UNICOR is a life-changing correctional program that has a profound impact on everyone in the community.
UNICOR is a program that benefits everyone.
UNICOR programs help reduce recidivism, reduces the amount of government spending, and compensates society. The Inmate Financial Responsibility Program (IFRP) ensures that inmates who have financial obligations contribute 50% of their earnings. That money is used to pay for court-ordered fines, victim restitution, child support, incarceration fees, and other monetary judgments. In FY 2017 that amount equated to more than $941,000 dollars.
Private SectorDuring FY 2013, 73% of UNICOR expenditures went toward the purchase of raw materials, supplies, equipment, and services from private sector businesses. More than 50% of UNICOR's purchases were from small or disadvantaged businesses.
Bureau of PrisonsUNICOR contributes significantly to the safety and security of Federal correctional facilities by keeping inmates constructively occupied. Inmates who participate in work programs and vocational training are less likely to engage in institutional misconduct, thereby enhancing the safety of staff and other inmates.
For many inmates, working in UNICOR represents an opportunity to learn a marketable skill and gain valuable work experience that will substantially enhance their ability to successfully reintegrate into society following release from prison. The program teaches inmates pro-social values including the value of work, responsibility, and the need to respect and work with others.
Specific Skills Taught
- Equipment Maintenance
- Forklift Operations
- Customer Service
- Basic Accounting
In their own words ...
Listen to an ex-offender explain how the UNICOR program has changed his life.Watch the video
Specific Skills Taught
- Cutting Fabric
- Reading Specifications
- Reading Contracts
- Basic Garment Construction
- Eyeglass Grinding
- Metal Finishing
- Punch Press Operation
- Tool & Die Fabrication
- Wood Finishing
- Electronic Testing
- Wire Stripping
- Rubber Molding
Recycled Electronics Products
- Computer Identification
- Hazardous Material Recognition
- Technical Computer Skills
- Computer Component Identification
- Customer Service
- Data Entry
- Printing Equipment Operation
- Screen Printing
- Word Processing
- Engine Repair
- Forklift Repair
- Vehicle Component Repair
Other work-related skills
- Clerical (typing/filing)
- Basic Accounting
- Quality Control Inspection & Testing
- Forklift Operation
- Building & Equipment Maintenance & Repair
- Computer-Aided Drafting
- Test Lab Functions
- Warehouse Operations
VeteransCurrently, approximately 7% of the inmates employed by UNICOR are veterans. This employment is critical, as more than 200,000 veterans are incarcerated in the nation’s prisons and jails.
UNICOR is self-sustaining and operates at no cost to the taxpayer.
100% of revenues are eventually returned to the community.
78% Private Sector
Approximately $0.78 of each $1.00 in sales revenue is spent buying raw materials, supplies, services, and equipment from the private sector. More than half of all purchases were from small or disadvantaged businesses.
Approximately $0.18 of each $1.00 in sales revenue is used to cover the program's operational expenses including the salaries and benefits of the civil service staff who train and supervise inmate workers.
Inmates receive approximately $0.04 of each $1.00 in sales revenue, primarily used to repay important financial obligations.
In FY 2017, UNICOR had $483.8 million in net sales.
Products & Services
UNICOR is required by statute to diversify its product offerings as much as possible, minimizing the program’s impact on any one industry. Currently UNICOR produces over 80 products and services including:
- Cutting, Sewing & Weaving
- Embroidery & Silk Screening
Electronic Products & Services
- Power Distribution
Metal Products & Services
- Tool & Die
- Coating and Finishing
- Printing & Bindery
- Warehousing & Distribution
- CAD Design
- Data Entry & Media Conversion
- Contact Centers & Help Desks
- Forward & Reverse Logistics
Vehicle Repair/Remanufacturing Services
- Rebuilding, Retrofitting & Refurbishing
- Fleet Life Cycle Maintenance & Scheduling
Wire/Plastic Products & Services
- Injection Molding
- Extrusion Molding
Wood Products & Services
- Solar Applications
- Electronics Recycling
- E-waste Management (Federal, State, Municipal Partnerships & Co-ops
With a few limited exceptions, FPI is restricted to selling its products to the Federal Government.
FPI's derives over 50% of its sales from the Department of Defense.
Other key customers include:
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of Justice
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Treasury
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Federal Bureau of Prisons
- General Services Administration
- Social Security Administration
- United States Postal Service
The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 opened doors for greater private sector collaboration. UNICOR received legislative authority to work with private sector companies to manufacture and sell products in the commercial market, provided certain eligibility requirements are met. Repatriation authority was granted to participate in pilot projects (with prior Board approval) in the commercial sector, so long as the products are currently, or would otherwise be, produced and/or assembled outside the United States. Authority to participate in the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP) was also granted by Congress. These new authorities are expected to enhance UNICOR's value within the commercial marketplace and lead to additional inmate job opportunities in support of UNICOR's mission.
UNICOR's network of nationwide locations (co-located to BOP facilities) helps to streamline operational costs and savings.