Download this document in MS Word format
BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

AutoFill Template

H.560

Introduced by Representative Emmons of Springfield

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Corrections; offender work programs board

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to eliminate the offender work programs board.

AN ACT RELATING TO ELIMINATION OF THE OFFENDER WORK PROGRAMS BOARD

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  28 V.S.A. § 751b is amended to read:

§ 751B.  general provisions governing offender work

* * *

(c)  The commissioner shall establish written guidelines governing the hours and conditions of offender work, and the rates of compensation of offenders for employment.  Wage payments of offenders shall be set aside in a separate fund.  The guidelines of the department may provide for the making of deductions from wages of offenders to defray part or all of the cost of offender maintenance or payments to victims of crime.  The guidelines may also provide for the setting aside by the department of a portion of an offender's wages to enable the offender to contribute to the support of his or her dependents, if any, to make necessary purchases from a commissary, to purchase approved books, instruments and instruction not supplied by a correctional facility and to set aside sums to be paid to the offender upon release from the custody or supervision of the commissioner.  Any interest which accrues from these wages during the period of such custody of an offender shall be credited to any fund maintained by the correctional facility for the welfare of offenders.  The commissioner shall annually, by January 1, provide a current copy of any guidelines promulgated under this section to the chairs of the senate and house committees on institutions and the offender work programs board established under section 761 of this title.

(d)  The labor, work product, or time of an offender may be sold, contracted, or hired out by the state only:

(1)  To the federal government.

(2)  To any state or political subdivision of a state, or to any nonprofit organization which is exempt from federal or state income taxation, subject to federal law, to the laws of the recipient state and to the rules of the department. The director of work offender programs shall annually, by January 1, submit to the chairs of the senate and house committees on institutions and to the offender work programs board a list of any such nonprofit organizations receiving goods or services in the prior and current fiscal year.  Five members of such board at a scheduled and warned board meeting may vote to disapprove any future sales of offender produced goods or services to any nonprofit organization and such vote shall be binding on the department.

(3)  To any private person or enterprise not involving the provision of the federally-authorized federally authorized Prison Industries Enhancement Program, provided that the offender work programs board shall first determine that the offender work product in question is not otherwise produced or available within the state. Five members of the such board at a scheduled and warned board meeting may vote to disapprove any future sales of offender produced goods or services to any person or entity not involving the provisions of the federally-authorized Prison Industries Enhancement Program and such vote shall be binding on the department.

(4)  To charitable organizations where the offender work product is the handicraft of offenders and the commissioner has approved such sales in advance.

(5)  To political subdivisions of the state, community organizations, private persons or enterprises when the governor has authorized the work of offenders as necessary and appropriate as a response to a civil emergency.

(e)  Offender work programs managers shall seek to offset production, service and related costs from product and service sales; however, this financial objective of offsetting the costs to the department of servicing and supervising offender work programs shall not be pursued to the detriment of accomplishing the purposes of offender work programs set out in subsection (a) of this section or to the detriment of private businesses as safeguarded by section 761 of this title.

(f)  Annual report and two-year work programs plan.  Annually by

October 1, the director of offender work programs shall submit to the offender work programs board, and to the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions, a written report on all offender work program activities authorized under this section for the previous fiscal year and a two-year plan for the current and future fiscal years.

(1)  The annual report shall include, but not be limited to, appropriations, income, production costs, offender injury compensation, prices as they relate to enterprise performance, depreciation of equipment, capital expanses, the status and progress of vocational training programs for offenders, including the number of offenders placed in private or public sector jobs upon release from custody of the commissioner, the reasons for not expanding its operations or not developing new products and any other related operational or financial considerations.

(2)  The two-year plan shall address the direction of offender work programs authorized by this section working at full capacity in the current and following fiscal years, identify recipients of offender produced goods or services, and analyze any potential impact on existing private businesses.

(g)  The department of corrections shall, in any new initiative involving sales of offender work products, seek to use the provisions of the federally-authorized federally authorized Prison Industries Enhancement Program.

(h)  Assembled products shall not be sold to any person, enterprise or entity unless the offender work programs board has first reviewed any such proposed sale, and five members of the board have voted in favor of the proposal at a scheduled and warned meeting of the board.

* * *

Sec. 2.  28 V.S.A. § 752 is amended to read:

§ 752.  Offender work programs special fund

* * *

(b)  Any expenses incurred by offender work programs and the offender work programs board shall be defrayed by this fund.

* * *

(f)  The joint fiscal office shall, for fiscal years 2001, 2002, and 2003:

(1)  review and analyze any reports and plans required to be submitted by the department of corrections to the legislature or to the offender work programs board under subsection 751b(f) of this title;

(2)  review and analyze any reports and recommendations made by the department and by the offender work programs board under sections section 751b and 761 of this title; and

(3)  submit to the chairs of the senate and house committees on institutions, the commissioner of corrections and the offender work programs board the analysis by the joint fiscal office of these the report, plans, and recommendations.

Sec. 3.  REPEAL

28 V.S.A. § 761, relating to the offender work programs board, is repealed.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us