HD47 - Paying Inmates for Work During Incarceration

Executive Summary:
Information for the Crime Commission's study concerning prisoner pay was gathered from: site visits, interviews with federal, state, and local officials involved in corrections, discussions with academicians who primarily study prisoner pay programs, interviews with incarcerated inmates, and local, regional and national clearing houses of information relating to prisoner pay. During the course of the study, the Commission addressed and made recommendations on issues pertaining to inmate pay programs. The Commission made the following recommendations:

• The Department of Corrections should evaluate the increased use of inmates for both internal and external work projects, thereby reducing inmate idleness and providing an incentive to become productive.

• The Department of Corrections should aggressively pursue increasing the number of inmates employed by the Capital Construction Unit, particularly for on-site maintenance of DOC facilities.

• The Department of Corrections should formulate a policy of transitioning inmates from the work centers to the work release units as the inmates approach their respective release dates. Included in this policy should be the provision of transitional education programs, such as Life Skills, at the work centers.

• The Department of Corrections and the Department of Correctional Education should cooperate so that inmates can receive training that complements the programs that DOC currently has, such as Virginia Correctional Enterprises, the Capital Construction Unit and the Work Release program.

• The Department of Corrections should modernize the inmate trust accounting and tracking system, including the modernization of the inmate commissary system.