Sunday, August 8, 2010
Badger State Industries Struggles During Great Recession
Link to August 8 Fond du Lac Reporter article, "Like many on the outside, those inside Wisconsin's prison walls are feeling the impact of recession".
Excerpt: Already, job orders from state agencies depending on goods from BSI have slowed down, forcing Department of Corrections' officials to scale back operations at the 15 industries within 11 correctional facilities throughout the state, including Waupun.
"Two years ago, we had 110-plus inmates employed with Badger State Industries," said WCI Warden Michael Thurmer. "We're limited by state law from selling to anyone other than government agencies, the state university system and non-profits. And with the state budget being the way it is, there's no additional funding to replace office furniture and things like that, so our orders are down."
Without those jobs created by BSI, Thurmer said the number of jobless inmates could increase further in the institution that houses 1,250 inmates.
"Right now, we have over 400 inmates that don't have a job or a programming assignment," Thurmer said.