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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76498 Find in a Library
Title: Free Enterprise Goes to Prison
Journal: Corrections Magazine  Volume:7  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1981)  Pages:5-13
Author(s): M Fedo
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 9
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses correctional programs operating in Minnesota and Kansas which pay inmates real-world wages for working in business and industrial activities and briefly describes similar Canadian operations.
Abstract: Minnesota programs are run within the prisons and consist of a data processing concern, a public bus repair business, a farm machinery factory, and subcontracting work for various companies. Inmate workers start at minimum wage and can earn up to $7.00 per hour in the data processing operation. No charges are made for room and board, and the salaries of supervisors are not included in costs. The programs have not yet shown an overall profit. The program operated in Kansas is privately owned and exists outside the prison. Both male and female inmates are employed in machine work. The State collects room and board from the inmate workers; provision of a corrections staff guard is the only cost to the State. This operation is approaching profitmaking status. Both programs have been successful in placing workers at relatively high paying jobs after their release; both require that inmate employees have at least 1 year of time to serve when starting employment. The Minnesota program has experienced some disruption due to lockdowns. Inmate worker response has been positive. Two Canadian ventures perform similar activities: one manufactures solar panels; and the other (initiated by inmates) harvests trees. Photographs are included.
Index Term(s): Canada; Correctional industries; Employment; Inmate compensation; Kansas; Minnesota; Vocational training
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