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Correctional Industries: Teaching Offenders Job Skills and Work Ethics

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2008
4 pages
This report explains the mission, programs, and benefits of Washington State's Correctional Industries (CI), which is an arm of the State's Department of Corrections.
CI operates just over 45 service, manufacturing, and agricultural industries at 15 prisons throughout the State. There are five classes of CI inmate work programs. Class I, Private Sector Partnerships allows private-sector companies to operate within State correctional facilities. The company provides management, on-site supervision, on-the-job training, and all machinery and equipment. Class II, Tax-reduction Industries are businesses owned and operated by the State; they produce goods and services for tax-supported and non-profit organizations. Class III, Institutional Support Industries are operations directed by the Prisons Division personnel at each institutions. Offenders who work in these industries provide services for inmates and prison staff. Class IV, Community Work Industries is designed to provide services to institutions' host communities at a reduced costs. Public and non-profit agencies may hire Class IV workers. Class V, Community Restitution Programs allows for alternatives to confinement for nonviolent offenders. This enables offenders to work off all or part of a community restitution order included in an offender's sentencing. In order to qualify to work in a CI program, offenders must have the minimum of a GED. Using CI as a foundation for skills development, offenders have the opportunity to earn industry-accredited skill certifications that can be used to assist them in obtaining meaningful employment upon release. Offenders trained through CI will not only have money to support themselves upon release; they will also have skills to assist them in finding a job, learn valuable life skills, and understand and apply proper work ethics.