A casual conversation between Assistant Chief of Purchasing Patti Casey, and a representative from a detention supplier in 2011 should save our Department close to a million dollars over a three-year period.
During a routine meeting with a representative from Bob Barker Company, Casey learned that South Carolina was piloting a switch from what inmates call "Bobos," canvas shoes inmates wear around the compound, to a Croc-style rubber clog. Casey informed Asst. Dir. of Field Support Svs. Charlie Terrell, who contacted South Carolina staff about their impressions. They reported only having to replace two pairs during their one-year pilot. So we launched our own pilots in November at Demilly CI, Lowell Work Camp and Levy Forestry Camp, and the response has been positive from both staff and inmates.
According to Lowell CI Warden Southerland: "Of the inmates that I have spoken to so far, everyone prefers the clogs. They say they are more comfortable, last longer, are easier to clean, don't retain odors, and can be worn in the shower."
During the pilot, the Majors from the facilities also reported that the inmates love the clogs, and said they had not had to replace any yet. Bobos, on the other hand, have to be replaced routinely, sometimes within days of being issued. The clogs and the bobos are very close in price, but because the clogs last much longer they end up costing less in the long term.
DC staff took a close look at the 17,000 cases of bar soap the Department purchases annually, and thought there was room for savings. The size of the bar of soap being purchased was really too large for an institutional setting, which resulted in waste. A subsequent bid to locate a vendor that could provide a smaller bar size at a better price will result in savings close to $200,000 annually.