How We Work

In 2016 we built the first Carcel production base in a female prison in Peru 20 minutes from the city of Cusco. Today, 15 women work together making alpaca wool knits – many are already skilled knitters, a tradition that runs through families in Peru. In 2018 we opened a second facility in Chiang Mai’s Women’s Correctional, northern Thailand, also home to some of the world’s most beautiful silk.

Why prisons?
Worldwide, rates of female incarceration are higher than ever. Marginalized single mothers are most at risk because of systematic gender, class and racial inequalities. The majority of crimes are nonviolent and poverty-related. In both Peru and Thailand, drug-trafficking is the main cause of female incarceration. 

Inside of the prison, there are few opportunities for women to learn and develop new skills, work creatively and earn a fair income for their work. Working with incarcerated women does not address the root causes of why they are in prison in the first place, but it creates opportunities for them and their families while they are incarcerated and when released. Working within the prison system is complex, but we believe that creating new and fair standards for work as rehabilitation can have a tremendous impact for incarcerated women. 

Working with an extremely vulnerable and marginalized group of people demands responsibility and accountability. Acknowledging the complexity of employment in a prison, we find it essential to be hands-on, transparent about wages and working conditions and constantly evaluate our practices.

Read more about How We Work in Prisons here

Let’s progress together
We are committed to break with broken systems and create better ones. This journey is full of complexity, mistakes, innovation and creativity. We are always looking to listen, learn and develop. If you have questions or inputs, please get in touch carcel@carcel.co. You can also find our FAQs here.