State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_148 > GS_148-26

Article 3.

Labor of Prisoners.

§ 148‑26.  State policyon employment of prisoners.

(a)        It is declared tobe the public policy of the State of North Carolina that all able‑bodiedprison inmates shall be required to perform diligently all work assignments providedfor them. The failure of any inmate to perform such a work assignment mayresult in disciplinary action. Work assignments and employment shall be for thepublic benefit to reduce the cost of maintaining the inmate population whileenabling inmates to acquire or retain skills and work habits needed to securehonest employment after their release.

In exercising his power toenter into contracts to supply inmate labor as provided by this section, theSecretary of Correction shall not assign any inmate to work under any suchcontract who is eligible for work release as provided in this Article, studyrelease as provided by G.S. 148‑4(4), or who is eligible for a program ofvocational rehabilitation services through the State Vocational RehabilitationAgency, unless suitable work release employment or educational opportunitycannot be found for the inmate, and the inmate is not eligible for a program ofvocational rehabilitation services through the State Vocational RehabilitationAgency, and shall not agree to supply inmate labor for any project or serviceunless it meets all of the following criteria:

(1)        The project orservice involves a type of work by which inmates can develop a skill to betterequip themselves to return to society;

(2)        The project or serviceis of benefit to the citizens of North Carolina or units of State or localgovernment thereof, regardless of whether the project or service is performedon public or private property;

(3)        Repealed by SessionLaws 1977, c. 824, s. 2.

(4)        Wages shall be paidin an amount not exceeding one dollar ($1.00) per day per inmate by the localor State contracting agency.

(b)        As many minimumcustody prisoners as are available and fit for road work, who cannotappropriately be placed on work release, study release, or other full‑timeprograms, and as many medium custody prisoners as are available, fit for roadwork and can be adequately guarded during such work without reducing securitylevels at prison units, shall be employed in the maintenance and constructionof public roads of the State. The number and location of prisoners to be keptavailable for work on the public roads shall be agreed upon by the governingauthorities of the Department of Transportation and the State Department ofCorrection far enough in advance of each budget to permit proper provisions tobe made in the request for appropriations submitted by the Department ofTransportation. Any dispute between the Departments will be resolved by theGovernor. Prisoners so employed shall be compensated, at rates fixed by theDepartment of Correction's rules and regulations for work performed; provided,that no prisoner working on the public roads under the provisions of thissection shall be paid more than one dollar ($1.00) per day from funds provided bythe Department of Transportation to the Department of Correction for thispurpose. The Department of Correction and the Department of Transportationshall develop a program to be implemented no later than July 1, 1982, to theextent money is herein appropriated, which shall include:

(1)        The use of portabletoilets for inmate road crews.

(c)        As many of the maleprisoners available and fit for forestry work shall be employed in thedevelopment and improvement of state‑owned forests as can be used forthis purpose by the agencies controlling these forests.

(d)        The remainder ofthe able‑bodied inmates of the State prison system shall be employed sofar as practicable in prison industries and agriculture, giving preference tothe production of food supplies and other articles needed by state‑supportedinstitutions or activities.

(e)        The StateDepartment of Correction may make such contracts with departments,institutions, agencies, and political subdivisions of the State for the hire ofprisoners to perform other appropriate work as will help to make the prisons asnearly self‑supporting as is consistent with the purposes of theircreation. The Department of Correction may contract with any person or anygroup of persons for the hire of prisoners for forestry work, soil erosioncontrol, water conservation, hurricane damage prevention, or any similar workcertified by the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources as beneficialin the conservation of the natural resources of this State. All contracts forthe employment of prisoners shall provide that they shall be fed, clothed,quartered, guarded, and otherwise cared for by the Department of Correction.Such work may include but is not limited to work with State or local governmentagencies in cleaning, construction, landscaping and maintenance of roads,parks, nature trails, bikeways, cemeteries, landfills or other government‑ownedor operated facilities.

(e1)      The Department ofCorrection may establish work assignments for inmates or allow inmates tovolunteer in service projects that benefit units of State or local governmentor 501(c)(3) entities that serve the citizens of this State. The workassignments may include the use of inmate labor and the use of Department ofCorrection resources in the production of finished goods. Any products madepursuant to this section shall not be subject to the provisions of Article 3Aof Chapter 143 of the General Statutes and may be donated to the governmentunit or 501(c)(3) organization at no cost.

(f)         Adult inmates ofthe State prison system shall be prohibited from working at or being on thepremises of any schools or institutions operated or administered by the YouthDevelopment Division of the Department of Juvenile Justice and DelinquencyPrevention. (1933,c. 172, ss. 1, 14; 1957, c. 349, s. 5; 1967, c. 996, s. 13; 1971, c. 193; 1973,c. 1262, s. 86; 1975, c. 278; c. 506, ss. 1, 2; c. 682, s. 2; c. 716, s. 7;1977, c. 771, s. 4; c. 802, s. 25.36; c. 824, ss. 1‑3; 1981, c. 516; 1981(Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1400; 1989, c. 727, s. 218(156); 1997‑443, s.11A.123; 1999‑237, s. 18.21; 2001‑95, s. 8; 2007‑398, s. 1.)