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Beyond Warehousing: Colorado Department of Corrections Intensive Labor Program

NCJ Number
J Johnson
Date Published
0 pages
This videotape describes the Colorado Department of Corrections' Intensive Labor Program (ILP) which provides inmate labor to Federal and State agencies, cities, and counties for reclamation and conservation projects.
Mandated by the Colorado legislature in 1981, the ILP has used over 8,500 inmates in 6 years to help 23 agencies and save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. The video describes Colorado's use of labor as punishment and the 1981 law regarding inmate labor. An account of ILP's initial months of operation and expansion emphasizes that risk to the public is minimal, since only four participants have walked away in six years and all were returned to prison. Projects that the ILP has undertaken for the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Highway Department, State Historical Society, counties, and towns are described, such as building campgrounds, trash cleanup along roads, renovating an historic house, painting schools, and chopping firewood for low-income and elderly citizens. Administrators from agencies involved with ILP projects talk about its benefits. A corrections official discusses problems in the program, namely staff and budget inadequacies as well as lack of work in the winter. He also examines benefits to offenders and describes the program's results as a form of restitution to society.


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