By Lt. Virginia Carr, PIO/AA
Central California Women’s Facility
Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and Allwire/(California Prison Industry Authority) Joint Venture Electronics donated more than $57,000 to crime victims’ organizations in three counties.
Allwire/Joint Venture Electronics at CCWF employs approximately 32 inmates. The 32 inmates assigned to this program assembles circuit boards, wire harnesses and custom cables, which include electro-mechanical assembly and systems testing.
The program is a model of public-private partnerships, benefiting businesses, crime victims and the state while preparing inmates for successful integration into the community. One of the main purposes of Joint Venture is to provide inmates with the essential job skills that will allow them to get jobs after their release.
The JV Program pays inmate comparable wages, which are subject to the same withholdings as any other employee of the company, except state disability insurance. The following items are withheld from an inmate’s gross earnings: Federal, State and Local Taxes. The following are deductions made from an inmate’s net wages (20 percent each): room and board, inmate trust/canteen account, family support, mandatory savings and victims’ compensation.
The collected restitution is placed in a “Generic Restitution Fund.” At the end of the fiscal year, the Warden directs disbursement of the generic restitution to local crime victim organizations.
Warden D.K. Johnson directed the funds be disbursed to Community Action Partnership of Madera, Merced County District Attorney Victim/Witness Assistance and James Rowland Crime Victim Assistance Center, Fresno
Rusty Bechtold, Administrator, Joint Venture Program presented Tina Figueroa, Program Director, Community Action Partnership of Madera (CAPM), Madera County, a check for $28,718.36.
Ms. Figueroa expressed to CCWF on behalf of CAPM their gratitude for the continued financial support.
“Money disbursed to the community is very powerful,” Ms. Figueroa said. “I’m glad to be a part of this. The funds will go towards aftercare treatment for child victims of sexual assault. The aftercare treatment includes counseling, long term follow-up, parent support and prevention services.”
Mr. Bechtold presented Lisa DeSantis, Victim Witness Program Director, Merced County District Attorney Victim/Witness Assistance, a check for $14,358.18.
Ms. DeSantis said, “There are no words to describe receiving these funds. We will now be able to upgrade the children’s center where children participate in the interview process. You are truly doing something that is inspiring. Thank you and continue to do the great work you do.”
Mr. Bechtold presented Isabel Bolaños, Yana Nebyshinets, and Jeannette Miller, all Victim Advocates, James Rowland Crime Victim Assistance Center, Fresno, a check for $14,358.18.
Ms. Bolaños said, “The funds will be funneled back to the victims and the clients we receive. The need may be small, such as providing bus tokens to assist the victims in getting to their appointments; or the need might be greater, such as providing funds for medication, providing new locks for residential doors, motel stays when there is immediate need, etcetera. We will be providing financial assistance to our clients for their immediate needs.”
Michael Lawson, Technical Sales Director for Joint Venture Electronics, said, “We are more than happy to continue these ongoing efforts. It makes me feel good to make a penny to give to these children. We are more than happy to donate to Merced, Madera and Fresno Counties.”
Warden Johnson said, “I am very proud to be a part of this community partnership. These ladies are aware 20 percent of their wages will be withheld and placed into a restitution fund, but they continue to work very hard and take pride in assisting victims associated with these organizations.”