Tuesday, April 30, 1996

GOMEZ RESPONDS TO LAO REPORT ON PRISON INDUSTRIES

Corrections Director James H. Gomez today said he was intrigued with the Legislative Analyst's recommendations concerning the state's Prison Industry Authority (PIA).

"From our initial review, it appears that the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) offers a well-considered vision for the future of prison industries in California," said Gomez, who also is chairman of the 11-member Prison Industry Board (PIB) that oversees PIA.

"The Legislative Analyst acknowledges the improvements PIA has made and offers clear, manageable objectives to carry it into the next century," Gomez said.

The LAO concept for reform is based on Florida's PRIDE model. In that state, prison industries are operated by a private, nonprofit corporation. If the LAO's recommendations are pursued in California, PIA's mission would be twofold: financial self-sufficiency and reduced inmate recidivism.

"While I have not had the opportunity to review the report in detail," said Gomez, "the strategies outlined are very appealing."

"I commend the LAO for their insightful look into the unique, public/private realm of PIA," Gomez continued, "and I look forward to fully exploring the options they present."