My question on Ron Johnson’s company using prison labor: Hiring after release?

A sad fact of America’s sprawling prison-industrial complex is that upon release, many former prisoners do not have work skills, to say nothing of the stigma that comes with a criminal record.

And by now–the news has been out for at least fifteen minutes now–it’s old news that, quoting the AP story, “Pacur Inc. and Dynamic Drinkware LLC, two companies run by Johnson, employ up to nine inmates at a time through a state Corrections Department jobs program.”

I’m fine with that. They get to let the state of Wisconsin pay for their healthcare. How can Johnson not like not having to pay for healthcare? Must save his company a lot of money.

While a company spokesperson called this the company’s “public service,” my question is this: Does either company hire former inmates upon their release from prison? Or do they just use them while they are inmates?

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.