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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98548 Find in a Library
Title: Inmate Entrepreneurship as an Ideal in Penal Institutions (From Proceedings of the 29th Annual Southern Conference on Corrections, P 180-193, 1984 - See NCJ-98537)
Author(s): J R Lee
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 14
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper argues for inmate entrepreneurship, self-directed work and allocation of capital, as the most effective means for building inmate self-esteem and economic capabilities while providing a resource for funding prison operations.
Abstract: Entrepreneurship involves using one's abilities and judgment to find and act upon new economic opportunities. Changing the prison structure to promote such productive, remunerative work would help eliminate the current criminogenic prison environment by shifting opportunites for status and material gain away from violent, intimidating behavior toward productive, profitable, self-fulfilling work. Inmates would have the opportunity to acquire wealth without limits through legitimate economic enterprises devised out of their own judgments and skills. Although inmate entrepreneurship should not be blocked by legislation or prison administration policies, it should be policed to prevent fraud and intimidation. Since each enterprise would be required to bear the cost of such policing, businesses with a high potential for fraud and secretive action would be unprofitable in prisons. Certain computer operations which require expensive monitoring would not be appropriate for an inmate enterprise. Inmates involved in business enterprises while in prison would pay a fee for prison administration and inmate expenses as well as victim restitution. Profits beyond these fees would be theirs to keep as an incentive for creative and profitable business activity by inmates. Twenty-seven notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Correctional industries; Effects of imprisonment; Inmate compensation; Inmate run industries
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