Maryland Correctional Enterprises To Host National Correctional Industries Convention In Baltimore March 24-28
MCE is one of the top prison industries in the nation

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Towson, MD (March 21, 2011)--- Maryland Correctional Enterprises (MCE), the prison industry arm of the Division of Correction, will host the National Correctional Industries Association’s convention in Baltimore March 24-28. The convention will feature MCE executives leading workshops on leadership and management and inmate reentry services, as well as a tour of some MCE plants.

The National Correctional Industries Association (NCIA) is an international nonprofit association whose members represent all 50 state correctional industry agencies, Federal Bureau of Prisons Industries, foreign correctional industries, and local jail industry programs. Private sector companies that work in partnership with correctional industries both as suppliers/vendors and apprenticeship partners work program coordinators are also members.

Maryland Correctional Industries is one of the top ten prison industries in the nation, both in number of inmates employed (approximately 2,000) and total sales (more than $50 million last fiscal year). MCE teaches job skills and work ethic, which allow inmates the opportunity to succeed once they leave prison. Inmates must attain certain educational goals before working for MCE, and most of those who do find that they are much more successful on the outside than other inmates: statistics show that MCE inmates who work for at least one year in a prison industry job are less than half as likely to return to prison as inmates who do not work for MCE.

MCE is a statewide presence, with plants and shops in Cumberland, Hagerstown, Jessup, Sykesville, and Westover. The diversified operations include everything from environmental efforts (bay grasses and tree planting) to meats; flags and uniforms to furniture; and signs to graphic design and printing.

CE does not try to compete with small businesses, selling only to state and non-profit agencies. It is completely self-supporting and receives no funding from State government.

MCE inmates produce all of the flags flown by State buildings; have grown and planted shoreline-restoring bay grasses; restore cherished green spaces, including wooded areas and orchards at Antietam Battlefield; make and restore furniture for government buildings, colleges, and other entities; and produce license plates, street signs, and many other products.

The MCE Meat Plant in Hagerstown employs more than 80 inmates and ranks second in the MCE system for sales (more than $10 million in FY ’10). Its inmates annually prepare hundreds of turkeys (at no cost) for the Bea Gaddy Thanksgiving dinner for the poor in Baltimore.

In 2010, MCE CEO Steve Shiloh received a prestigious national award for his work in taking Maryland’s prison industries forward. Mr. Shiloh, DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard, and Division of Correction Commissioner J. Michael Stouffer will all speak at the convention’s opening ceremony on Friday.

Members of the media are invited to attend the MCE shop tour at Maryland Correctional Institution for Women on Monday, March 28. Please contact the public information officers above for more information. This tour will allow correctional industries convention participants to see several MCE operations inside the women’s prison.

MCE’s top ten plants are as follows:

  Upholstery Hagerstown $6.9 million sales in ‘FY 10
  Meat Hagerstown $5.4 million
  Partition Hagerstown $5.1 million
  Tag Jessup $5.0 million
  Metal Hagerstown $3.5 million
  Wood Jessup $3.3 million
  Graphics Jessup $2.6 million
  Mailing/Dist. Jessup $2.4 million
  Graphics II Jessup $1.9 million
  Furniture Restoration Westover $1.9 million

See attached for MCE fact sheet and the schedule for the National Correctional Industries Association convention in Baltimore.