What is the Joint Venture Program?
The Joint Venture Program (JVP) is responsible for implementing the Prison Inmate Labor Initiative, Proposition 139, passed by the voters in 1990. Under its provisions, private businesses can set up operations inside California correctional facilities and hire inmates. This includes only those businesses that are starting a new enterprise, expanding an existing business or relocating within California.
This unique relationship is a cooperative effort of private industry and the state of California benefiting businesses, victims, and the state while preparing inmates for successful reintegration into the community.
Inmates are paid a comparable wage that is then subject to deductions for room and board, crime victim compensation, prisoner family support, and mandatory inmate savings for release. In addition, inmate-employees pay federal and state taxes.
The goal of JVP is to identify, develop and implement cost-efficient joint venture businesses designed to:
- Offer inmates employment, work experience and training in marketable job skills that may provide opportunities for legitimate means of livelihood upon release;
- Provide business employment to inmates that will reduce the tax burden of the State through mandatory deductions from inmate-employees’ earnings;
- Address the reduction of inmate idleness, provide tangible reward to the inmate for job accomplishments, and promote work ethics; and
- Give businesses attractive benefits for employing inmates