Prison Inmate Labor Contract Continues - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

6/12/08 - Austin

Prison Inmate Labor Contract Continues

State senator Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, announced today the Private Sector Prison Industries Oversight Authority has voted not to end the prison inmate labor contract between Direct Trailer and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

 "I am disappointed in today's action by the Authority. It is difficult to understand how this state can allow a contract to continue illegally. I stand ready to continue the fight to ensure businesses and jobs in Texas are not unfairly competing with inmate labor," Nichols said.

 Nichols testified at a hearing of the Private Sector Prison Industries Oversight Authority which met today to decide the fate of an inmate labor contract with Direct Trailer. Lufkin Industries located in Lufkin and Bright Coop, Inc. of Nacogdoches were both directly competing with this inmate labor contract.   Numerous community leaders from Lufkin and Nacogdoches have testified in opposition to this contract. Recently, Nichols discovered that the contract was in clear violation of federal law and he presented those facts to the board today.

"It was clear to me that the federal law has mandatory requirements which this contract does not meet," said Nichols. "It appears this program is operating without regard to federal and state law, and I will continue taking every action possible to stop it."  

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