Guideline – As more and more cities are faced with budget crunches, the use of inmate labor becomes more and more attractive. However, there are several hidden costs that accompany the use of inmates. In order to minimize the potential for these costs, there are several actions that need to be taken by the member.
First, inmates should not be working with heavy machinery, or in any hazardous situations. Secondly, for the jobs inmates are performing, documentation of training and PPE on job-specific duties should be required of your department heads. Further, if the inmate is supplied by the Department of Corrections, documentation of supervisor training by the DOC is required.
More guidelines as it pertains to inmate labor are being developed by SCMIRF, but until there is a clear legal interpretation, these are the minimum guidelines with which your entity should comply.
Compliance Criteria – To meet this guideline, the member must:
Produce a copy of the contract (either from the SC DOC or supplying county) on the use of inmates.
Document DOC training of supervisors, as specified by the DOC contract.
Document training of inmates on job-specific duties and personal protective equipment (to include a hazard assessment of the inmates’ work area).
Restrict, in writing, the use of heavy machinery by inmates.