14 ·
business Graph Expo 2011 Edition
Although some prisoners today still
make only license plates, many are doing
more useful things with their time while
doing time.”
At Virginia Correctional Enterprises (VCE),
inmates manufacture products from
furniture and apparel to bed linens and
binders. For some, the daily regimen
includes learning some of the most
advanced digital prepress, printing and
finishing technology currently available.
Operated by the Virginia Department of
Corrections, VCE was established by the
Virginia General Assembly more than
years ago as a work program to produce
goods and services for tax-supported
agencies of the Commonwealth and
authorized non-profit organizations. A self-
sufficient entity, VCE is supported by revenue
retained from the sale of its products and
services rather than by tax dollars.
VCE vocational programs help instill a work
ethic and teach skills that enable offenders
incarcerated within the Department of
Corrections to become productive members
of society upon their release. They also
have helped the state reduce its rate of
recidivism, which in the U.S. averages 60%.
The expansion to printing was the idea of
VCE Director Don Guillory, who believed
that offenders needed to learn how to
make more than hard goods like clothing
and furniture.
Making a Break
For many years, we maintained a large
offset print shop inside our Powhatan,
Virginia prison facility. During the 1990s,
our customers wanted their jobs faster and
we were unable to meet that demand with
offset, which is time-consuming to start
with and operates even more slowly inside
a prison,” says Stephen Palmese, VCE Group
Manager, Print Services.
Virginia Corrections Offers
Inmates a Fresh Start with
Digital Finishing
by James Tressler