Most people see a jail and think about crime, tragedy and heartbreak.
Others see dollar signs. That's because incarceration can be a big money maker.
Consider the drab polyester and cotton scrubs worn by detainees and inmates at Cook County Jail, where about 100,000 people are booked annually. (At County, the men wear tan and the women wear blue, not the more infamous orange.)
In 2012, Ohio-based company Pyramid Enterprise Supplies, a minority-owned business that also provides Smith and Wesson handcuffs and leg locks to the jail, won a two-year, almost $1.7 million county contract to provide the Cook County Department of Corrections with clothes, undergarments and accessories. Jail executive director Cara Smith said the county activated the first of three renewal options for the contract last fall at an additional cost of about $340,000.