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Ohio Penal Industries, November 16, 2011

NCJ Number
Darin Furderer
Date Published
November 2011
36 pages
This report from the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee of the Ohio General Assembly presents information on Ohio Penal Industries, an inmate work program in the State's correctional institutions.
Key findings from this report on Ohio Penal Industries (OPI) include the following: 1) OPI is a valuable component of Ohio's Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) that provides inmates with meaningful work skills; 2) over the past 5 years, the program has struggled to maintain a positive revenue stream; 3) the program has difficulty leveraging its most important assets in order to improve its success; 4) a negative perception of the program continues to exist throughout the DRC; 5) OPI does not currently provide apprenticeship opportunities for inmates; and 6) the program faces serious statutory challenges towards achieving lasting profitability. This report from the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee of the Ohio General Assembly, presents information on OPI, an inmate work program run through the State's DRC. The report examines the costs and benefits of the program and presents a set of recommendations for improving the program. These recommendations include increasing the number of inmate workers in OPI as well as its profitability; developing a strong business strategy, including a business and marketing plan; conducting a product analysis to ensure OPI products are comparable to those produced by private industry; increasing opportunities for inmates to earn certificates through the national apprenticeship program; and consider expanding production into new areas of business so as to better leverage the programs primary asset - cheap inmate labor. Tables, figures, and appendix