By Michele Kane, Chief, Office of External Affairs
California Prison Industry Authority
Offenders from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) are giving back to various crime victims’ support groups throughout the state for a total of $71,586 through the month of October. The offenders are participating in CDCR’s and CALPIA’s Joint Venture and Free Venture Programs at four institutions statewide.
“The Joint and Free Venture Programs are models of public-private partnerships, benefiting businesses, crime victims and the state while preparing offenders for successful integration into the community,” said Charles Pattillo, General Manager of CALPIA. “One of the main purposes of Joint Venture is to provide offenders with the essential job skills that will allow them to get jobs when they parole.”
The Joint Venture Program is provided at adult institutions and the Free Venture Program provides work experience at juvenile facilities. Offenders are paid wages comparable to what they would earn if they were working in the respective field outside of prison. Federal, state and local taxes are withheld from an offender’s gross earnings, and 20 percent from each category is deducted from an offender’s wages: room and board, inmate trust/canteen account, family support, mandatory savings and victims’ restitution.
The collected restitution is placed in a “Generic Restitution Fund” for local crime victim organizations. Here are institutions where offenders are making donations:
- Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla – Offenders in the Joint Venture Program, Allwire, Inc. donated $48,298.45 to Mollie’s House, the Community Action Partnership of Madera County, and Merced County DA’s Victim/Witness Assistance.
- San Quentin State Prison – Offenders in the Joint Venture Program, Labcon, donated $11,102.27 to the Center for Domestic Peace, Marin Advocates for Children, and Jeannette Prandi Children’s Center.
- N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton – Offenders in the Free Venture Program, Merit Partners donated $9,110.52 to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Victim/ Witness Program.
- California Correctional Center in Susanville – Offenders in the Joint Venture Program, Five Dot Land and Cattle Company donated $3,075.62 to the Lassen County Victim/Witness Assistance Center.