Department of Correctional Services

Industries Program

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.