Thursday, December 16, 2010

Inmates Compensate Crime Victims

Nearly $32,000 Dispersed to Local Charities by “Joint Venture Program”


On December 15, the Joint Venture Program (JVP) at San Quentin State Prison presented checks for $10,659.27 each to three North Bay charities.

All three charities -- Sunny Hills, the Center for Domestic Peace and Bay Area Women against Rape -- assist local victims of crime.

The money dispersed by the JVP, a component of the CDCR that is managed by the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA), represents the local distribution of crime victim funds for fiscal year 2010-2011.

“The Joint Venture Program mandates that inmates pay 20 percent of their wages to victims of crime,” said San Quentin Warden Vincent Cullen. “The program provides inmates with training and real-work job experience, and offers inmates opportunities to obtain meaningful employment upon parole.”

The JVP was created in 1990 with the passage of Proposition 139, the Inmate Labor Initiative, which authorized private companies to establish businesses within California adult institutions and employ inmates as their work force. Inmates in the program earn a comparable wage and pay taxes, room and board, and family support. In addition, state and federal laws require the deduction of 20 percent of the inmates’ net wages to compensate victims of crime.

In fiscal year 2009-10, CDCR/CALPIA Joint Venture Programs disbursed more than $89,000 to crime victim groups throughout the state.

CALPIA is a self-financed state entity that receives all of its revenue from the sale of products it manufactures. The recidivism rate among CALPIA inmates is more than 25 percent lower than the general prison population, a success attributed to the job skills they receive by working in CALPIA business enterprises.