ABSTRACT

Federal Prison Industries [Updated July 13, 2007]   [open pdf - 158KB]

"UNICOR, the trade name for Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (FPI), is a government-owned corporation that employs offenders incarcerated in correctional facilities under the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). UNICOR manufactures products and provides services that are sold to executive agencies in the federal government. FPI was created to serve as a means for managing, training, and rehabilitating inmates in the federal prison system through employment in one of its industries. The question of whether UNICOR is unfairly competing with private businesses, particularly small businesses, in the federal market has been and continues to be an issue of debate. The debate has been affected by tensions between competing interests that represent two social goods -- the employment and rehabilitation of offenders and the need to protect jobs of law abiding citizens. At the core of the debate is UNICOR's preferential treatment over the private sector. UNICOR's enabling legislation and the Federal Acquisition Regulation require federal agencies, with the exception of the Department of Defense (DOD), to procure products offered by UNICOR, unless authorized by UNICOR to solicit bids from the private sector. While federal agencies are not required to procure services provided by UNICOR they are encouraged to do so. It is this 'mandatory source clause' that has drawn controversy over the years and is the subject of current legislation."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32380
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2007-07-13
Series:
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Via E-mail
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
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