10 Products You Didn’t Know Were Made By Prisoners

McDonalds Employee Uniforms

McDonalds publicly states their commitment to human rights stating “We do not use any form of slave, forced, bonded, indentured, or involuntary prison labor. However the fast-food giant indirectly uses prison labor by working with subcontractors that provide uniforms that have been sewn by Oregon inmates. The prison labor is voluntary, but one needs to question if prison labor can ever really be “voluntary?”
McDonalds Employee Uniforms

Military Attire and Battle Gear

UNICOR’s inmate employees work on making jackets, helmets, uniforms and shoes for the United States military. An Alabama company, American Apparel Inc. also provides the same services to the U.S. military however, an executive at the company told CNN Money that competition for the contracts has become too stiff resulting in the company having to lay off 150 people over several years.
Military Attire and Battle Gear

Packaging Starbucks Coffee Beans

At the Twin Rivers Corrections Unit in Monroe, Washington, Signature Packaging Solutions uses inmate labor for its packaging needs. Signature Packaging Solutions provides packaging services for corporations such as Starbucks. In 2002, Starbucks’ public affairs director Audrey Lincoff released a statement to the Seattle Weekly stating “Starbucks is aware that Signature uses inmate labor and believes its contract with Signature is entirely consistent with our mission statement.”
Packaging Starbucks Coffee Beans

Braille Books

In 2001 The National Prison Braille Network (NPBN) began to team up with correctional facilities across the United States and the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in order to create quality braille textbooks for blind students in grades K-12. As of 2009 there were 31 braille programs operating in correctional facilities in 26 states. 29 out of the 31 programs operate in state prisons while two operate under federal facilities. The goal of the prisons who work with the APH is to prepare inmates for reentry into society.
Braille Books

Furniture

According to Government Executive, furniture is UNICOR’s biggest business with furniture sales making up more than 40 percent of total sales. Back when Clinton was in office, Tipper Gore’s side chairs were reupholstered by inmates who work for UNICOR and former Attorney General Janet Reno held meetings over a conference table that had been refinished by UNICOR workers.
Furniture

Victoria’s Secret Lingerie

It was during the 90’s that South Carolina inmates were hired by subcontractor, Third Generation Inc. to sew Victoria’s Secret lingerie and leisure wear. Third Generation Inc. operated a garment manufacturing plant inside of the Leath Correctional Facility. The Leath plant has produced more than $1.5 million worth of garments.
Victoria’s Secret Lingerie

Law Enforcement Training Gear

Prisoners are often found making human silhouette targets which are used in law enforcement training and Texas prisoners make duty belts, handcuff cases and prison-cell accessories for law enforcement officers.
Law Enforcement Training Gear

Packaging of Nintendo Games

During the holiday season, inmates at Twin Rivers Corrections Unit in Washington worked on packaging Nintendo Game Boys and games such as Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong. The inmates worked under subcontractor, Signature Packaging Solutions and the inmates stated that the work was very dull and repetitive but at least inmates were paid $6.72 an hour versus their normal rate of 35 cents to $1.10 an hour.
Packaging of Nintendo Games

Circuit Boards

Many tech companies such as IBM, Dell and Texas Instruments have turned to prison labor to make their circuit boards. While these companies do not work directly with prison labor they work with the suppliers that contract out to the prison labor force.
Circuit Boards