Army Recruits Prisoners To Make Body Armor

Spc. Guy Mellor, US Army National Guard, tries on his helmet for the perfect fit.

Spc. Guy Mellor tries on his helmet for the perfect fit.

Another deal for Unicor. Via Wired News:

Building parts for Patriot missile systems was just a warm-up, apparently, for a government-owned company that relies on federal inmates making as little as 23 cents an hour. On Wednesday, the U.S. Army announced that it handed Federal Prison Industries a no-bid, nearly $20 million contract to build body armor.

It’s the latest in a decades-long string of military deals for FPI, also known as Unicor.

Over the years, the company has supplied parts for F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, the Cobra attack helicopter, and the iconic Patriot interceptor system. (More about that in a second.)

But this deal is particularly odd, because FPI’s track record with protective equipment is, to put it generously, uneven. In May of last year, the Army recalled 44,000 FPI-made protective helmets after they failed ballistic testing. FPI then promptly got out of the helmet business.

That rather serious blemish on FPI’s record hasn’t stopped the Army from going back to the firm for $19,767,468’s worth of bulletproof “Outer Tactical Vests.” According to the Army’s contract announcement, the gear is supposed to be “for Pakistan” — presumably, for the Pakistani military. (Although a State Department told suppliers Wednesday that it wants 1,000 vests in Pakistan, too.)

[Continues at Wired News]

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  • WhiteRose

    So the judges are probably investing in the private jails, locking more people up and then investing in these companies…. does it have the made in prison certificate of quality? Is America truly this stupid? Oh yeah then we have to make up more fake wars because we really cared about Iraq being free when they now have it worse than before…. I guess investing in schools, roads and other stuff besides the war machine was never thought of? Oh that’s right everyone leads their life by the bible, aliens etc. With all this technology how can the world be so STUPID?

  • WhiteRose

    So the judges are probably investing in the private jails, locking more people up and then investing in these companies…. does it have the made in prison certificate of quality? Is America truly this stupid? Oh yeah then we have to make up more fake wars because we really cared about Iraq being free when they now have it worse than before…. I guess investing in schools, roads and other stuff besides the war machine was never thought of? Oh that’s right everyone leads their life by the bible, aliens etc. With all this technology how can the world be so STUPID?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Remember…when the shit hits the fan…your gear contract went to the lowest bidder…in this case America’s new slave labor market…inmates. What a SNAFU this is. I can’t even tell which to be pissed about more…the cheapskate racket of prison labor…or substandard goods going to troops with a wink and a nod after a proven track record of failure. SO much to hate…so little time.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Remember…when the shit hits the fan…your gear contract went to the lowest bidder…in this case America’s new slave labor market…inmates. What a SNAFU this is. I can’t even tell which to be pissed about more…the cheapskate racket of prison labor…or substandard goods going to troops with a wink and a nod after a proven track record of failure. SO much to hate…so little time.

  • MoralDrift

    America loves it’s Troops so dearly, that it shields them with the handiwork of convicts and arms them with the emptiness of words….”We support you”

  • Anonymous

    America loves it’s Troops so dearly, that it shields them with the handiwork of convicts and arms them with the emptiness of words….”We support you”

  • 5by5

    Which is yet another reason why we’ve seen no real economic benefit from the war effort.

    In WWII American companies were conscripted to build the things the Army needed, and as a result, a bunch of jobs were created here at home.

    But today, they either use what amounts to slave labor in the prisons because they don’t have to pay those people for shit, or they contract to some private company overseas for tasks as a part of all this idiotic “globalization” nonsense.

  • 5by5

    Which is yet another reason why we’ve seen no real economic benefit from the war effort.

    In WWII American companies were conscripted to build the things the Army needed, and as a result, a bunch of jobs were created here at home.

    But today, they either use what amounts to slave labor in the prisons because they don’t have to pay those people for shit, or they contract to some private company overseas for tasks as a part of all this idiotic “globalization” nonsense.