In its prison industries program, the Department of Correctional Services
uses inmates to provide various goods and services to other government
entities. The program is intended to be financially self-sufficient, but
has incurred chronic operating losses, including $4.4 million during the
year ended March 31, 1996. We determined that the program could report
an operating profit if the cost of the correction officers assigned to
provide security for program operations were charged to general Department
operations instead, as is done in at least one other state. We also identified
several internal control weaknesses, including weaknesses in the program's
marketing, pricing and product development practices. We believe the program
would operate more effectively and efficiently if these weaknesses were
corrected. We also found that relatively few inmates are employed in the
program. We recommend that the nature of the program be evaluated, and
consideration be given to adopting practices used in prison industry programs
in other states, such as private sector involvement.
For a complete copy of Report 96-S-24 click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.