From the Editor – Prison Labor

by Mike Rosso There was a big news story this past month that hit close to home. The national grocery chain Whole Foods, after protests from a small but loud group of customers, decided to stop carrying products grown and processed by Colorado inmates through a work program run by Colorado Correctional Industries (CCI). Here …

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SWIFT Crews – Offenders Fighting Colorado Fires

SWIFT team

By Mike Rosso

A unique team of firefighters are being trained in Chaffee and Fremont County through a program with the Colorado Correctional Facility.

Dubbed the State Wildland Inmate Fire Team (SWIFT), the program is designed to prepare offenders for placement on Type 2 hand crews to be utilized on wildfires statewide.

Begun in the summer of 2002, the program is operated by Colorado Correction Industries ( CCI), a division of the Colorado Department of Corrections.

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Raising Crops … and Hopes

cci, colorado correctional, wild horses

Story and photos by Mike Rosso

It is one of the largest agricultural operations in Colorado, encompassing nearly 6,000 acres. It includes a goat dairy, corn fields, vineyards, floral greenhouses, cow dairy, tilapia fish farms, composting operation, a wild horse training program, and it is all located in Fremont County, just outside Cañon City.

Most of the workers are paid just a few dollars a day but gladly take on the physical tasks with few complaints. That is because the workers are all inmates, serving out sentences at the Colorado State Correction facilities and their employer is Colorado Correctional Industries (CCI), a for-profit division of the state prison system.

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