2010 Wyoming Statutes
Title 7 - Criminal Procedure
Chapter 16 - Labor By Prisoners

CHAPTER 16 - LABOR BY PRISONERS

 

ARTICLE 1 - COUNTY JAIL

 

7-16-101. Persons subject to required work.

 

 

(a) The sentencing court may require the following persons to perform work pursuant to W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104:

 

(i) Persons sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment in the county jail, whether or not a fine is imposed as a part of the sentence;

 

(ii) Persons committed to jail pursuant to W.S. 6-10-105 for refusal to pay a fine or costs; and

 

(iii) Persons for whom work is imposed as a condition of probation pursuant to W.S. 7-13-304(b).

 

(b) No person charged with a crime and awaiting the action of the grand jury or awaiting trial shall be required to perform work pursuant to W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104.

 

7-16-102. Restrictions; supervision; costs; civil liability.

 

 

(a) No prisoner shall be required to perform work more than eight (8) hours in any one (1) calendar day or to work on any legal holiday.

 

(b) No person shall be required to perform work who is unable to do so due to physical or mental disability.

 

(c) The court shall direct whether the work shall be performed under the supervision of the county sheriff, the state probation and parole officer or some other responsible person approved by the court. No person shall be directed to perform work unless the court, after consultation with the sheriff or other entity or person to be charged with supervision, determines that adequate staffing is available to provide for the safe and secure supervision of the prisoner.

 

(d) Any additional expenses, including costs for guarding the prisoner, incurred by a county as a result of allowing a prisoner to perform work shall be paid by the board of county commissioners in which the labor is performed but may be assessed against any financial credit earned by the prisoner under W.S. 7-16-104. The court may also require that a reasonable sum for room and board be assessed against any credits earned by a prisoner.

 

(e) The person charged with supervising a prisoner's work shall keep an accurate record and account of all work performed and all credits received and shall make periodic reports as required by the court.

 

(f) The court may impose any other reasonable terms or conditions relating to the performance of work by prisoners and probationers, not inconsistent with W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104.

 

(g) If any civil action is brought against any sheriff, his undersheriff, deputy, agent or employee, by reason of acts committed or alleged in the performance of necessary duties in connection with the care of a prisoner performing work pursuant to W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104, the state shall indemnify and hold harmless the officers, agents or employees from all civil liability incurred or adjudged except for liability arising out of willful and wanton or malicious acts. Upon request, the state shall provide legal counsel at state expense to assist in the defense of any action covered by this subsection.

 

7-16-103. Compensation of sheriff.

 

Except for reimbursement for additional expenses authorized by W.S. 7-16-102(d), a sheriff is not entitled to any extra compensation, fee or reward for supervising a prisoner performing work pursuant to W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104.

 

7-16-104. Credits.

 

 

(a) The sentencing court may reduce the term of a sentence, fine, costs or attorney fees of a prisoner sentenced to imprisonment or placed on probation, for work performed under W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104.

 

(b) If a reduction is ordered pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the reduction shall be:

 

(i) At the rate of one (1) day for each eight (8) hours of work performed under W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104, provided the reduction in sentence shall not exceed one-half (1/2) of the original sentence;

 

(ii) In an amount equal to the federal minimum hourly wage for each hour of work performed provided that the total amount of reduction in the fine, costs or attorney fees shall not exceed one-half (1/2) of the total amount of the fine, costs and attorney fees.

 

(c) The court shall direct whether the credits under subsection (b) of this section shall apply against the prisoner's term of imprisonment, his fine, court costs, attorney fees or other fees imposed by the court.

 

(d) A person committed to county jail for refusal to pay a fine or costs shall, in addition to the credit allowed by W.S. 6-10-105, be granted a credit against his fine or costs in an amount equal to the federal minimum hourly wage for each hour of work performed.

 

ARTICLE 2 - PRISON LABOR

 

7-16-201. Contracting to private persons.

 

Except as authorized by W.S. 25-13-101 through 25-13-107, no person in charge of prisoners at any state penal institution shall contract to supply prisoner labor to any private person or private business entity.

 

7-16-202. Persons subject to required work.

 

(a) All prisoners sentenced to the custody of the department of corrections to serve a term of imprisonment in a state penal institution may be employed within the institution or in any work for the benefit of and use by the state or any of its agencies or political subdivisions.

 

(b) An inmate of a state penal institution shall be required to perform available hard labor which is suited to the inmate's age, gender, physical and mental condition, strength and attainments in the institution proper, in the industries established in connection with the institution, or at other places as provided in subsection (a) of this section. Substantially equivalent hard labor programs shall be available to both male and female inmates. Inmates performing hard labor at a location other than within or on the grounds of a state penal institution shall be attired in brightly colored uniforms that readily identify them as inmates of state penal institutions. The employment of inmates in hard labor shall not displace employed workers, shall not be applied to skills, crafts or trades in which a local surplus of labor exists, and shall not impair existing contracts for employment or services.

 

(c) For purposes of this section, "hard labor" means physical or mental labor which is performed for a period of time which shall average, as nearly as possible, forty (40) hours each week, and may include useful and productive work. "Hard labor" may include menial labor, any training necessary to perform any work required, and if possible, work providing an inmate with marketable vocational skills. "Hard labor" does not include labor which is dangerous to an inmate's life or health, is unduly painful or is required to be performed under conditions that would violate occupational safety and health standards applicable to such labor if performed by a person who is not an inmate.

 

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, an inmate who has been determined by the institution administrator to be unsuitable for the performance of hard labor due to the inmate's age, gender, physical or mental condition, strength or security status shall not be required to perform hard labor.

 

(e) The department of corrections shall adopt rules to implement this section.

 

7-16-203. Compensation.

 

(a) Persons in confinement in state corrections institutions may receive compensation as specified by the department of corrections for services performed under W.S. 7-16-202. In no case shall the total of all compensation credited exceed the general fund appropriation for that institution. The compensation rate to be paid to any prisoner shall not exceed the state minimum wage.

 

(b) The compensation limitations in subsection (a) of this section do not apply to correctional industries programs authorized under W.S. 25-13-101 through 25-13-107.

 

7-16-204. Fines for misconduct.

 

The department of corrections shall adopt rules and regulations to establish a system for punishing prisoner misconduct through the imposition of fines to be deducted from compensation earned as provided by W.S. 7-16-203. The rules shall provide for the distribution of the proceeds of fines collected under this section as special aid to discharged or paroled prisoners who are infirm or in any way incapable of earning a sufficient subsistence after their release.

 

7-16-205. Disposition of earnings; confidentiality of amount.

 

(a) Payment for services performed by any prisoner under W.S. 7-16-202 shall be deposited in the trust and agency account at the institution and shall be disbursed for the purposes provided in this subsection and in the order specified:

 

(i) Unless the prisoner is serving a sentence of death or life without the possibility of parole or is subject to mandatory savings under W.S. 25-13-107(b)(i), ten percent (10%) shall be credited to the prisoner's personal savings account within the correctional facility's trust and agency account, until the prisoner's account has a balance of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). Once the prisoner's personal savings account balance reaches one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), the income otherwise distributed to the prisoner's savings account under this paragraph shall be distributed to the prisoner as provided by paragraphs (ii) through (vi) of this subsection. Funds in the prisoner's personal savings account shall be paid to the prisoner upon parole or final discharge;

 

(ii) Support of dependent relations of the prisoner;

 

(iii) Personal necessities and assessments of fees for programs, services and assistance pursuant to subsection (e) of this section;

 

(iv) Repealed By Laws 1999, ch. 62, 2.

 

(v) Court ordered restitution, fines, sanctions and reimbursement for the services of public defender or court appointed counsel, the surcharge imposed under W.S. 1-40-119 and victims compensation obligations under W.S. 1-40-112(g);

 

(vi) Remaining funds shall be paid the prisoner upon parole or final discharge.

 

(b) The amount in the trust and agency fund assigned to the credit of any prisoner is confidential information and is not subject to public inspection.

 

(c) Except as otherwise provided for correctional industries programs authorized by W.S. 25-13-101 through 25-13-107, any compensation earned by a prisoner while incarcerated shall be subject to the provisions of this section.

 

(d) The department of corrections shall establish regulations governing provisions for travel, clothing and cash needed by each prisoner upon release from any state penal institution.

 

(e) The department of corrections may establish regulations providing for assessment of fees to prisoners for self-improvement programs, services, including medical services, and assistance provided by the department when the inmate has money to pay for the programs, services and assistance.

 

7-16-206. Permitted institutional industries; powers of department.

 

(a) The department of corrections, for purposes of assisting in the rehabilitation of residents of state penal institutions, may:

 

(i) Establish industries in state penal institutions that will result in the manufacture of products or the provision of services that may be used by any agency or political subdivision of this state, any agency of the federal government or any agency or political subdivision of another state;

 

(ii) Contract with private industry for the sale of products manufactured in state penal institutions;

 

(iii) Print and distribute catalogs describing goods manufactured in state penal institutions;

 

(iv) Fix the sale price for products manufactured or services produced at state penal institutions and purchased by the state of Wyoming or any of its political subdivisions, not to exceed open market prices for comparable goods and services;

 

(v) Provide for the repair and maintenance of property and equipment of state penal institutions by residents of those institutions;

 

(vi) Provide for the repair and maintenance of any state agency's furniture and equipment by residents of state penal institutions;

 

(vii) Sell on the open market products manufactured at state penal institutions; and

 

(viii) Pay a resident of a penal institution from the proceeds of products manufactured or services provided in a program in which the resident is working pursuant to this subsection.

 

(b) Payment for the performance of work authorized pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be based in part on the following criteria:

 

(i) Knowledge or skill;

 

(ii) Attitude toward authority;

 

(iii) Physical effort;

 

(iv) Responsibility for equipment and materials; and

 

(v) Regard for safety of others.

 

(c) A manufactured product shall not be sold under paragraph (a)(ii) or (vii) of this section if the same or comparable product is manufactured elsewhere in this state.

 

(d) The maximum rate of pay for work performed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be determined by the appropriation established for each program in accordance with W.S. 7-16-202 through 7-16-205.

 

(e) Proceeds from the sale of products manufactured or services provided at a state penal institution pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be deposited in the appropriate account for the use of the industries program of the same institution.

 

ARTICLE 3 - WORK RELEASE

 

7-16-301. Short title.

 

This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Work Release Act".

 

7-16-302. Definitions.

 

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Director" means the director of the state department of corrections;

 

(ii) "Employment" means gainful work in the community including vocational training and other educational and rehabilitative activity;

 

(iii) "Inmate" means a person confined in an institution;

 

(iv) "Institution" means the Wyoming state penitentiary, state penitentiary farms and camps, Wyoming women's center and any other state adult penal institution;

 

(v) "Institution administrator" means the warden, superintendent or other principal administrative officer of the institution;

 

(vi) "Work release" means a program whereby eligible inmates are released to employment in the community while remaining under the control of the department of corrections. Work release is not parole as defined by W.S. 7-13-401 but constitutes an extension of the limits of confinement beyond the boundaries of the institution. When not confined, inmates on work release shall be under guard of an employee of the institution or under the direct supervision and control of an employer or a member of the employer's staff designated by the institution administrator;

 

(vii) "Department" means the state department of corrections;

 

(viii) "This act" means W.S. 7-16-301 through 7-16-311.

 

7-16-303. Authority to establish programs; participants; conditions; revocation.

 

 

(a) Each institution administrator is authorized and directed to establish a work release program at their respective institutions for the rehabilitation, education and betterment of selected inmates and to allow inmates serving their sentences to work in gainful employment in the community. The establishment, regulation and control of work release programs is the responsibility of each institution administrator with the approval of the director. The programs shall operate by supplementing established penal or parole procedures established by law.

 

(b) Each institution administrator may recommend eligible inmates to the department for participation in a work release program. The department shall:

 

(i) Study the inmate's conduct, attitude and behavior while imprisoned, his criminal history and all other pertinent case history material;

 

(ii) Determine whether the inmate's participation in the work release program will be of benefit to the public and to the inmate and whether there is reasonable cause to believe that the inmate will honor his trust as a work release participant; and

 

(iii) Approve, reject, modify, or defer action on the recommendation.

 

(c) If an inmate is approved for participation in a work release program, the institution administrator shall adopt a work release plan for the inmate containing terms and conditions which the inmate shall agree to in writing before being released from the confines of the institution. A signed copy of the plan shall be delivered to the department. As one (1) of the conditions, the plan shall specify where the inmate shall be maintained or confined while in the work release program when not engaged in the work release employment.

 

(d) Approval of an inmate's participation in a work release program may be revoked at any time by the department if the inmate violates the terms and conditions of his plan or if the purposes of the inmate's work release plan are not being accomplished. Upon revocation the inmate shall be returned to the institution.

 

(e) For purposes of this act:

 

(i) A male inmate incarcerated in a correctional facility operated by a private entity pursuant to W.S. 7-22-102 shall be deemed to be an inmate of the Wyoming state penitentiary;

 

(ii) A female inmate incarcerated in a correctional facility operated by a private entity pursuant to W.S. 7-22-102 shall be deemed to be an inmate of the Wyoming women's center.

 

7-16-304. Duties of institution administrator; cooperation with state and local agencies.

 

 

(a) Each institution administrator shall:

 

(i) With the approval of the director, adopt rules and regulations necessary to administer the work release programs authorized by this act;

 

(ii) Provide for the supervision of work release participants;

 

(iii) Locate available employment or vocational training opportunities for qualified work release participants;

 

(iv) Effect placement of work release participants under the program;

 

(v) Collect, account for and make disbursement from earnings of work release participants as provided by this act; and

 

(vi) Return the inmate to the institution on any occurrence which affects the terms and conditions of the plan so as to defeat the purposes of the work release plan. The return of the inmate shall be reported to the department within five (5) days.

 

(b) All state and local agencies shall cooperate with the institution administrator in the administration of the work release program, but shall reserve the right not to participate in the program.

 

7-16-305. Eligibility.

 

 

(a) No inmate is eligible for work release consideration who:

 

(i) At the time of consideration has any legal proceedings pending which could affect his status as an inmate;

 

(ii) Has been convicted of first degree murder;

 

(iii) Is serving a term of life imprisonment; or

 

(iv) Has been sentenced to death.

 

7-16-306. Confinement when not working or in training.

 

Each institution administrator, with the approval of the director, may arrange to use available facilities of state institutions to house inmates on work release status. With the approval of any local government the institution administrator may arrange or contract for other facilities, including city and county jails, for housing inmates employed in the community. No inmate shall be granted work release privileges until suitable facilities for quartering and confining the inmate have been provided and arrangements have been made for proper supervision. An inmate granted work release status shall be confined in a state penal institution or other facility designated for the housing of work release inmates when not actually working at the inmate's employment or engaged in educational training.

 

7-16-307. Restrictions; suitable employment; wages.

 

 

(a) No inmate shall be released under a work release plan to employment:

 

(i) In a field of skilled labor in which there exists a surplus of labor; or

 

(ii) Where a labor dispute is in progress.

 

(b) Any employment obtained shall be suitable for the inmate. Wages received by the inmate shall be commensurate with the prevailing wage for similar work in the area in accordance with the prevailing working conditions in the area.

 

7-16-308. Assignment of earnings; disbursements; exemption from process; incurring of debts.

 

(a) An inmate on work release shall assign all of his earnings from work release employment to his institutional account at the institution and all disbursements from the inmate's institutional account shall be made only as provided in this subsection and in the order specified:

 

(i) Board and room charges of the inmate, if any;

 

(ii) Necessary travel expenses and other incidental expenses of the inmate related to his work release plan;

 

(iii) Assistance in the support of the inmate's legal dependents, if any;

 

(iv) Court ordered restitution, fines, sanctions and reimbursement for the services of public defender or court appointed counsel, the surcharge imposed under W.S. 1-40-119 and victims compensation obligations under W.S. 1-40-112(g);

 

(v) Repealed By Laws 1999, ch. 62, 2.

 

(vi) Payments on lawful personal debts and obligations of the inmate; and

 

(vii) The balance, if any, to be retained in the inmate's account to be paid to him upon parole or discharge.

 

(b) Except as provided by W.S. 20-6-201 through 20-6-222, the earnings of inmates under this act are not subject to garnishment, attachment or execution either in the hands of the employer or any agent authorized to hold and transmit the earnings.

 

(c) No inmate shall incur any debt while under a work release plan without official written permission of the institution administrator or the administrator's designee. Any debt so incurred shall be brought to the attention of the director.

 

7-16-309. Escape.

 

The intentional act of an inmate of absenting himself without permission from either the place of employment or the designated place of confinement within the time prescribed constitutes an escape from the custody of the institution. Upon apprehension the inmate is subject to return to the institution and criminal prosecution for escape.

 

7-16-310. Status of inmates; civil liability.

 

An inmate employed in the community under a work release program is not an agent, employee or involuntary servant of the department of corrections, the director, the institution administrator, institution, parole board or the state while released from confinement. The foregoing agencies and individuals are not liable in the event of any injury sustained in the gainful private employment of any inmate in a work release program.

 

7-16-311. Eligibility for parole, release or good time.

 

Nothing in this act shall be construed to affect the eligibility for parole, release, good time or special good time of any inmate engaged in a work release program if he is otherwise eligible.

 

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