation in a nearby city before reopening to take advantage of the cheaper inmate labor in Brush. The union claims the inmate jobs rightfully belong to union members. John Zalusky, senior economist with the AFL-CIO's Department of Economic Research believes the concept of inmate employment in "real world" businesses can work without conflicting with organized labor. Zalusky reasons that prison industries can work if three guiding tenets are followed: there must be labor-management participation in the programs; prevailing market wages must be paid inmates; and there must be no adverse impact on surrounding labor markets. Small businesses as well as labor unions have a stake in how corrections industries are run. Unfair competition resulting from below-market wages for inmates (leading to unfair lower product costs) or government regulations that require government agencies to buy from prison industries can give prison industries and inmates an unfair advantage in the labor and product market.
Main Term(s): Correctional industries
Index Term(s): Inmate vocational training; Unions
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