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Evaluation Report: MINNCOR Industries

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2009
93 pages
In 1994, the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) consolidated and centralized individual prison industry programs into a single statewide business known as MINNCOR Industries; this report presents the results and methodology of an evaluation of MINNCOR Industries' management and business practices.
The evaluation found that overall, MINNCOR has done a good job in achieving high levels of inmate employment and the generation of sufficient revenue to cover its costs. It employed approximately 16 percent of Minnesota's adult prison population in fiscal year 2008, one of the highest rates in the Nation. For fiscal year 2008, MINNCOR reported revenues of $35.8 million, expenses of $32.8 million, and net income of $3.0 million. Most of the profits come from two industries that employ relatively few inmates: license plates and the canteen. Profits have been used to improve internal operations and to support other inmate-related programs. In 2008, inmates spent approximately 55 percent of their work hours manufacturing, assembling, or packaging products for private businesses. MINNCOR has used purchase orders rather than formal contracts with private businesses that use inmate labor and prison space. MINNCOR does not adequately track revenues and expenditures related to its labor arrangements with private businesses. Although MINNCOR has begun to market its products more aggressively, it has not developed a formal marketing plan. Most State agency staff doing business with MINNCOR was satisfied with the results. The evaluation team recommends that MINNCOR report its full cost for inmate wages and the amount it receives from DOC for inmates' confinement costs in its annual financial statements and reports. It also recommends that MINNCOR use contracts rather than purchase orders when allowing private businesses to use inmate labor. In addition, MINNCOR should monitor and annually evaluate each of its labor arrangements with private businesses. 15 tables, 9 figures, and appended additional tables, an agency response to this report, and recent program evaluations