Otherwise, it'd be a straightforward transition from prison gang to regular gang.
Basically, in these facilities, inmates are allowed to leave to look for jobs, go to work, and generally pretend to be people again for a while. The idea is to avoid the all-too-common scenario where a former inmate gets released, can't find a job, and walks straight back into the meth lab. But there were a lot of hoops companies had to jump through to hire Carla's people.
"They had to sign contracts with the state submitting to searches (if called for), the supervisors had to agree to cooperate with DOC and DEA (the supervisor at a construction site ended up being prosecuted for harboring a felon and assisting in an escape attempt after lying to us about an inmate's whereabouts), and it was a pain in the ass in general," Carla says. "Hardee's employed three of our guys but they couldn't work the same shifts, they couldn't take their breaks at the same time, [and] Hardee's wasn't allowed to hire any other felons."
There goes our fantasy of Hardee's: Lawless Paradise.
Most fast food managers don't want to deal with a game of musical cons. So the government appeals to their greed and offers companies tax incentives to hire inmates.
"The program specifics may vary but trust me, most people don't realize that their cook at Red Lobster is leaving his shift at the end of the night to be patted down, UA'd, and locked in his cell for bed. The next day, he'll be released with his allowance to go to a movie or the library and he'll be searched, breathalyzed and sent to mess hall for lunch before his next shift."