Companies who Have Contributed to the Prison Industrial Complex 

Learn about prominent companies that profit off of prison labor and find alternatives that you can support.

Companies with Prison Ties
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Starbucks uses prisoners to package their products and surge ahead of competitors 

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 In the 1990s, Microsoft hired Washington state prisoners to package software and mouses. At the time, a spokesman said, "We don't see this as a negative." 

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VS uses inmates to cut production costs. In South Carolina, female inmates were used to sew products. Also, inmates reportedly have been used to replace “made in” tags with “Made in USA” tags.

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Walmart says it won't sell products made with prison labor, but the company still contracts companies that use inmate labor to dispose of customer returns and excess inventory.

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 McDonald’s uses inmates to produce frozen foods. Inmates process beef for patties. They may also process bread, milk and chicken products..

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In 2000, Target used suppliers that rely on prison labor. Earlier in the '90s, big companies like AT&T and Microsoft hired inmates, but most backed away after the arrangements were exposed. Some big companies such as Target, however, still use suppliers that employ prisoners.

According to the international Center for Research on Globalization, makeup company Revlon has used prison labor.

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Fruit of the Loom uses prison labor for manufacturing retail products 

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Nintento hired a subcontractor called Signature Packaging Solutions to package their Nintento Game Boys. The company uses prison labor.

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Unicor is a government-owned company that produces helmets and military uniforms for the Department of Defense, employing over 20,000 inmates at wages as low as 23 cents an hour. 

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Boeing used prisoners making $7 for an hour for work that is typically $30 an hour to cut airplane components. 

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After the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010, BP hired Louisiana prison inmates to clean up the oil spill. The workers were not paid at all.

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ExonMobile previously partnered with ALEC, although they joined other firms in cutting ties in 2018. However, they also use prison labor for manufacturing 

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Money invested by Fidelity is used for prison labor. The investment firm funds the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has created laws authorizing and increasing the use of inmates in manufacturing.

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Ethical Alternatives
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Peet's Coffee offers ethically grown coffee and the company is committed to diversity internally 

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Looking for an ethical browser? Mozilla Firefox was created by a nonprofit dedicated to making the internet accessible 

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Bare Reverie is a eco-friendly, women-owned, and locally manufactured alternative to Victoria's Secret  

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Ross department stores value diversity and inclusion and recently donated $500k to the NAACP and Boys and Girls Club

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In-N-Out is family-owned and created a foundation for child-abuse and human trafficking prevention 

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Costco pays around 40% more and provides more health and retirement benefits than Walmart and Target. The company also resists layoffs and invests in training its employees. 

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L'Oreal is a leader in environmental stewardship, and philanthropy. It recently rehired a black model who was fired for speaking out about racism and gave her a seat on the company's diversity board

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Adidas champions sustainability and is ranked high for labor conditions 

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Sony, which makes the PlayStation, launched a $100 million fund to support social justice

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Airbus has been willing to make administrative changes to promote ethic practices 

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Alternative energy companies like Solar Optimum are protecting our environment while maintaining ethical practices 

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One United Bank is black-owned and finances loans to low and middle income commuities 

Bank of America  uses prison labor and supports private prisons. 

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The popular airlines has inmates working in their call centers taking reservations for less than minimum wage 

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United Airlines has used prison labor in the past and has also supported ALEC 

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 Delta Air Lines signed a letter with dozens of companies calling for police reforms, including mandating de-escalation training to reduce the use of force.