Corcraft’s Use of Prison Labor for Office Products Under Scrutiny

Prison Labour Office Products

Corcraft’s Use of Prison Labor for Office Products Under Scrutiny

Corcraft, New York’s “preferred source” for office supplies, has recently come under the microscope for its controversial use of prison labor. A typical tour of a public school or city office would reveal an array of products from metal signage to adjustable standing desks, all supplied by Corcraft. This organization, an obscure division of the New York state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, relies heavily on the labor of inmates who earn a mere pittance per hour.

These products, manufactured by incarcerated individuals, are sold at market value or sometimes even higher. Corcraft enjoys a “preferred source” status under state law. This means that public institutions such as state and county agencies, educational institutions, police and fire departments, and certain nonprofits are mandated to purchase goods from Corcraft if they offer a comparable product.

This “preferred source” status offers a benefit to these institutions by eliminating the need for a lengthy bidding process for everyday items. However, it also raises several concerns. The most glaring issue is that Corcraft’s uncontested “preferred source” status has effectively granted them a monopoly over taxpayer-funded items such as furniture, signage, and cleaning supplies that our public institutions depend on.

Furthermore, the earnings of the inmates manufacturing these products are shockingly low compared to the prices these items are sold at. Recent data indicates that the average earnings for these incarcerated workers are a meager 65 cents per hour.

This disparity between the cost of labor and the selling price of the products is particularly evident in the case of items like the electric height adjustable standing desk. These desks, which are becoming increasingly popular due to their health benefits, are sold at premium prices despite being manufactured at a fraction of the cost.

The best sit stand desk can transform an office space, promoting better posture and reducing the risk of health issues associated with prolonged sitting. However, customers who choose to buy these desks from Corcraft may be unaware of the questionable labor practices behind their manufacture.

The use of prison labor in manufacturing is not a new issue, but it is one that deserves renewed attention. The ethical implications of this practice are complex and multifaceted. On one hand, it provides inmates with a productive way to spend their time and an opportunity to learn valuable skills. On the other hand, the low wages they earn and the high prices at which their products are sold raise questions about exploitation and fairness.

Corcraft’s business model also raises concerns about competition. By mandating that public institutions purchase from Corcraft, the state effectively eliminates competition, potentially leading to higher prices and lower quality products. For instance, a school looking for a TV lift for their multimedia room may find better quality and more affordable options elsewhere, but they are required to purchase from Corcraft if they offer a comparable product.

In conclusion, while Corcraft’s use of prison labor raises some valid concerns, it is a complex issue that requires careful consideration. It is crucial that we balance the need for providing inmates with meaningful employment and skill-building opportunities with the necessity of ensuring fair wages and competitive pricing for the public institutions that rely on these products.

author avatar
Guy Director
Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ergomotion Director since 2005.

Google Reviews


Google Reviews

Andrew Pieterse 14/06/24

Great service and really quick shipping. It is great to know that you are getting quality parts from a Scandinavian manufacturer with your standing desk purchase rather than the cheap knock off stuff you get from other major brands. Reasonably priced for the quality too!

Janette Clarke 20/05/24

Guy was very accommodating with meeting him at a time that suited me. He assembled the desk prior to me collecting so I only had to carry it inside with help (it's pretty heavy). The desk is great, the storage racks underneath with the 6 x built in powerpoints was worth the extra money. I have a functioning & tidy workplace.
Guy was brilliant, I highly recommend.

Nickel 10/05/24

Have now purchased 2 stand up office desks off Guy, benchmark sales service from him, all via email, so easy; from quote to plug in, only matched by the strong quality of these machines, solid and stable. If only everything in life was this easy and reliable.

Jennifer Fadriquela 23/03/24

I purchased an EDesk this month from Ergomotion, and it was a remarkably smooth transaction. Guy was eager to answer all my questions before my purchase. As a first-time buyer of a standing desk, I truly appreciated how he addressed my queries with thorough details and provided options within my budget.

The delivery process was also smooth, despite a slight delay in the ETA. Guy ensured I received all necessary updates from the courier/removalist.

I've been using the desk for a couple of weeks now and I'm satisfied with it. It's sturdy on all height adjustments and the motor works as expected. I also like oak finish because it's clean-looking and suits my room setup.

Overall, I'm happy with my purchase and I'll definitely recommend Ergomotion to someone looking for their desk needs.

Josh Oliver 04/02/24

I've had an ergomotion desk for 10 years. It's still as good today as it was brand new. Over the years Guy has always responded promptly to any guidance I've needed (mostly help putting the desk back together after removalists take it apart).

Michael Cheung 18/01/24

Great service from Guy and the team at Ergomotion! Helped with all my queries and was able to source a standing desk part for me when many others weren't able! Highly recommend!

Shao Lei 30/11/23

Decent desk and awesome service. Highly recommend

Rod Hathway 10/11/23

Awesome experience. Great value, super customer experience, ordered, assembled and picked up in 24 hours!

Dom K 06/11/23

Skip the big name brands and buy from Guy instead, 10/10 linak parts with a very well built tabletop.

Chris Wu 06/11/23

I purchased the edesk from Guy at Ergomotion. Guy was a pleasure to deal with and the desk arrived the next day. Guy was highly knowledgeable on the desk and provided very prompt support on the installation. I can highly recommend Ergomotion.