Doing time ... or business ... with MassCor

Tell me what one company makes mattresses, flags, signs and binders.

As well as clothing, furniture, janitorial supplies and optical products. And provides printing and silk screening services

You'll love the company motto. It's "We're here for you...ALWAYS!"

If you said the company is the Massachusetts Correctional Industries MCI, you're right! MassCor, as it's known, has been putting inmates at the seven state correctional facilities to work. The folks in charge say that work keep the inmates active, builds pride, and prepares then for work outside the walls.

It's not a new idea. Massachusetts has been putting prisoners to work since 1656. And MCI provides a lot of goods and services, all high quality, but reasonably priced.

One of the most unusual products is the.MassCor Germinator, blood spill kits to us civilians, made for law enforcement agencies, hospitals, schools and industry. Simply, they're kits of chemicals to clean up blood and body fluids, kill the HIV virus. Well, you get the idea. They even come in what MCI calls easy to carry pouches or "stylish" high impact plastic carry cases.

More mundane products include wood office furniture, modular furniture, and work clothes. Binder, clipboards, industrial strength cleaning agents, brooms and pails, and sheets, pillowcases, and laundry bags.

Flags, too. That's where I bought the state flag that I'll give to the veterans to replace the one stolen and vandalized at Apremont Park But they also sell American flags, POW/MIA flags, city and town flags, cemetery flags, and accessories like eagles, poles, stands and spears.

They'll also do silk screening and embroidery on almost anything from papenweights to sweatshirts, landfill stickers to keychains, award certificates to vehicle stripes. They'll reupholster or refinish your old furniture.

You can get your business card printed, highway signs constructed, and order boxer shorts, aprons, jackets, shirts, socks or T-shirts.

And, MassCor has a sense of humor, too. The phone number is 888-BUY-JAIL.

In closing, a couple brief notes. The gremlins slipped into the column last week. Actually, what the Community Development folks provided legislators was a "bag lunch." The typographical error called it a "bad lunch." Actually, it was one of the better lunches I've received this year. My apologies to the caterer.

I've changed offices in Boston. You'll find me in Room 540, phone 617/722-2090. Feel free to stop in or call.

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