our team

We offer employment to women in prison, providing an opportunity on a purely voluntary basis, for incarcerated women to learn new skills and earn an income. We are committed to paying a fair living wage and respecting workplace conditions. 

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 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 transparent about wages and working conditions and constantly evaluate our practices.

what we mean by fair wages 

What do we mean by fair wage?

We adhere to the recommendation by the International Labor organisation (ILO) that everyone should make a living wage, which is the amount of income that is needed to cover the cost of living in a given country. 

No matter where you are situated geographically or what it is that you do, you should be entitled to a wage that enables you to have a decent standard of living. 

A fair wage is determined by country, to reflect local market conditions and regulations. We benchmark against similar jobs on the market, look at recommendations by trusted organisations and speak with our employees about it. 

Defining a living wage is complicated, as the methodology is based on the actual cost of living for a single person or a family in a given geographical area. This varies widely whether you live in the countryside or the city, and depending on the size of the family or co-dependencies you have.

The costs of living in a prison are different than on the outside. However, most of our employees have families to provide for and we therefore benchmark with a living wage that covers the support of families outside of prison.

We monitor the local conditions and should any general changes be applied to the labour markets within the countries in which we operate, we are ready to adjust our employees’ wages accordingly. 

At Carcel, we engage with our employees directly to get their feedback, as well as with international experts from  organisations such as the ILO and the UN in order to ensure that we comply and go beyond The Convention Against Forced Labor and The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.

In Peru, our employees work 30 hours a week (see in Fair conditions paragraph below). We pay each worker directly every month through our production manager, with the presence of the team representative.  Each worker pays 10% of her wage to the prison administration, as per national law. There are no other taxes applicable when imprisoned.The above graph shows how the wage compares to a full time position. 

In Thailand,  the salary goes uncut to the women that we employ. In addition, we donate the equivalent of 10% of the total salary to the Chiang Mai prison’s vocational training activities each month.

 

fair conditions


We set up our own facilities within prisons, and manage them ourselves through our on site production managers, as well as having our Copenhagen team carry out site visits 3 -4 times a year. We want to ensure that the process runs smoothly, that working conditions are up to standards, that our employees are satisfied, and that we are continuously learning how we can improve on all of the above.

Work hours are closely regulated and restricted to a maximum of 30 hours per week to allow for other prison activities. Our employees are entitled to days off, as well as sick days. Production is stopped for holidays, visits, and prison events. 

It is an imperative at Carcel that we contribute to a responsible work culture in which our employees know their rights and feel safe to speak up. A work environment in which they can grow and learn new skills. 

 

code of conduct 


We do everything we can to ensure that our employees work in the best conditions possible. We are finalizing the drafting of Our Code of Conduct  for ethical prison labor to be piloted and implemented this year. This clearly outlines Carcel’s ethical codes to be respected in the prisons in which we run our production.

 

We are always looking to listen and learn. If you have questions or inputs, please do not hesitate to reach out to carcel@carcel.co 

You can also have a look at our FAQ.