Maryland Correctional Enterprises has put its 182-page catalog online, reports the Associated Press. Anyone can buy hundreds of items the agency offers for sale to government agencies and Maryland nonprofit organizations. The catalog is at http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/mcem . The products include institutional clothing, bedding, clocks, signs, nd lots of furniture. Nearly half the pages are filled with furniture, including the Slammer table, designed for correctional environments and named “because they put ’em in the slammer,” said the corrections group’s Jeff Beeson.
The organization employs about 1,600 inmates at nine prisons and in warehouse, delivery, and photocopying jobs outside prison walls. They are paid a base rate of $1.10 to $2.60 a day. The agency sold $42.8 million worth of goods last year, making it 10th among U.S. prison industries. The Independent Office Products and Furniture Dealers Association, based in Arlington, Va., supports a bill passed in September by the U.S. House of Representatives that would require Federal Prison Industries Inc. to compete on a more even footing with the private sector for federal contracts. An official of the group said both federal and state correctional industries programs cut into private industry sales.