Prison Industry Enhancement Certificate Program (PIECP)

Focus Areas:

Evaluations & Outcomes

Rigor Evaluation Recidivism Employment Substance Abuse
Basic Rigor Cox 2009 (not evaluated)

Program Description

The Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP), which began in 1979, is a prison industries program that allows prison and jail inmates to work in private sector jobs and earn locally-prevailing market wages with deductions for taxes, room and board, victims’ compensation, and family support. As of the end of 2007, the program was operational in 38 state prison systems and six local jurisdictions, and 5,401 inmates were employed in the program. Eligibility requirements for PIECP vary from place to place; the only required stipulation is that participants must certify that they have volunteered for the program. Generally, however, participants must have been free of disciplinary reports for six months prior to participation in the program, be classified at the minimum or medium security level, have completed high school or their GED or be currently enrolled in a high school or GED program, have at least six months remaining on their sentence, and have no medical issues that would prevent them from working.

Requirements to work in a particular industry vary as well but tend to stipulate that inmates apply and be a good match for that industry in terms of skill and interest; work experience is preferred, but it is not required. PIECP programs can be held either in correctional facilities or separate manufacturing facilities.

Recommendations for Practice

Suggestions for Future Research