Delaware Printers Stung by Prison Shop Competition


Printing firms are protesting competition by the Delaware Correctional Center print shop, reports the News Journal. Printers say the shop has been taking business from Delaware printers and breaking the prison job program’s promise to “engage in no industry that may displace or compete unfairly with private sector Delaware workers.” One printer, Charles Rogers, said his firm has lost about $50,000 a year since the work he once did for Delaware school districts was awarded to the prison shop.

Another printer said it is unfair that the state is using his tax dollars to subsidize a competitor that undercuts prices using labor that tops out at $1.30. The work programs, collectively known as Prison Industries, are in place at the state prisons both in Smyrna and Georgetown. In addition to a print shop, the Smyrna program includes auto maintenance, garment production, picture framing, silkscreening, small appliance repair, upholstery and furniture making. At Georgetown, prisoners can work on a farm or in the wood shop.


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