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Civilian Inmate Labor

http://www.hqda.army.mil/acsim/ops/inmatebg.htm

 


The Army has established civilian inmate labor programs on twelve installations since FY 89. Four resident programs (prison camps) are at Fort Bliss, Fort Dix, and Camp Atterbury. Eight non-resident (off-post) programs are at Parks Reserve Forces Training Area, Red River Army Depot, Fort Lee, Fort McClellan, Fort Stewart, Fort McPherson, Fort Indian Town Gap, and Anniston Army Depot. Fort Dix has two resident programs (prison camps) using civilian inmates from both federal and state penal systems. Camp Atterbury's resident program uses state civilian inmates. These ten programs average an annual net cost avoidance ranging from $263,000 to $3,500,000.

Inmate labor does not interfere with the installation's operation and mission. Civilian inmates provide a source of labor to Army installations to accomplish needed tasks that would not otherwise be possible under current manning and funding constraints. Inmate labor is intended to augment the Army's civilian and military work force and contractor effort. Inmate labor does not displace an existing in-house or contractor work force. The Army does not pay direct labor costs for inmate labor but does incur equipment, materials, supplies, transportation, and program administration costs to use inmate labor.

Services provided by inmates are defined by 18 USC 4125(a) and include preservation and maintenance of grounds and facilities; construction, repair and demolition of buildings; road repair; custodial services; and transportation of debris to recycling centers. Only minimum security inmates are available under the Army's civilian inmate labor program. Army personnel do not provide security supervision of inmate work details, but do monitor and account for inmate presence or absence in an assigned work area.

Installation inmate labor programs are established via a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the installation and the local correctional facility. The installation also develops an inmate labor plan governing operation of inmate labor details on the installation. The MOA and inmate labor plan are forwarded through command channels to HQDA for approval.

OACSIM manages the civilian inmate labor program and is finishing a regulation covering policy and procedures for civilian inmate labor.

Army's use of inmate labor is now limited to federal civilian inmates. No federal statute allows military installations to accept inmate labor from off-post state and local correctional facilities. Numerous installations wish to use civilian inmates from state or local correctional facilities off-post. A DOD Services working is drafting a legislative proposal to gain support from labor unions, the Department of Labor and the State Department before presenting the revised proposal to Congressional staffers.

Section 1065 of the FY 95 Defense Authorization Act allows the Army to conduct a demonstration project until October 1996. This demonstration project tests the feasibility of using Army facilities to provide employment training to nonviolent offenders in a State penal system before their release from incarceration. The Army has selected Forts Bragg, Hood, and Campbell as test sites. Functions performed by state civilian inmates will be similar to those performed by federal civilian inmates. State civilian inmate use will be governed by the same policy applied to federal civilian inmates. Such policy covers supervision, non-DOD employee interference in inmate labor details, type of inmates allowed on inmate labor details, and use of facilities and land. Each test site is negotiating an MOA and inmate labor plan with their respective correctional facility.

Overall, commanders with civilian inmate labor programs have been pleased with civilian inmate labor results. The Federal Bureau of Prisons in particular is a cooperative partner and active participant in the commander's base operations support mission.

 

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