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NCJ Number: 152048 Find in a Library
Title: New Direction for Prison Industries: Prison Blues; Jeans Change Public Perceptions, Offer Innovative Solutions
Journal: Corrections Compendium  Volume:19  Issue:10  Dated:(October 1994)  Pages:1-4
Author(s): B Haga
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 4
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes why and how Oregon Corrections Industries (Unigroup) developed a blue jeans industry ("Prison Blues").
Abstract: In 1989, Unigroup administrator Fred Nichols was challenged to create 300 jobs for inmates at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution. His goal was to select a consumer product that had universal appeal, build a state-of-the-art factory inside a corrections facility, hire seasoned private-sector supervisors to train and manage inmate workers, market the product across the United States, and increase production and hiring as sales grow. The decision to produce garments, specifically blue jeans, was based on the multi-billion-dollar size of the U.S. garment industry and on the fact that garment manufacturing is a labor intensive business, thus assuring a high number of potential inmate jobs. Nichols selected the name "Prison Blues" for the jeans and an ad slogan that stated "made on the inside to be worn on the outside." The construction of a 47,000-square foot blue jeans factory at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Facility was made possible by the contributions of Oregon Lottery dollars and Federal grants. The media liked the uniqueness of the concept and gave the product free advertising in magazine articles and on television segments and talk shows. Prison Blues are now sold through over 450 stores in 17 States and five countries. This number will nearly double in October 1994 as Unigroup's first Electronic Data Interchange customer comes on-line with its first order for up to 400 stores. One major Italian retail chain is purchasing the jeans in container loads.
Main Term(s): Correctional industries
Index Term(s): Inmate vocational training; Oregon
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