Federal Prison Industries, Inc. or UNICOR, which is its trade name, was established in 1934 by executive order and an Act of Congress. It is a wholly-owned government corporation. It is a part of the Bureau of Prisons, but is a self-sufficient operation separate from the Bureau of Prisons’ budget. Federal Prison Industries was established to combat idleness in the correctional setting.
Federal Prison Industries provides employment to medically cleared inmates as well as the handicapped. It is the goal of UNICOR to improve inmate morale and confidence through unified industrial participation. UNICOR is a voluntary assignment. No one is required to work in UNICOR.
It is the policy of the Federal Prison Industries to assure the efficient utilization of inmate manpower resources by providing real life employment along with performance expectations as close to private industry standards as possible within a correctional setting.
All inmates seeking employment in UNICOR will obtain an application from the A&O Counselor during the Unit A&O session. The completed application will be given to the UNICOR Representative during their Institution A&O presentation. Applications can also be obtained by sending an inmate request to the UNICOR Superintendent of Industries. DO NOT come to UNICOR to obtain this, ask questions or for any other reason unless you are on the callout list or have an approved pass to do so. You will be considered out of bounds otherwise.
The UNICOR Representative, upon receipt of the application will date them. The application will then be entered on one of three waiting lists according to the date received by the UNICOR Representative. The application will be kept on file until the inmate’s name moves to the top of the list, at which time the inmate will be placed on callout for a job interview. Those inmates who have been transferred from another institution while employed in UNICOR will be given priority consideration for placement if their transfers were not for disciplinary reasons. These inmates will be placed on the prior UNICOR priority list.
UNICOR will also maintain an FRP waiting list. The Unit Team will verify any federal court-ordered fine or restitution over $1000.00 or child support for an inmate requesting placement on this list. They will then notify the UNICOR Representative to place you on the FRP list. All others will be placed on the regular waiting list. The prior UNICOR and FRP list are the shortest lists and inmates on these two lists usually get into UNICOR fairly quick with the exact time depending on current turnover from things such as releases, transfers, and terminations either by the inmate’s request or for other reasons.
Inmates from the prior UNICOR list will be hired first. Inmates from the FRP list will have second preference and the regular list will be used when both priority lists are exhausted. The Superintendent of Industries reserves the right to hire an inmate from any of the three lists for special skills hire. UNICOR staff will work closely with the Inmate Work Assignment Committee to ensure that placing these inmates in UNICOR will not place undo hardship on the inmate’s current work assignment.
The UNICOR Representative will be responsible for placing inmates on callout for job interviews. It is the inmate’s responsibility to check the callout sheet each day to see if he has a callout. If he is placed on the callout sheet and does not show up for his UNICOR callout an incident report will be written, and he will be removed from the waiting list.
An inmate whose FRP status becomes FRP Refuse is removed immediately from the UNICOR waiting list. When the inmate goes back to FRP participate status, he must resubmit an application to the UNICOR office. Any inmate placed on FRP Refusal status while working in the UNICOR will be removed from UNICOR immediately and cannot be on any waiting list for six months.
USP Marion has one major UNICOR operation. We have an Electronics Cable Factory. The cable factory produces various electronic work including cables, cable assemblies, etc. Our primary customer is the Department of Defense. Cables range from simple to sophisticated: ground communication cables, guided missile components, engine and electrical system components, weapon equipment, fire control and radar equipment, vehicular components, electric power and distribution equipment. Ship board alarm and signal systems are examples of the manufacturing capabilities. Soldering training is provided for those that show an aptitude for this type of work. Experience in this department can be very helpful in obtaining employment upon release.