Textile industry at Walla Walla Penitentiary closing
WALLA WALLA, Wash.- Leaders of Correctional Industries say a law allowing the Department of Corrections to buy uniforms from the private sector was a million dollar hit to their business.
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#1 Jun 29, 2012
I was an inmate who assited in the planning and development of the medium security facility called the Garment Factory. We began inm1985 with one line making inmate shirts. Then we added another line making blue jeans. We gradually expanded into making
Ski jackets, bags of various types, officers uniforms and jackets. The plant also produced mattresses, sheets, pillow cases, towels, wash cloths, etc. for sale to other prisoms and various other State institutions. We made all of the display banners of various sizes and designs as well as all of the patches for the State Centennial celebration. afternthe celebration year, we made the patches for all of the officers uniforms. We started the factory with a supervisor, Paul Smith, and myself. By the time I transferred to Minimum security in 1991 , the plant had over 200 inmates working 2 shifts. I am saddened to learn that it is closing as it gave jobs to many inmates who would othrwise be idle.
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