2017 Code of Alabama
Title 14 - CRIMINAL CORRECTIONAL AND DETENTION FACILITIES.
Chapter 7 - PRISON-MADE GOODS.
Section 14-7-22.1 - Prison industry programs.
(a) In order to implement work-oriented rehabilitation programs in an actual private enterprise work environment, the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections may contract or enter into agreements with private individuals, enterprises, partnerships, or corporations to develop joint plants, businesses, factories, or commercial enterprises. The contracts or agreements shall be limited to those in which the department contracts or agrees to furnish inmate labor for the manufacture of articles or products or to furnish inmate labor for the provision of service in facilities furnished by the department or the party or parties and enter into contracts or agreements with the department. The facilities shall be on property owned or operated by the department or at any prison facility housing inmates sentenced to the department.
(b) An inmate may participate in the program established pursuant to this section only on a voluntary basis and only after he or she has been informed of the conditions of his or her employment.
(c) Inmates participating in programs where articles or products are manufactured in part or in whole shall earn not less than the prevailing wage for work of a similar nature in the private sector. The earnings of an inmate authorized to work at paid employment pursuant to this section or Section 14-7-7 or Section 14-7-22 shall be paid directly to the department. The department shall adopt rules concerning the disbursement of any earnings of the inmates involved in a program established pursuant to this section, including the payment of any court ordered restitution. The department shall withhold from an inmate's earnings the costs incident to the inmate's confinement, as the department shall deem appropriate and reasonable, and the moneys collected shall be deposited into the Department of Corrections Special Revenue Fund. In no event shall the withheld earnings exceed 40 percent of the gross earnings of the inmate. The department shall also comply with any order from a court of proper jurisdiction that directs the withholding of funds from an inmate's personal funds, not to exceed 40 percent of the earnings of the inmate. After all expenses have been deducted by the department, the remainder of the inmate's earnings shall be credited to his or her account with the department. All such manufacturing programs shall be operated in compliance with the Federal Prison Industries Enhancement Act codified at 18 U.S.C. §1761(c).
(d) An inmate participating in the program shall not be considered an employee of the state and shall not be entitled to employee benefits.
(e) All products, goods, or items produced by work done under the auspices of contracts or agreements with the Department of Corrections shall be marketed by the party or parties that entered into the contract or agreement. In no instance may the department market these products, goods, or items.
(f) The Commissioner of the Department of Corrections may enter into contracts necessary to implement the prison industry program. The contractual agreements may include rental or lease agreements for state buildings or sale or lease of land on the grounds at an institution or a facility of the department and provide for reasonable access to and egress from the building to establish and operate a facility. Rental or lease agreements shall be exempt from the provisions and requirements of Chapter 16 of Title 41, and other competitive bid laws.
(g) The Department of Corrections and the party or parties that enter into contracts or agreements under this section or Section 14-7-7 or Section 14-7-22 shall be exempt from the provisions or penalties of Sections 14-5-2 and 14-7-22.
(h) Nothing in this section or Section 14-7-7 or Section 14-7-22 shall cause a reduction in the number of prisoners provided for training and work programs conducted on the campus of and by a two-year college and all such programs shall be provided a satisfactory number of prisoners for their prison education programs and all such prison education appropriations shall continue to fund such programs within the two-year college system as set forth in the Education Trust Fund budget.
(i)(1) The Department of Corrections shall annually submit a report to the Joint Legislative Prison Committee as to the types or kinds of prison industries occurring under this section or Section 14-7-7 or Section 14-7-22.
(2) All contracts issued pursuant to this section or Section 14-7-7 or Section 14-7-22 shall be reviewed by the Permanent Legislative Oversight Contract Review Committee.(Act 2012-194, p. 322, §§2, 3.)