PIECPPrison Industry Enhancement Certification Program (Bureau of Justice Assistance)
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Working together, GDC and GCI's PIECP program play a vital role in the re-entry process.
Janine Robinson is a PIECP coordinator at Georgia Correctional Industries.
In South Carolina and elsewhere, enhanced prison industries under PIECP are more profitable than the older Federal Prison Industries program (further discussion below), and both are more profitable than traditional prison work programs (license plates, road signs, etc.).
In spite of the favorable outcome assessments by NIJ studies cited above, Congress reduced funding for the Bureau of Justice Assistance, resulting in cuts to the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives and, in that connection, to the PIECP national coordinator's office.
As also noted above, Congress adopted PIECP in 1979, introducing privately owned factories into prisons as envisioned by the Task Force--a partial success.
PIECP seeks to generate products and services that enable prisoners to make a contribution to society, offset the cost of incarceration, support family members and compensate crime victims.
Wages earned by PIECP participants benefit taxpayers in addition to helping the inmates themselves.
More than 70,000 inmates--an average of 2,500 per year--have participated in PIECP since the program's inception.
The first major improvement that needed to be made was to become PIECP certified, which we did in October 1992.
The potato processing plants increased their requirements for PIECP workers, resulting in jobs for approximately 100 offenders.
Only certification under the PIECP administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) can exempt an industry from the conditions of the Ashurst-Sumners Act and the Walsh-Healey Act.
PIECP represents an effort to create a "level playing field" for all stakeholders in the public and private sectors and a common purpose for both groups to pursue together.