skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 120311 Find in a Library
Title: Prison Labor and Industry (From American Prison: Issues in Research and Policy, P 135-161, 1989, Lynne Goodstein and Doris Layton MacKenzie, eds. -- See NCJ-120304)
Author(s): T J Flanagan
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although renewed attention to prison labor promises a number of benefits for offenders, the correctional system, and society, efforts to improve prison work programs should be aware of past mistakes, present limitations, and reasonable future expectations.
Abstract: Prison labor can reduce the debilitating effects of inmate idleness, provide meaningful ways to do time, and enhance vocational skills for some inmates. It is not a panacea for all the problems of prisons, however. Productive and effective prison labor has always been hampered by offenders' social histories, the prison environment, and the social and political environments. The constraints imposed by the inmate labor force will not vanish by using private managers; the deficiencies must be addressed through comprehensive, costly, and nonprofitable programs of academic and vocational education. The goal of full and meaningful employment for all able-bodied inmates is probably not obtainable and is not even desirable, given the varying needs of the inmate population. Opportunities for work experience may be beneficial for some offenders under certain conditions. Others may benefit more from programs that remedy academic and vocational deficiencies. Realistic criteria must be developed to determine the effectiveness of prison labor programs, criteria related to ordered objectives for prison work. 34 references.
Main Term(s): Correctional industries
Index Term(s): Corrections policies; Inmate vocational training
Note: From Volume 4 in the Law, Society, and Policy series.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.