What do they do in US prisons?
This spring, the United Arab Emirates is going to conclude a deal for the supply of American weapons worth $ 7 billion. About half of these funds will be spent on the purchase of Patriot missiles , each of which costs, no less, no less, $ 5.9 million.
There is something to be surprised at, but this is not the cost of the contract, but the fact that some parts of these missiles are hand-made by guys earning $ 0.23 an hour in US federal prisons. Unicor
Company, formerly known as Federal Prison Industries, does the job for the U.S. military. The company, as it is now fashionable to say, “with state participation” and was created during the Great Depression, today it has about 20,000 “employees” in 70 different “establishments”, and is engaged in literally everything from sewing clothes and making dishes to assembly solar panels and military electronics.
The assembly of the Patriot missile system is one of the company's many specialties. “UNICOR / FPI supplies electronic components and services for guided missiles such as the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3),” the company’s website says. “We collect and distribute auxiliary signal processors (IFP) for PAC-3 missiles. The IFP chip receives and filters the radio signals that lead missiles to targets. ”
After assembly, components are delivered worldwide - sometimes with the help of the country's highest political forces. Last year, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates showed Patriot missiles to the Turkish government, as recorded in a WikiLeaks posting, saying, "When it comes to capabilities, there is not a single PAC-3 system."
As it turned out, not only the two largest arms manufacturers in the US (Lockheed Martin and Raytheon) use the services of "convicts." According to the UNICOR Director: “prisoners also assemble cables for F-15 aircraft manufactured by McDonnell Douglas together with Boeing, accessories for Cobra helicopters for Bell and Textron, as well as optical-electronic laser rangefinders for BAE Systems Bradley Fighting Vehicle systems ."
By the way, a funny story came out with Lockheed Martin, during which a company representative said that "UNICOR components have never been used to build guidance systems." At the same time, adding that the result of the labor of prisoners is more often used in assembling launch and flight correction systems (a completely different song) - supplied by Raytheon, another company in this “rocket” pair.
If you think that the activities of UNICOR are limited to this, you are mistaken. For example, 44,000 military helmets recalled due to marriage were also collected by prisoners.
Or a $ 20 million contract for the supply of "Tactical Body Armor", which UNICOR also collects in order to send to Pakistan (according to some sources - the Pakistan army, according to others - the US military in Pakistan). On the UNICOR website5 different vests are advertised, in two color combinations (“do you want blue or black?”) The
berries of this story are hidden in an agreement under which all US military agencies, with the exception of the Department of Defense and the CIA, are required to buy goods manufactured by UNICOR. What is not surprising - the cost of such work tends to zero: “Prisoners receive from $ 0.23 to $ 1.15 per hour, depending on their skills, education and experience.”
Last year, UNICOR earned $ 772 million, of which about 5% is the salary of workers in prisons.
UNICOR with foam at the mouth proves that this business is good and profitable, in its current form - for everyone. Governments and prisoners who have a chance to brighten up their time in prison doing useful work and training technical skills. As stated in the company's press release: "Such activities reduce the likelihood that prisoners will continue to engage in criminal activities after release." Special studies were even carried out, according to the results of which the government showed the figures: "prisoners employed in UNICOR work are 24% less likely to violate the law than other prisoners."
However, as we understand, the main reason is not this: “In a situation where the number of prisoners in prisons is only growing, and conflicts erupt more and more between them, our program helps to relieve tension and avoid dangerous situations, which means protecting people's lives and federal property "- UNICOR representatives insist. “Prisons that do not provide prisoners with work opportunities are dangerous prisons, and dangerous prisons are expensive prisons.”
Thanks Wired ( 1 , 2 )