Hempstead Town has purchased office furniture made by prison inmates, officials announced in a news release.
The town paid just under $7,500, which included delivery and assembly, for desks, bookshelves, file cabinets and seating, according to the release. Officials estimate the town would have paid $6,300 more if the items had been purchased outside of the state program providing the furniture.
More than 2,000 inmates across the state participate in the “Corcraft” program, where they make office furnishings, signs and graphics, metal storage shelves, cabinets and license plates, and are paid on an hourly scale that rises based on seniority and skill level, the release stated. The program’s goal is to help inmates develop work ethics and skills they can use in a job after they are released from prison.
Town Supervisor Anthony Santino announced the initiative with Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, councilmen Anthony D’Esposito and Dennis Dunne Sr., and Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad at a news conference on Friday.
The town may purchase more furniture through the Corcraft program, according to the release. If the town buys all of its office furniture through the program, it would save up to $46,000 a year, officials said.
“By purchasing office furniture and equipment made by prisoners, we are getting good quality products at significant savings compared to private sector office furniture suppliers,” Santino said in the release.