More than 33,000 people live behind bars in Virginia, and from their cells few have a view of the outside world, but a Richmond artist aims to change that.
If you were locked up for months, years or a lifetime and could look out a window, what would you most like to see? That’s the question Mark Strandquist has put to inmates in Virginia jails and prisons.
“And then I go to that place, photograph it and bring the image to them, and then they write about it.”
It’s one of the state’s largest companies, with $50 million in sales each year. It pays workers less than a dollar an hour, but for every job that opens, ten people apply. You may never have heard of it, but chances are you own one of its products.
Virginia Correctional Enterprises makes license plates for state residents and the State Department in DC. It also molds model workers like 52-year-old Alexander Parker.