Prisoners at the Lansing Correctional Facility in
Leavenworth, Kansas are using Hip-Hop and clothing to send a message to impressionable
youth, who may feel that prison is a fashionable place.
"Brak Outt" (pronounced break out)
is a clothing line created by inmates and approved by Warden Dave McKune, who
said the name of the clothing had significant meaning.
"Break out of old attitudes, break out of
the way to prison, break out of your prison, break out of being in prison, the
whole process," McKune told the Leavenworth Times.
McKune said six of the founders of the company
came to him with the idea for the company several years ago and said that he
backed it due to the positive image of the clothing line.
Founders of the line stated that they wanted
to convey the message that "there is no glory in prison, that having served
time is not a status symbol, and that wearing the label of ex-convict does not
make you a man or woman."
The clothing line will be marketed locally with
hopes of building the name of the brand and will be available in local and medium
sized urban stores.
The company is still working out the logistics
of the business, since the multi-billion dollar urban clothing industry is a
new venture for the Kansas Department of Corrections.
"We’re taking baby steps, before we can
start walking and running," McKune said. "But the plan is to market
nationwide. That’s not just for the clothing itself but also the positive mental
A mini CD will come with the tags on each piece
of clothing. The CD and the tags will contain positive messages for the youth
they are seeking to keep out of the prison system.