Administration and management.
Commitments; municipal prisoners; contract with other county.
Employment of prisoners; time credits, earnings and rewards.
United States convicts.
Compensation to injured prisoners.
Compensation to prisoners or residents injured in prison industries employment.
Work on Sundays and holidays.
Ch. 303 Cross-reference
See definitions in s. 301.01
Prison industries. 303.01(1)(a)(a)
In this subsection “manufacturing" includes reprocessing, repairing, salvaging, servicing and storing.
The department, with the approval of the prison industries board and after a hearing is held under par. (c)
, may establish industries for the employment of inmates in the state prisons or residents in any correctional institution operated by the department for holding in secure custody persons adjudged delinquent. Except as provided in par. (d)
, prison industries may engage in manufacturing articles for and providing services to the state and its political subdivisions and any tax-supported institution or nonprofit agency and for sale of such articles and services to other states or political divisions thereof or to the United States. The department shall fix the price of all products and services as near the market price as possible. Supplies, materials and equipment may be reconditioned by prison industries for sale under s. 16.72
Prior to establishing any prison industry, the department shall provide written notification of its proposed action to the cochairpersons of the joint committee on finance. The cochairpersons shall hold a public hearing before the committee concerning the proposal.
Prison industries may sell wood and metal office furniture and laundry services only to state agencies, as defined in s. 20.001 (1)
(2) Powers of department.
In the administration of the prison industries program, the department may:
Submit bids for any contract or subcontract with a nonprofit organization as defined in s. 108.02 (19)
Operate a central warehouse and central generating station with the employment of prisoners to supply its institutions;
Maintain auto shops in connection with auto schools and may receive from licensed automobile dealers and regularly established automobile repair shops vehicles to be repaired, painted or otherwise processed by inmates or residents of the school;
Lease space, with or without equipment, within the precincts of state prisons, as specified in s. 302.02
, or within the confines of correctional institutions operated by the department for holding in secure custody persons adjudged delinquent, to not more than 2 private businesses to employ prison inmates and institution residents to manufacture products or components or to provide services for sale on the open market. The department shall comply with s. 16.75
in selecting businesses under this paragraph. The department may enter into a contract under this paragraph only with the approval of the joint committee on finance. The department may not enter into or amend a contract under this paragraph unless the contract or amendment specifies each state prison or juvenile correctional institution at which the private business will employ inmates or institution residents. The department shall consult with appropriate trade organizations and labor unions prior to issuing requests for proposals and prior to selecting proposals under this paragraph. Each such private business may conduct its operations as a private business, subject to the wage standards under sub. (4)
, the disposition of earnings under sub. (8)
, the provisions regarding displacement in sub. (11)
, the requirements for notification and hearing under sub. (1) (c)
, the requirement for prison industries board approval under s. 303.015 (1) (b)
and the authority of the department to maintain security and control in its institutions. The private business and its operations are not a prison industry. Inmates employed by the private business are not subject to the requirements of inmates participating in prison industries, except as provided in this paragraph;
Lease or purchase land within the state for the employment of prisoners or residents; and
Construct barracks for the safekeeping of prisoners or residents employed in the prison industries outside the prison or institution proper on the prison or institution premises.
(4) Wage standards.
All inmates and residents shall be paid a wage that is based on the productivity of the work the inmates and residents perform. Wages may be established at an hourly rate plus an incentive wage based on productivity and piecework formulas may be created. However, wages shall not be set at a rate such as to cause a deficit on operations. Changes in inmate and resident wage rate schedules may not be made without approval of the prison industries board.
To the extent possible, prison industries shall be operated in a manner that is similar to private business and industry. The primary goal of prison industries shall be to operate in a profitable manner. Within this goal, inmates or residents employed in prison industries shall be provided with training and work experience that allows them to develop skills necessary to retain employment in outside business and industry. Consistent with available resources, inmates or residents employed in prison industries may be required to take education courses related to their work to enhance their capacity for employment upon release from prison or an institution specified under sub. (1) (b)
The department has the authority to determine how much, if any, of the earnings of an inmate or resident may be spent and for what purposes they may be spent within the confines of the prison or institution.
The department shall distribute earnings of an inmate or resident, other than an inmate or resident employed under sub. (2) (em)
, for the crime victim and witness assistance surcharge under s. 973.045 (4)
, for the delinquency victim and witness assistance surcharge under s. 938.34 (8d) (c)
, for the deoxyribonucleic acid analysis surcharge under s. 973.046 (4)
and for compliance with s. 303.06 (2)
and may distribute earnings for the support of the inmate's or resident's dependents and for other obligations either acknowledged by the inmate or resident in writing or which have been reduced to judgment that may be satisfied according to law. The department may also distribute earnings for the child pornography surcharge under s. 973.042
or the drug offender diversion surcharge under s. 973.043
, but only if the inmate or resident has first provided for the reasonable support of his or her dependents.
The department shall disburse the earnings of inmates and residents employed under sub. (2) (em)
in the order stated:
Payment of applicable federal, state and local taxes.
The board of the inmate or resident and a reasonable room charge, as determined by the department.
The department may disburse the earnings of inmates and residents employed under sub. (2) (em)
for the support of the inmate's or resident's dependents and for the payment of an obligation other than one specified under par. (c)
if the obligation is acknowledged by the inmate or resident in writing or has been reduced to judgment that may be satisfied according to law.
The department shall credit all moneys that it collects from earnings of inmates and residents employed under sub. (2) (em)
to the appropriation account under s. 20.410 (1) (gi)
(9) Staff services.
The secretary shall appoint the director of prison industries outside the classified service. The department shall provide other staff services to the prison industries board within the classified service.
(10) Sales personnel.
Three sales representative positions and one sales manager position to sell and manage the sale of goods and services produced by prison industries shall be in the unclassified civil service.
“Displace an employee" means to lay off an employee in this state as a direct result of work being performed in a state prison or juvenile correctional institution under a prison contract or to permanently transfer an employee in this state to another job that reduces the employee's base pay, excluding overtime, differentials and bonuses, by more than 25 percent as a direct result of work being performed in a state prison or juvenile correctional institution under a prison contract.
“Private employer" means a private business that is a party to a prison contract.
A private employer may not displace an employee or cause another private business to displace an employee.
A private employer may not employ inmates or institution residents under a prison contract if any of the following applies:
The inmates or institution residents are to be employed in a skill, craft or trade in which there is a surplus of available labor in the locality of the private employer.
The employment of the inmates or institution residents will impair the performance of other contracts to which the private employer is a party.
The inmates or institution residents will replace employees who are on strike against the private employer or locked out of work.
A private employer shall post in all of its workplaces a notice provided by the department containing a description of the nature of the prison contract and an explanation of what it means for an employee of a private employer to be displaced under this subsection and identifying a person at the department whom an employee of a private employer may contact if the employee believes that he or she may have been displaced by a prison contract.
See also ch. DOC 309
, Wis. adm. code.
Sub. (8) (b) gives a trial court authority to order restitution distributed from prison wages. A judgment of conviction including an order for restitution is an “other obligation reduced to judgment that may be satisfied according to law." State v. Baker, 2001 WI App 100
, 243 Wis. 2d 77
, 626 N.W.2d 862
The Department of Corrections was not authorized under sub. (8) (b) to take the defendant's earnings to satisfy unpaid restitution ordered in a judgment that imposed a sentence that the defendant had completed because: 1) the restitution ordered was a condition of parole; and 2) conditions of parole do not survive the completion of a sentence. Therefore, the restitution ordered was not an obligation that may be satisfied according to law within the meaning of sub. (8) (b) after the defendant completed the sentence. Markovic v. Litscher, 2018 WI App 44
, 383 Wis. 2d 576
, 916 N.W.2d 202
Inmates are not entitled to federal minimum wage protection. Sundby v. Fiedler, 827 F. Supp. 583
Prison industries board. 303.015(1)(1)
The prison industries board has the following powers and duties:
The department shall submit each department biennial budget request for prison industries and every substantial department-proposed modification of the prison industries budget to the board for review before it is submitted to the department of administration, governor, joint committee on finance or legislature. If the board does not approve the budget request or modification, the board may develop an alternative proposal or a statement that shall be appended to the budget request or modification and submitted with it.
The board shall develop a plan containing recommendations for the manufacture and marketing of prison industries products, the provision of prison industries services and the provision of research and development activities. Whenever feasible, the plan shall include research activities with a facility involved in the cocomposting of solid waste and sludge from wastewater treatment facilities. The plan may include, but is not limited to, recommended market research, product modifications, manufacturing techniques, pricing policies, advertising and elimination or establishment of specific industries or products. No prison industry may be established or permanently closed without approval of the board.
Prior to submission to the legislative council staff for review under s. 227.15
, departmental rules relating to hiring, termination, evaluation and compensation of, or other conditions of employment for, inmates or residents in prison industries shall be submitted to the board for approval. Board authority over rules shall not extend to determination of which inmates or residents are eligible for employment in prison industries or to security matters.
No purchase of more than $250,000 may be made for prison industries without prior approval of the board.
The board shall review and either approve or deny a proposal under s. 303.06 (5)
to offer for sale in the open market a product or type of product manufactured in whole or in part by inmates as part of a hobby-craft program or vocational training. Once the board has approved the sale of a particular product or type of product under this paragraph, the product or type of product may be offered for sale by any tax-supported or nonprofit agency under s. 303.06 (5)
without further approval by the board under this paragraph.
When exercising its powers, the board shall consider the effect of its actions on private business, industry and labor.
In this section, “prison industries" does not include any correctional farm operation.
The department shall establish and implement an accounting system for prison industries, in conformance with generally accepted accounting principles, for purposes of internal budget control. The department shall continue to provide cash-based financial reports and information for prison industries that are required by the department of administration.
History: 1983 a. 27
; 1989 a. 31
; Stats. 1989 s. 303.016; 1989 a. 56
The departments of corrections and administration shall report, on an annual basis, to the joint committee on finance and to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature for distribution to the appropriate standing committees under s. 13.172 (3)
on the status of the prison industries program. The report shall include all of the following:
The cash balance of each industry at the end of the previous fiscal year.
The cash balance at the end of the previous fiscal year for all prison industries and, if this amount is negative, whether the negative balance is fully offset by applicable assets specified in s. 20.903 (2)
The amount expended by state agencies for wood furniture and for printing, and the portion of that amount for furniture and printing provided by prison industries.
History: 1983 a. 27
; 1989 a. 31
; Stats. 1989 s. 303.018; 1989 a. 283
The departments of corrections and administration shall report, on a quarterly basis, except for the last quarter in a fiscal year, to the joint committee on finance providing a cash balance summary for each prison industry and a projected fiscal year-end profit and loss statement for the prison industry program. The departments shall submit each report within 30 days after the end of the quarter.
History: 1989 a. 31
; Stats. 1989 s. 303.019.
Prison labor on farms and buildings.
The wardens and the superintendents of the state prisons may employ inmates outside the institution's yard in cultivating the farms or in doing any necessary work in the prosecution of the regular business of the institution or of other state institutions or of any other activity of the state or of any political subdivision thereof or in the construction of buildings by the state; and any such inmate who escapes shall be deemed as having escaped from the institution proper.
History: 1989 a. 31
; Stats. 1989 s. 303.03.
The board of commissioners of public lands, the department of natural resources and the department may select from the state forest reserves a quantity of land not to exceed 5,000 acres and convert the same into farms for the state prisons.
History: 1989 a. 31
; Stats. 1989 s. 303.04; 1991 a. 39
Vocational instruction at prisons.
The department may maintain in the state prisons vocational schools and instruct the inmates in trades and domestic science; and may create such industries as seem to the department for the best interests of the inmates.
History: 1989 a. 31
; Stats. 1989 s. 303.05.
Prison products; sale. 303.06(1)(1)
Except as authorized in this section, no goods, except farm machinery, farm implements and tools, cordage rope and ply goods, manufactured wholly or partly by inmates in any state, city or county penal institution may be offered for sale in the open market.
The department may enter into or renew a contract with a manufacturer or distributor to have prison industries provide products, components or services if at the time that the contract is originally entered into the products, components or services have been supplied to the manufacturer or distributor for the previous 12 months by a facility outside the United States. The department shall collect not less than 5 percent nor more than 20 percent of the gross wages of inmates or residents earned under such a contract to be credited to the appropriation under s. 20.455 (5) (i)
A private business may sell products, components or services under s. 303.01 (2) (em)
in the open market. Similar products, components or services from a prison industry program from another state may be sold in the open market. The department shall collect not less than 5 percent nor more than 20 percent of the gross wages of inmates or residents earned pursuant to a contract under s. 303.01 (2) (em)
to be credited to the appropriation under s. 20.455 (5) (i)