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Correctional Industries in Europe

NCJ Number
Corrections Compendium Volume: 24 Issue: 11 Dated: November 1999 Pages: 1-26
Ursula Smartt
Date Published
8 pages
A multilingual questionnaire survey containing more than 40 questions gathered information from representatives of correctional industries in Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden; it resulted in a report published in 1998 and presented at the European Prison Industries Forum's fourth annual meeting.
The survey focused on the possibilities and limitations of prison industries, joint ventures and partnerships with private contractors, private finance initiatives, and vocational training and education. It also asked about the types of goods produced for the internal and external markets, inmate pay rates, non-monetary incentives for inmates, deductions from inmates' earnings, and accounting methods. Results revealed that the countries are giving much attention to the expansion of the external market and generally believe that a substantial part of daily activity should be work-based to achieve a work-enhanced regime in correctional institutions. The countries all offered piece or assembly-line work through short-term contracts with outside companies. However, sufficient work was generally not available for the majority of inmates in most systems. Inmates' earnings, pay rates, and deductions from varied considerably among different countries. Common issues included efforts to increase the proportion of work performed for the outside market and efforts to increase outside financial partnerships with the private sector. Findings suggested the need for proportionately more vocational training and education in countries with proportionally more youthful offenders and for detailed research on the possible relationship between correctional institution labor and recidivism. Table and 27 references