Providing services since 1918, from one-color envelopes to full-color catalogs, Graphic Arts is a full-service print shop and can produce nearly any printed piece. The shop in Anamosa employs about 15 offenders that learn skills such as layout, production, preparing files for printing, operating printers and offset presses and bindery. With sales annually of over $400,000, offenders receive about 26,000 hours of offender training annually.
In 2017, the DOC implemented a Job Printer apprenticeship to the Graphic Arts Shop. An incarcerated individual shared “I plan on working in the same field after I’m released, and working for IPI has been an expansion of knowledge.” He said that having the opportunity to “create quality products just as a person who is out in the world does,” has allowed him to develop a strong work ethic.
The Daily Work Activity log tracks how long it takes each project to go through the work centers into the shop. A Senior Technician in the Graphic Arts division said he’s been motivated by incarcerated individuals in the shop who “question and or challenge the current processes to change for a more efficient, better way of producing product.”
Production Coordinator, Jeff Whitson explained, “With the variety of products, many times we could offer products we didn’t even know we could.” This gives many opportunities of experience and cross training for incarcerated individuals.
Jeff also shared that the programs offered within the Graphic Arts shop have taught the incarcerated individuals that “no one is going to learn and take advantage of opportunities for them. They must be self motivated to do what is necessary to succeed.” He consistently sees an increase in self worth and confidence in the incarcerated individuals, helping them set the mindset for success when they are released.
Follow Iowa Prison Industries on social media to see more from the Anamosa Graphic Arts Shop throughout the month or visit our website! For more information on the Anamosa plant, please contact Plant Manager Al Reiter at 319-462-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.