UNICOR was shut down when I arrived at Herlong Prison Camp. To my understanding, it was shut down because of poor management and there wasn’t enough to fund the department. As far as I understood, UNICOR was also closed inside the FCI as well.
A lot of inmates didn’t like that UNICOR was closed. They paid some of the best wages in the camp. The top inmate workers made well over a dollar per hour. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but in prison camp, good money is when an inmate made more than $40 a month.
What I understood was the furniture of UNICOR was poorly built. Several inmates, most likely the lowest paid inmates, had too many shortcuts to building furniture. There was a high amount of returns, which cut into the company’s profits. I’ve also heard rumors the COs didn’t keep proper bookkeeping and terrible managing of the inmates.
UNICOR was a department where inmates build chairs, household furniture, and office furniture for other companies to be sold in department stores in and outside the US. I understood inmates had made upwards to a hundred dollars a month and more. The furniture the inmates made where used within the prison and the camp. I remember the Power House had all desk and chairs created from inmates from Unicor. I have no way of knowing if the respected department had to pay to get those furniture or chairs.
When I arrived, the department used for UNICOR was used as a storage area for supplies from the Power House and GM6. In fact, I would get ten to fifteen ten-pound bags of salt from that storage area to apply to the hard water in the Power House.
Just before I transferred to the halfway house, the part of the building used for UNICOR was no longer accessible to inmates. I never got a reason as to why.