CDCR inmates who participate in California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) programs are giving back to various crime victims’ support groups throughout the state for a total of more than $74,000. The money comes from offenders participating in CALPIA’s Joint or Free Venture Programs at five California institutions.
“The Joint and Free Venture Programs provide real-world job opportunities to offenders with the ultimate goal of men and women not returning to prison,” said Scott Walker, General Manager of CALPIA. “These programs provide a wonderful opportunity for offenders to give back and help others in need.”
The Joint Venture Program is provided at adult institutions and the Free Venture Program provides work experience at juvenile facilities. Offenders are paid wages comparable to what they would earn if they were working in the respective field outside of prison.
Federal, state, and local taxes are withheld from an offender’s gross earnings, and 20 percent is deducted from the remainder of the offender’s wages for each of the following categories: room and board, inmate trust/canteen account, family support, mandatory savings and victims’ compensation.
Offenders initially pay for all court-ordered compensation and the remaining collected restitution is placed in a “Generic Restitution Fund” for local crime victim organizations. Here are institutions where offenders are making donations:
- Central California Women’s Facility – Offenders in the Joint Venture Program are donating a total of $46,006 to Karen’s House and Mollie’s House, a non-profit organization that helps victims of sexual trafficking.
- San Quentin State Prison – Offenders working for Big Dawg and The Last Mile Works are donating a total of $7,222 to MISSSEY, a non-profit organization that helps children of human trafficking, and Seneca Family of Agencies, a non-profit mental health agency that helps provide unconditional care to help children.
- N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility – Through Merit Partners, youthful offenders are donating $18,058 to Haven’s Women Center and Youth & Family Services, a provider that helps the homeless, runaways, and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
- California State Prison, Solano – Offenders are donating $1,867 to Child Haven, a non-profit corporation that serve children who suffer from severe neglect, experience trauma of physical or sexual abuse and who been exposed to violence.
- California Correctional Center – Offenders in the Joint Venture Program are donating $1,471 to Lassen’s County Victim-Witness Assistance Program.