New Retail Showroom Situated Across the Street from State Prison
After several years without a space to sell goods in, the Department of Corrections opened a new public retail showroom this week.
The grand opening for the new retail showroom, located at 312 N. State St. in Concord, drew a large crowd on Monday morning. By lunchtime, around 200 had been through the doors and sales were brisk — especially of the plants set up in a courtyard next to the building. Inside the store, a wide variety of inmate-made items were available for sale. The showroom helps shine a light on an aspect of the corrections department that some might not know exists.
“It gives the public an opportunity to see what we do,” said Ronald Cormier, the administrator of the Correctional Industries program. “It’s a good thing.”
The goods sold in the showroom come from two sources: Correctional Industries and the Hobbycraft recreational program.
“With the Hobbycraft program, the inmates pay for their own materials, and they get to choose what they’d like to make,” Cormier said. The goods include furniture, baskets, artwork and crafts. “When we sell something out of the store here, they get a percentage of it and a small percentage goes back to the store to operate. But they get the most of that money and they’re able to pay restitution with it or send it to family members, if they like.”
These goods were previously sold in a furniture store in Franklin, but the new location puts everything on display just across the way from the State Prison.
“We’re happy to have the store back here and open full time, five days a week including Saturdays,” Cormier said. “It gives the inmates an opportunity to showcase some of the skills they learn inside.”
The store is open Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. You can read more about the Correctional Industries program here.
You can find a Concord Monitor report on the new store here (subscription may be required).