Store selling inmate-made goods moves to Concord

  • Inmates Timothy Burke (left) and James Johnson apply polyurethane and paint to windows last week as renovations continue to a showroom across from the men’s prison in Concord where inmate-made merchandise will be sold. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Inmate-made crafts and furniture, including these bird houses, are stored for future sale as renovations to a showroom across from the men’s prison in Concord continued last Tuesday. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Prison-made crafts and furniture are stored for future sale as renovations to a showroom across from the Men’s Prison in Concord continue on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Prison-made crafts and furniture are stored for future sale as renovations to a showroom across from the Men’s Prison in Concord continue on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • The store in Concord is located at 312 N. State St. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 4/27/2016 12:42:16 AM

A retail location in Franklin that sells inmate-made crafts has closed, and the goods will now be sold by the state in Concord.

Grevior Furniture closed Corrections Creations earlier this year following disagreement with the state, co-owner Andrea Grevior said. The Department of Corrections is now renovating a showroom across from the men’s prison in Concord to sell the wares.

The shop, at 312 N. State St., is scheduled to open May 23 and will sell baskets, jewelry, furniture, wooden game boards and paintings – all made by inmates in the state’s hobby craft program.

Prisoners have been unable to sell their wares since the two-story Franklin shop – adjacent to the Grevior showroom – closed in mid-winter. Sixty-five percent of sales go back to the inmates, who have to purchase their own supplies and materials.

“They have kind of been sitting on stuff,” said Ronald Cormier, who runs the prison’s correctional industries program. “They are all happy to have it back here in Concord.”

The Corrections Creations retail store moved to Franklin in 2012 after Grevior won a contract to sell the goods. The agreement was renewed by the state in 2014 and set to run through June 30, but Grevior decided to cut the two-year term short after the state “broke the contract” many times. She declined to elaborate.

“I have hurt feelings over it,” Grevior said. “The state didn’t do what they said they were going to do.”

Cormier said the state had talked about bringing the retail store back to Concord for months.

“I was not involved in that contract at all. I don’t have any information on that,” Cormier said. “We’re just happy to have the store back under the Department of Corrections.”

The store – now named the Department of Corrections Retail Showroom – will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Prisoners, who participate in the hobby craft program during their spare time, pocket most of the proceeds. But 25 percent of the proceeds goes into running the store, and 10 percent is earmarked for the inmate recreation fund. Several of the prisoners have been juried master furniture makers.

In addition to crafts, the showroom will sell furniture made through the correctional industries program, which is meant to be job training. Inmates are paid a wage to build and reupholster furniture, run printing services and make signs. The inmates reupholster furniture for the University of New Hampshire and Keene State College. An inmate-made bedroom set is being sold through the Harris Family Furniture.

“When they get out, they have a new skill,” Cormier said. “They can succeed and not come back to prison.”

(Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307, amorris@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @amorrisNH.)




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