WARREN, ME - Furniture maker Brian Reid has launched a fine woodworking training program for inmates of Maine's state prison system. Reid, who operates professional fine furniture training programs at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, ME - where he is Senior Fellow - began voluntarily organizing a community outreach program last year to teach fine furniture making in the Maine State Prison Industries Program.
Like the Federal Unicor prison industries, Maine State Prison Industries trains and employs inmates in several businness segments, including woodworking, upholstering and logging and lumber production. Goods are sold to to state agencies and other buyers, generating about $1.5 million in revenue annually.
Maine Prison Wood-related Workshops
Woodshop--MSP, MCC, CCF
Charleston Correctional Facility 1202 Dover Road Charleston, ME 04422 (207)285-0800
Maine Correctional Center 17 Mallison Falls Road Windham, ME 04062 (207)893-7000
Maine State Prison 807 Cushing Road Warren, ME 04864 (207)273-5300
Reid's Maine Prison Outreach Program for fine furniture making began in August 2012, in Warren, ME, modeled after a similar program run by the New Hampshire Furntiture Masters Association. Teaching with Reid are furniture craftsman Dylan Fuller, Howard Hatch, and Jeremy S. Gallant, each donating 10 hours a week to the program. Some of the prisoners' wares will be placed on sale this summer.
The Maine Department of Corrections operates Industries Programs in five of is adult facilities, with three producing wood products. "Keeping as many prisoners busy as possible" is a major goal, says the prison agency.
The Prison Industries Upholstery Shop in is the home of the state’s only Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP), a federally certified program which allows prisoners to work for private enterprise, and grants an exemption from federal restrictions on prisoner-made goods in interstate commerce.
The state says the program lets prisoners earn money which goes toward reimbursing the state for their room and board, as well as paying victim restitution and child support.
The Maine State Prison Showroom in Thomaston, ME is the largest retailer of prison-made goods in the state. goods with over 600 crafted products. There are also over 60 private vendors approved to resell prison-made goods in the State of Maine.