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Bill Number: 588 Ratification Number: 250 Act Number 177 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Prison industries
(A177, R250, S588)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 24-3-310 AND 24-3-400, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PRISON INDUSTRIES, SO AS TO DECLARE THE FURTHER INTENT IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF CONVICT LABOR IS TO PLACE INMATES IN A REALISTIC WORKING ENVIRONMENT AND TO REQUIRE THE BOARD OF CORRECTIONS TO PLACE NOT LESS THAN FIVE PERCENT NOR MORE THAN TWENTY PERCENT OF GROSS WAGES PAID INMATES WITH THE STATE TREASURER FOR USE IN THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AND OTHER SELF-SUSTAINING PROGRAMS; AND TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTION 24-3-315 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT INMATE PARTICIPATION IN ANY PRISON INDUSTRY PROGRAM BE ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS AND THAT THE INMATE DOES NOT DISPLACE EMPLOYED WORKERS OR RECEIVE LESS PAY FOR WORK OF A SIMILAR NATURE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Declaration of intent
SECTION 1. Section 24-3-310 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 24-3-310. Since the means now provided for the employment of convict labor is inadequate to furnish a sufficient number of convicts with employment it is the intent of this article to:
(1) further provide more adequate, regular, and suitable employment for the convicts of this State, consistent with proper penal purposes;
(2) further utilize the labor of convicts for self-maintenance and for reimbursing this State for expenses incurred by reason of their crimes and imprisonment;
(3) effect the requisitioning and disbursement of prison products directly through established state authorities with no possibility of private profits therefrom; and
(4) provide prison industry projects designed to place inmates in a realistic working and training environment in which they are able to acquire marketable skills and to make financial payments for restitution to their victims, for support of their families, and for the support of themselves in the institution."
Prison industry program
SECTION 2. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 24-3-315. The Board of Corrections shall ensure that inmates participating in any prison industry program pursuant to the Justice Assistance Act of 1984 is on a voluntary basis. The board must determine prior to using inmate labor in a prison industry project that it will not displace employed workers, that the locality does not have a surplus of available labor for the skills, crafts, or trades that would utilize inmate labor, and that the rates of pay and other conditions of employment are not less than those paid and provided for work of similar nature in the locality in which the work is performed."
Prison Industries Account
SECTION 3. Section 24-3-400 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 24-3-400. All monies collected by the State Board of Corrections from the sale or disposition of articles and products manufactured or produced by convict labor, in accordance with the provisions of this article, must be forthwith deposited with the State Treasurer to be kept and maintained as a special revolving account designated 'Prison Industries Account', and the monies so collected and deposited must be used solely for the purchase of manufacturing supplies, equipment, machinery, and buildings used to carry out the purposes of this article, as well as for the payment of the necessary personnel in charge, and to otherwise defray the necessary expenses incident thereto and to discharge any existing obligation to the Sinking Funds and Property Division of the State Budget and Control Board, all of which must be under the direction and subject to the approval of the State Board of Corrections. The Board of Corrections shall contribute an amount of not less than five percent nor more than twenty percent of the gross wages paid to inmate workers participating in any prison industry project established pursuant to the Justice Assistance Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-473) and promptly place these funds on deposit with the State Treasurer for credit to a special account to support victim assistance programs established pursuant to the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-473, Title 2, Chapter 14, Section 1404). The Prison Industries Account must never be maintained in excess of the amount necessary to efficiently and properly carry out the intentions of this article. When, in the opinion of the Board of Corrections, the Prison Industries Account has reached a sum in excess of the requirements of this article, the excess must be used by the Board of Corrections for operating expenses and permanent improvements to the state prison system, subject to the approval of the State Budget and Control Board."
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.