BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota is considering whether to allow the state’s 16,000 employees to buy products made by inmates in the state prison system.
The coronavirus pandemic has greatly slowed orders from government agencies, tribes and nonprofits for products, especially from the prison labor industry’s furniture operation, as an increasing number of employees work from home.
The North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is pushing the legislation. Officials say it’s important to continue getting inmates the work and skills they acquire by making the items.
A Senate committee has given the bill a “Do Pass” recommendation.