Prison Labor: A Success Story | Documentary Idea
by James Thomsen
(Mammoth Lakes, California)
Made from recycled PVC advertising banners.
Recently there have been many films, articles and discussions about the use of prison labor in the USA (re: Whole Foods, etc.) and the criticism seems justified.
But I recently purchased a shoulder bag made in a prison in Italy.
The organization uses inmate labor for production, but still follows the Italian labor laws, including sick leave, etc. And they have factories outside the prison where released inmates can also work as they move back into society.
While it is easy to say that all prison labor should be stopped, I think setting up programs that are good for the inmates, while much harder, is the right thing to do.
I have been invited to tour their facilities and interview inmates.
With so many anti-prison labor films I think something that promotes a program that is actually good for inmates is needed.
Maybe we can bring these successful programs to the USA.