Senator Fights Prison Work Program

State Senator Robert  Nichols is fighting for East Texas jobs when he goes up against the regulatory agency over the Prison Enhancement Program.   Nichols says prison made trailers are stealing business from private contractors. The claim is the competition contributed to the closure of Lufkin Industries in Lufkin and is hurting Bright Coop Industries in Nacogdoches. Nichols said, "The Direct Trailer contract, they got 70,000 square feet of floor space for $1 a year supplied by the State of Texas. It's a travesty. We have been working to shut that down and fix that. " Nichols says he supports work programs for prisoners, but not when they take jobs away from private industry.      Nichols has submitted a letter to the Private Sector Prison Industries Oversight Authority. It meets Thursday in Austin.