|Satisfies Citizens' Expections|
Oregon’s Constitution requires inmates to do productive work rather than indulge in idleness. Since OCE is self-supporting, this goal is accomplished at no cost to the taxpayer. Work is a key component of the Oregon Accountability Model, an initiative of the Oregon Department of Corrections. Work helps the department hold inmates accountable for their actions and provides a foundation for them to lead successful lives upon release. Inmate work provides Oregonians both economic and rehabilitative advantages.
|Creates Oregon Jobs|
By providing work for inmates, OCE also provides jobs for 93 Oregon citizens. These employees, who earned $6.1 million in salaries and benefits during the fiscal year, support their families, pay state and federal taxes, and by their purchases of goods and services, contribute to the economy of Oregon. Through its purchases of raw materials and equipment, OCE also supports many other jobs in Oregon private sector companies.
|Contributes to the Economy|
OCE purchases a wide array of materials, equipment, and services from Oregon private-sector vendors whenever possible. These purchases totaled $7.9 million in fiscal year 2004.
|Helps Reduce Recidivism|
A man or woman able to earn an honest living is less likely to commit future crimes. When offenders commit new crimes and return to prison, everyone pays – the victims of repeat offenders, the children and families of these offenders, and taxpayers. Studies conducted by the Federal Bureau of Prisons on the effect of participation in correctional industry programs on inmate recidivism have shown that work plays a significant role in reducing the possibility of an offender returning to prison for up to 12 years following release. Inmates who worked in prison industries or completed vocational and apprenticeship programs were 24 percent less likely to recidivate than non-program participants and 14 percent more likely to be gainfully employed.
|Contributes to Public Safety|
When inmates have lawful and productive activities to occupy their time, the safety and security of Oregon’s prisons are enhanced. Last year, OCE inmates worked a total of 1,207,405 hours, providing an important positive impact on reducing prison misconduct.
|Reduces Cost to Taxpayers|
Inmates manufacture beds, clothing, cell furniture, and many other items for prisons. OCE provides services such as printing, GIS mapping, telecommunications, and laundry service to various other state agencies which help to reduce the cost of government.
|Private Sector |
OCE strives to balance the interests of private-sector businesses with its constitutional mandate to engage inmates in meaningful work. Through partnerships and mutually beneficial relationships, OCE strives to work with the private sector to add value to their products and services by meeting their needs for a stable, skilled workforce. To train the greatest number of inmates, OCE pursues labor-intensive processes. By contrast, the private sector typically avoids these types of activities, favoring technological alternatives to accomplish their work.
|Benefits Oregon Citizens'|
We at OCE strive to keep as many inmates working as financially possible. While maintaining its commitment to maximize inmate work assignments, OCE is also required by constitutional mandate to generate enough revenue to maintain self-sufficiency. Approximately 1045 inmates work in OCE production shops located in prisons throughout Oregon. In the past year, these inmates were paid $1.4 million in awards for their labor. Inmates contribute part of their earnings toward meeting their obligations for child support, state and federal taxes, court-imposed fines, and victim assistance as applicable. Many inmates also contribute to the support and welfare of their families by sending home a portion of their earnings.