Gone may be the days of the traditional chain gang, dust and pick-axes a la Cool Hand Luke, but Ohio’s incarcerated aren’t out of work options to fill their jailhouse hours. In fact, the state has an entire branch of the prison system devoted to Big House-based capitalism, an enterprise that reaches beyond the usual license plate stamping. The question is whether or not it’s worth it, dollars-and-cents wise.
The Columbus Dispatch has an article that looks into Ohio Penal Industries, the part of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction responsible for running the in-prison shops that produce various and sundry items, from brooms and office binders to dentures and hand soap and toilet paper. That’s right, fake chompers courtesy of the convicted.