The California Prison Industry (CALPIA) is a State-operated agency that provides productive work assignments for approximately
7,000 offenders assigned to 5,399 positions annually in California’s adult correctional institutions. CALPIA operates 57
manufacturing, service, and consumable factories in 24 CDCR institutions throughout California. CALPIA is self-supporting from
the sale of its products and services and does not receive an annual appropriation from the Legislature.
CALPIA Reduces Recidivism and Increases Public Safety.
CALPIA prepares offenders for productive lives and reduces incarceration costs. Paroled offenders who participated in CALPIA
programs are less likely to return to prison than general population offenders. Although other relevant factors may contribute
to lowering recidivism, over a three-year period, beginning in FY 2007-08, CALPIA participants returned to prison, on average,
26 to 38 percent less often than offenders released from the CDCR general population, saving the General Fund millions in
incarceration cost avoidance. CALPIA provides CDCR with over 7,000 alternative offender programming positions annually, thereby
saving CDCR more than $11 million annually in General Fund costs for rehabilitation positions that CDCR does not have to fund.
The goods and services produced by CALPIA’s enterprises are sold predominately to departments of the State of California,
as well as other government entities.
CDCR is CALPIA’s largest customer, and accounted for 57 percent of all sales in FY 2011-12, down from 62 percent in FY 2010-11.
Other major State customers include the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of State Hospitals, the Department of Health
Care Services, the Department of Transportation (CalTrans), the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), the Department of General
Services (DGS), the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), the California National Guard, and the California Highway
CALPIA invests in curricula for offenders.
CALPIA offers 18 programs that offer nationally recognized accredited certification such as optometry, dental technology,
food handling, automotive service, laundry, commercial baking, agriculture, welding, metal stamping, industrial safety and
health, electrical systems, mechanical systems and maintenance. In FY 2011-12 1,147 CALPIA participants received a certificate
of proficiency and 1,127 participants successfully completed an accredited certification program, a 237 percent increase from
FY 2010-11. All CALPIA offender participants must achieve a General Education Development (GED) degree within two years to
continue participating in CALPIA.
CALPIA provides annual savings to taxpayers and state agencies.
CALPIA participants return to prison far less often than general population offenders. The lower recidivism rate of CALPIA
participants saves the state General Fund annually. Additionally, according to a survey of 11
items by the Bureau of State Audits, CALPIA products were less expensive than the private sector in six out
of the 11 items sampled, which saved CALPIA’s five largest state customers $3.5 million in Fiscal Year 2009-10.
CALPIA provides significant economic benefits to the State.
CALPIA supports California’s economy through its operations and the purchase of raw materials from California businesses.
According to a 2010 study by associates of the University of Nevada, if CALPIA did not exist, economic activity in
California would decline by $295 million, household income would decline by $75 million, and more than 1,000 jobs would
be lost statewide. (2010 study)
CALPIA participants pay back society.
CALPIA participants contribute 40% of their wages ($.30 to $.95 per hour) to pay court-ordered restitution and
CALPIA participants make prisons safer.
Reducing idleness decreases violence against both staff and those who are incarcerated. CALPIA participants must have no
disciplinary actions against them in order to keep their jobs. CALPIA participants much achieve a General Equivalency
Diploma within two years to continue participation.
CALPIA products and services are available to government entities.
State and Federal agencies, city, county and local districts may purchase CALPIA products and services.
CALPIA was created by Chapter 1549, Statutes of 1982 as a semiautonomous state agency to operate
California's prison industries in a manner similar to private industry. CALPIA is established to:
- Develop and operate manufacturing, agricultural, and service enterprises that provide work
opportunities for offenders under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
- Create and maintain working conditions within enterprises, as much like those which prevail in private
industry as possible, to assure offenders assigned therein the opportunity to work productively, to earn funds,
and to acquire or improve effective work habits or occupational skills
- Operate work programs for offenders that are self-supporting through the generation of sufficient funds
from the sale of products and services to pay all its expenses, thereby avoiding the cost of alternative
inmate programming by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
- CALPIA provides work assignments for approximately 7,000 offenders and operates 57 service, manufacturing, and
consumable industries at 24 prisons throughout California.
- CALPIA is self-supporting and does not receive an annual appropriation from the Legislature. CALPIA's revenue
comes from the sale of its products and services to governmental organizations.
- CALPIA's industries produce over 1,400 goods and services including: office furniture, clothing, food products,
shoes, printing services, signs, binders, eye wear, gloves, license plates, cell equipment, and much more.
- In 2000, CALPIA began the development of the
Inmate Employability Program to enhance the ability of offenders to obtain private sector jobs upon their release
from prison. The program documents and certifies an inmate's skills, work experience, and positive work habits acquired
while assigned to CALPIA's enterprises.
- CALPIA's job assignments are voluntary-offenders are not required to work; however, offenders are generally eager to
participate, as waiting lists are common for many CALPIA assignments. The CALPIA work assignments can help offenders
learn work skills and habits to become productive members of society.
- CALPIA factories operate within Federal and State health, safety, and occupational regulations.
- CALPIA programs assist offenders in learning the value of work. Many CALPIA inmate workers have never held a job or
learned the value of work. CALPIA staff expects offenders to learn appropriate behavior on the job, do quality work,
report to work on time, and follow occupational health and safety rules.
- The Prison Industry Board (PIB) was established to oversee the
operations of CALPIA, much like a corporate board of directors. The 11-member Board sets general policy for CALPIA,
oversees the performance of existing CALPIA industries, determines which new industries shall be established, approves
its annual plan, and appoints and monitors the performance of the General Manager. The Board also serves as a public
hearing body charged with ensuring that CALPIA enterprises do not create a substantial adverse impact on California industry.