The Wisconsin Department of Corrections proposes an order to repeal and recreate chapter DOC 313, relating to prison industries and correctional farms.
A.   Statutes interpreted: ss. 302.09, 303.01, 303.03, 303.04, and 303.06, Stats.
B.   Statutory Authority to Promulgate the Rule: s. 227.11 (2), Stats.
C.   Explanation of agency authority
Subject to approval by the prison industries board, the department of corrections is authorized to establish prison industries for the employment of inmates in state prisons.
D.   Related statute or rule
Chapters DOC 302, 304, 306, 308, 309, 310, 311, 313, 314, 316, 324, 325, 326, and 327, relating to the supervision of inmates.
E.   Plain Language Analysis
The rule proposal does all of the following:
1. Reorganizes and updates the rule chapter.
2. Repeals the following definitions: employee and program review committee. (Section DOC 313.03.)
3. Creates the following definitions: base wage, industries director, inmate employee, and prison industry. (Section DOC 313.03.)
4. Eliminates throughout the proposed rule the involvement of the program review committee in the assignment of inmates to prison industry work.
5. Changes the emphasis of the rule chapter. The current rule chapter emphasizes the rights of inmates as “employees” of prison industries. The proposed rule chapter emphasizes that prison industries is a correctional program which gives inmates valuable employment experience.
6. Includes among the criteria for selection documented security concerns, including assaultive history, and sentence structure. (Section DOC 313.06 (2) (b) 6. and 7.)
7. Eliminates the provision regarding recommendations for extra good time under s. DOC 313.07 (7).
8. Eliminates the listing of work rules. Establishes the authority of the industries director to establish work rules applicable to inmate employees. (Section DOC 313.09.)
9. Repeals the provision which established an additional “employee” disciplinary process under s. DOC 313.09 (3). Retains the provision that inmate employees may be disciplined for violations of chapter DOC 303. Authorizes prison industries staff to take corrective action for a violation of work rules established under s. DOC 313.09, regardless of whether the violation constitutes a violation of ch. DOC 303. (Subs. DOC 313.10 (2) and (3).)
10. Expands the bases for terminating an inmate employee from employment in a prison industry to include removal from position for non-negative reasons, being a threat to the security and safety of the institution, and exceeding the period of work assignment. The department added the last criterion for removal to address the limited number of opportunities to access the prison industry program. This provision permits a durational employment limit to allow more inmates the opportunity to work in prison industry jobs. (Section DOC 313.11 (1).)
11. Simplifies the section addressing inmate compensation under the prison industry program. Eliminates the payment of double time as well as paid leave. (Section DOC 313.12.)
12. Clarifies the section addressing the work day. (Section DOC 313.13.)
13. Eliminates the provision giving priority to inmates upon transfer.
14. Eliminates the specific provision for inmates to make “employee suggestions.
15. Changes the number of days for temporary layoff and eliminates compensation for separation. Adds removal to language in addition to termination. (Section DOC 313.16.)
16. Addresses work done by inmates on correctional farms and the dairy processing plant. (Section DOC 313.18.)
F.   Summary of and Comparison with Existing or Proposed Federal Regulations that are intended to address the activities to be regulated by the proposed rule
There are no federal regulations that regulate the employment of inmates in prison industries, except for prison industries programs certified by the federal private sector prison industry enhancement certification program (PSPIEC) under 18 USC 17.61 ©.
G.   Comparison of similar rules in adjacent states:
1. Illinois
Prison Industries Board: Illinois does not address this issue.
Assignment to Prison Industries: In Illinois, physically capable inmates may be assigned to prison industries if they are not assigned full-time to another facility program. (20 ILAC 117.30 (b)) In Wisconsin, there is an application process which determines whether inmates will be assigned to prison industries. (DOC 313.04) In Illinois, the factors that a facility may consider in the selection process are (1) the inmate’s security level, grade classification, and adjustment to the institution, and (2) the skills needed to participate in the program. (20 ILAC 117.30 (c) (1) – (2)) In Wisconsin, the factors that a facility may consider in the selection process are (1) education, (2) attitude, (3) experience and training, (4) physical and mental abilities, (5) prior institutional employment, (6) documented security concerns, (7) the inmate’s sentence structure.
Work Times: Illinois allows each facility to establish the working hours for prison industries. (20 ILAC 117.40 (a)) Wisconsin similarly allows prison industries to establish its own working hours.
Training: Illinois rules require inmates to be trained on equipment, materials, and safety precautions related to their work. (20 ILAC 117.40 (e)) Wisconsin rules establish a probationary period in which inmates are trained to perform their work duties. Illinois requires that inmates sign acknowledgement that they received training prior to using equipment and materials at work. (20 ILAC 117.40 (e)) Wisconsin rules do not require inmates to sign acknowledgment that they had received training, however Wisconsin rules require that employee performance be evaluated during the probation period to insure that adequate training is being provided to the inmates.
Links to Admin. Code and Statutes in this Register are to current versions, which may not be the version that was referred to in the original published document.