Inmate jobs teach responsibility, work ethic, and marketable skills. They also promote stability within the institutions by reducing idleness.
Work rules mimic requirements of jobs outside the prison. Inmates are expected to report to their assigned job at the scheduled time and perform all assigned duties. A system of incentives and disincentives are in place to help promote the concept that job advancement is connected with positive work performance. It is our desire that participation in prison jobs will be the basis for instilling good work ethics that will continue when the inmate is released.
More than 5,000 inmates work in support services inside our prisons preparing food, cleaning the institutions, landscaping, laundry, recycling, and maintaining buildings and equipment. This reduces operational costs, as well as teaches new skills. Over 1,000 inmates also work as teachers aides, counselor aides, clerks, and library assistants.
In 1994, the General Assembly created TRICOR (Tennessee Rehabilitative Initiative in Correction) to put inmates to work in a real life job setting. They make uniforms, wood flooring, etc.
The inmates also provide community service to non-profit organizations and state, local and federal government agencies whenever possible. Institutional work lines pick up trash along roadways, clean out underbrush in fields surrounding the perimeter of the prison, cut firewood, and plant, tend and harvest crops.
Programming is an integral part of Rehabilitative Services. Based on his/her individual needs, inmates may be assigned to a substance abuse treatment program, academic and vocational classes or to a transitional center, etc. Inmates may receive program sentence credits and a small stipend for work performed or for program participation. Approximately ninety (90%) percent of all eligible inmates are assigned to work and/or to participate in a rehabilitative program, including education.
Policy 505.07 - Inmate Programming (Jobs/Classes/Treatment) (in pdf format)(306 kb)