Legal Section Pertaining to Prison Labor and PIECP
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Vasquez v California, CA 4/1, 2007. This case involves comparable or prevailing wage issues of the Ca. prison industries. As with many opinions or rulings involving PIECP and other prison issues, this is an un-published opinion.
"Unfounded Pride in PRIDE" by Bob Sloan. First article I wrote and published on PRIDE and their violations. It can be found at: http://www.angelfire.com/fl5/mtwt/unionpride.html
Actual DOJ notice of the new PIECP Guidelines, dated July 1998. http://jya.com/doj070798.txt
Title 18 USC 1751(c) "PIECP Act". Full text of the code found at Onecle: http://law.onecle.com/uscode/18/1761.html
Texas has state statutes governing their prison industry operation(s). A recent amending of the statute, allows Texas Youth Commission (TYC) to change the wording of prevailing wage to PIECP Wage and allows the TYC industries to set the standard "PIECP wage" at the federal minimum wage rate, citing the need for "extensive training..." Below is the actual sub-statute and wording"
"§245.21. PIECP [Prevailing]Wages and Non-displacement ofWorkers.
(a) As a part of the cost accounting center (CAC) designation process, participating agencies/entities, facilities or industry partners shall submit verification of payment of the PIECP [prevailing ] wage for each job classification, to the Private Sector Prison Industries OversightAuthority through the Authority staff. If it is determined that there is no work of a similar nature in the locality, workers shall be paid no less than the minimum wage. For participants under the supervision of the Texas Youth Commission, the PIECP wage will be set at federal minimum wage due to the extensive training component. The same information shall be submitted at least on an annual basis or as otherwise determined by the Authority. The "locality", for the purpose of this Rule, is local workforce development area in which the work is performed."
The foregoing amendment can be found at: http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/texasregister/pdf/2003/1017is.pdf.
Though this amendment, reducing the PIECP wage of the inmate worker is counter to the requirements of the PIECP Guidelines, and thus violative of federal law, no Texas or federal legal action has been taken to repeal this section of the law. The BJA, NCIA and others are no doubt aware of the wage setting to the federal minimum, and know that such a state provision is violative of Title 18 USC 1761(c). The state prison PIE program is reviewed annually by the BJA but there has been no finding of violation by they or the NCIA. In effect both are allowing this state change to a federal law without consequence.
"Prison Industry V. Prisoner Rehabilitation In Florida," article. Found at: http://www.allsands.com/history/events/prideprisonerr_ruk_gn.htm
For an in depth look at the policies applying to the PIE program regarding the overall wage issues, read "PIECP Wage and Policy Practices", by Barbara Auerbach, BJA: See "Wage and Policy Practices" in our Files Section in the PIECP folder.