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10:10 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Prison Factories Caught In Private Biz Debate

One of the nation's toughest periods of unemployment is drawing prison factories into the jbos debate.
Credit Daniel Lobo / Flickr

Factories that employ convicted felons are at the heart of a simmering debate about whether prisons should be siphoning away jobs — at much lower wages — that could be filled by those who need them during the nation's toughest period of unemployment in decades.

Congressional Republicans, a handful of Democrats and private-industry critics want to clamp down on Unicor. That is the trade name of Federal Prison Industries. Almost 13,000 inmates work in federal lockups for a few dollars a day, making everything from military uniforms to office furniture.

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