Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Different Kind Of Cottage Industry

Please note what they are selling for and what the guys are making...It looks like a great way to train people to get a great job - although it's reserved for about 20 people...total.

The Denver Post - Have a look at the desks the next time you visit a state government office. Odds are that they were made by a Colorado prison inmate — one "buy local" approach that perhaps you've overlooked.

Most of the desks, chairs, bookcases, credenzas and other furniture in state offices and buildings are built at the Colorado Correctional Industries' furniture factory and warehouse in Cañon City. So are a few of the wood bed frames in state university dormitories, though most of the beds go to residential youth correctional facilities.

"The dormitory furniture is kind of a sideline," said Andy Klinkerman, the manufacturing manager of the factory, which operates as a division of the Colorado Department of Corrections.

"The bigger demand is case goods — office furniture for state agencies. The biggest demand is for desks."

And not the kind of desks buyers can pick up for less than $300 at office supply stores, either. Go online to coloradoci .com, and check out the merchandise sold at the factory's Denver showroom.

A single bunk bed capable of being used as a loft bed costs about $180. A freestanding credenza, 70 by 23 inches, with drawers on both sides and a sliding door, in a dark cherry veneer over heavyweight particle board, goes for about $1,640.

"The cherry and the other hardwood veneers, those usually are for executive offices," Klinkerman said. Lower-ranking civil servants make do with wood-grain laminate surfaces on the same sturdy particle-board forms.

"We make a product that's focused on long-term sustainability. A lot of state agencies can't afford new furniture every couple years. A desk's got to last 10, 15, 20 years."

Jobs at the factory and assembly warehouse are reserved for inmates who are "report-free and program-compliant," prison parlance for exemplary behavior and graduation from prison training and educational programs.

Each prisoner in the factory earns about $3 to $3.50 a day in the factory. The production level varies, but last month, the warehouse produced 45 bookcases, 68 desks, 35 wood file cabinets, 39 conference and terminal tables, and 18 hutches and credenzas.

The Denver Post


Anonymous said...

What I'd like to know is where the money goes from the sale of those pieces of furniture, any answers out there?

Pamela Clifton and Christie Donner said...

Correctional Industries is a for-profit organization. Look up their website for more information...

Anonymous said...

Where can the private sector find workers for 3.00 an hour. We have labor laws, why isnt corrections in compliance??? djw

Anonymous said...

djw. DOC (along with most of the judicial system), believes they are above the US Constitution and they answer to absolutely no one.
There were 542 beds that were available in this year's budget that DOC returned to the state budget because they said none of the inmates qualified for the beds. Yet they returned some $16,000,000 in profits from the prison industries. As you might know, $3.50 is king's ransom for prison wages. Almost everyone else gets 60 cents a day!!
There are no safety procedures. They made my friend jump into a smelly dumpster for hours, shutdown the entire prison and "fired" the cook at CTCF because he allowed someone, probably a guard, over which he has no control, to put a knife into the trash.
This DOC system is run by total idiots.mpc

Anonymous said...