“ACI utilizes inmate labor to produce goods and services that are sold to governmental entities within the State,” the ACI website states. “The revenues generated go to offset the costs of incarceration and provide inmates with job skills and practical work experience.”
Participating prisoners are paid 25 to 75 cents per hour for their work, unlike inmate laborers in Arkansas, Georgia and Texas state prisons, who were not paid as of September. And they make more than federal prisoners, who get just 12 to 40 cents an hour, according to Mother Jones.
They may have it slightly better than inmates in other states, but Alabama prisoners still make far less than Alabama’s minimum hourly wage of $7.25.
That disparity has led to strikes, protests and other issues in recent years.
But ACI, which is a division of the state Department of Corrections, continues to be a productive program. Its products are sold via a showroom in Montgomery, an online catalog and printed order forms.