Reviewed By: Valerie Butler Jackson
July 30, 2018
"I would like to thank you and the ACI staff for giving my vintage loveseat rocker a “new life”! When I took the loveseat to your warehouse it was like I took my child to the hospital to get a broken arm repaired, my nerves were on the edge questioning whether to leave it in this place and would it be given the attention it desperately needed. I left it there and was assured that the rocker would be taken to the “refurb wood shop”. Mr. Hartwick shared with me the entire process and gave me his mobile number if I had any questions, of course I called him a few times, as a mother would. Well the big delivery day was yesterday July 25th……. I was so surprised it was delivered to my workplace! Ms. Jacki said it was so beautiful and to not be in any hurry to pick it up from her office! I immediately went back home because I was in my car, I got into my truck and was at the loading dock within 20 minutes to get my precious loveseat to take it home!! It- IS- Beautiful, I have been in disbelief that it’s the same loveseat -OMG. Your people ROCK with awesomeness!! So, to everyone (Sandy Powell, Charles Ballard, Debra Thomas, Lela Pennington, Steve Strahan, carpenters, brushes, screws, nails) all who had a part in the repair of my special 200 year old family heirloom loveseat rocker, THANK YOU SO MUCH, I love you guys with all my heart!! The ACI facility rocks!!!"
Read the review and see images on our Facebook Page.
Reviewed By: Doug Hale, Aviation Commission of Pine Bluff
August 8, 2018
"The aviation commission purchases shirts from them for uniforms. They are inexpensive. And, it doesn't hurt your feelings so much if they get stained or damaged. About $15.00 per shirt with embroidery logo and names.
They have a number of other services too that may benefit you. My office furniture was made my them. We also buy their floor wax. It is a very good product and competitively priced. Check it out..."
Reviewed By: Matthew McCord, Director of Health, Wellness & Recreation
September 30, 2018
"I just wanted to say that your two inmates under the direction of Tim Holstein, did a wonderful job installing our new gymnasium padded wall mats in our college campus Wellness/Rec center.
Those inmates are hard workers, and did quality work. We had some holes left in the concrete wall, left from the old mats (above the new mats), that they took down, and they filled in the holes and painted over them, going above and beyond what it took to make it look right. I was impressed with their work!"
Arkansas Correctional Industries
Who Is A.C.I.?
A.C.I. is a self-supporting division of the Arkansas Department of Correction. Each purchase you make from A.C.I. ensures that we will be able to further train inmates assigned. Statistics show that if A.C.I. teaches an inmate a marketable job skill that can be used upon release; that offender is less likely to return to prison. This means that through the purchase of goods and services, you are helping to lower the number of persons in prison. Any profits derived from the sale of the products and services go to enlarging the present programs and creating new programs to train and educate more inmates.
What Can A.C.I Do?
Presently, we maintain 8 different industrial divisions employing 40 free-world employees and 600 inmates. The divisions include printing, vinyl bindery/signs, metal fabrication, furniture manufacturing/refurbishing, sewing, toilet paper, janitorial supplies, and coffee and tea. Each program is run independently by the program specific manager and assisting staff.
The Graphic Arts Division became the very first Industry Program, in 1972, at the Cummins Unit. It began small by overprinting “punched” data cards in only black ink. Graphic Arts moved to its current location at Wrightsville in 1985. It is now a full service printer and engraver, producing printing products from conventional offset printing to the current digital market. They produce beautiful full color pictures and graphics on everything from business cards, brochures, magazines, booklets, posters, pocket folders and more. They also have an engraving department for wall signs, name badges, and custom plaques and trophies.
In 1977, the ground behind the Tucker Unit was broken, and the construction of the now-standing building known as the Bus Factory began. The first inmates assigned to this program had prior experience in mechanical, painting and upholstery refurbishing. At the time of it’s opening, the Bus Factory had a state-of-the-art Bink’s Spray Paint Booth and a mechanics shop. As time passed, they did indeed expand. In the late 80s, A.C.I. added another work area and began building and installing recreational safety pads for school gymnasiums and equipment. In 1990, the Bus Factory trustees completely rebuilt and remodeled Parnell Hall auditorium at the Little Rock School for the Deaf, which was renowned for the fact that the old stage was once stood on by Hellen Keller. For the sentimental, the old stage is still there-it is just underneath the new one.
In 1993, when the Tucker Unit became the Women’s Unit for five years, the Bus Factory work crew had to be reduced to approximately 50 offenders. A night shift of female industry workers were assigned to the chair section. Throughout the mid-90s, the program expanded it’s detailed department by bringing in computers that generated high-tech graphics and thus began the graphic arts department within the program. In 2002, the Bust Factory expanded again by building a 3,100 square foot powder painting building that sits next to the main building. In 2012, the Bus Factory expanded again by adding a 4,000 square foot welding shop. The original welding shop was approximately half this size and was contained within the main building of the program. It now maintains over 20 welding machines at 11 different workstations, along with 4 plasma cutting machines, two state of the art plasma cutting tables, shears, hydraulic brakes, drill presses, tubing benders, and is stocked with over 1,300 hand tools. The welding shop maintains an average of 30 inmates assigned. At any given time, the Bus Factory Division will be running 9 different departments inside this program. These include painting, welding or metal fabrication, reupholster, vehicle restoration, wall padding and printing.
A.C.I. administration, working together with Vocational Training, RedBall Oxygen Welding Certifications and Department of Labor Certifications has now brought into the Bus Factory the ability for a worker to obtain DOL certificates and receive a valuable certificate that he can take with him upon parole which can then be used to obtain a job prior to release. The Tucker Bus Factory now has over 100 workers and trainees assigned which stands at approximately one tenth the Tucker Unit population.
Right around the time Bus Factory was making its debut; the Garment Division was also starting up in 1977. Garment is responsible for making all Arkansas Department of Correction’s offender clothing, t-shirts, hats, mattresses, and linens. However, the Garment division is not limited to just inmate clothing. They make golf shirts, polo’s, bags, and flags. They also have a variety of sewing machines from single needles to sergers and two embroidery machines in which they can offer custom embroidery on polo or t-shirt type shirts.
The Furniture Division was started in the early 80s on the Wrightsville Compound and has since become ACI's shining star program. It is said that the first desk was made of a tree cut down on the unit grounds. The program had very few and very old equipment to work with when it began, but they made the best with what they had. The Furniture Program started out in the saw shop. The warehouse was located in the main building that now has the sanding/staining and the final assembly and shipping department. They used two buildings for all production until the business expanded. They then added a new building and moved the assembly and lamination areas to the new building. During the growth of the program, they have been able to add up to date equipment that both allows the program to do much more than in the past and in a much safer way. Over the years the program has added product lines such as dorm furniture and panel systems. However, the mainstay has been the uncompromising and unmatched quality of office furniture and school product line. The Furniture Division can customize any piece you want to fit any space you have. They use the highest quality wood and hardware to make the entire line.
The Vinyl Division was established in the early 80s. Products made from Vinyl Bindery include binders, conference folders, pocket memo pads, portfolios, mouse pads, bumper stickers, license plates, and street signs. There are many departments within Vinyl Bindery, but all work together to ensure the orders are met and adhered to. The departments include; administrative, dark room, heat seal, screen print room, stock room, wash out, tool room, shipping and receiving, and janitorial. Vinyl Products generally has a workforce of 20-28 workers. These men do remarkable work, and you may be able to spot their work in your neighborhood. The hope of Vinyl Bindery is to encourage their offenders to leave a good mark on society.
In 2012, the Toilet Paper Division began at the Hawkins Unit and has since been moved to Correctional Industries' Warehouse. There are 8-10 offenders working in the toilet paper program. They package and distribute coreless toilet paper to all of ADC, jails, and county sheriff’s offices.
Coffee and tea also began in 2012, and is packaged and delivered out of Newport. The coffee and tea grinds are purchased from West Rock Coffee and packaged by around 15 offenders.
EARU Division was established in 2014 to assist Tucker Bus Factory with the increase in metal fabrication work. The metal is cut to size at Tucker then transported to EARU to be assembled then transported back to Tucker to be painted and then shipped to the customers. They have 5 welding machines and 1 plasma cutter; also they have a drill press, bench grinder and several hand grinders. They currently have 8 offenders assigned to this industry.
Why Does A.C.I Do What They Do?
The most prestigious position in Arkansas Correctional Industries is that of a offender. The goal is to help them achieve a sense of accomplishment and a marketable job skill that will allow them to be successful upon release. All funds generated from the revenue stream go back to the programs for upkeep and expansion. A.C.I. prides itself on making quality products at a reduced rate, but more importantly on training a productive member of society.
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Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program
Current P.I.E.C.P. Partner
As an entity of Arkansas Correctional Industries, P.I.E.C.P. (Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Programs) works to provide inmates with job skills that can be used once he or she has been released from prison. This means that through your company, you can help lower the number of persons in prison.
What is P.I.E.C.P.?
Arkansas P.I.E.C.P. program is operated under the Employer Model. This simply means a private company will own and operate a business inside prison, and has direct control over business operations. Inmates are selected and employed by the company.
What does this mean for you? This means the program is managed solely by your company in accordance with the contracts between you and Arkansas Department of Corrections.
Here Are Just a Few Company Benefits
Percentage of offender’s salary goes to family support
Percentage of offender’s salary goes back to the Arkansas Department of Corrections for room and board expenses
All taxes are withheld from offender’s salary
Federal tax credit for employers who hire inmates after they are released
Interested in becoming a partner?