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The Division of Industries serves the Department of Corrections and the state of South Carolina by employing and training inmates. This training oriented work allows the inmates to return to society with skills that will enable them to become useful and productive citizens. In pursuit of this objective, the cost of incarceration is offset through inmate wages, and quality products and services are provided to qualified businesses and organizations at substantial savings.

Three programs operate within Prison Industries: Traditional, Service and Prison Industry Enterprise (PIE). Inmates working in the Traditional Program manufacture products such as desks, credenzas, bookcases, mattresses, seating, office modular systems and janitorial products. In addition, braille textbooks are produced and distributed. These items are sold to state, county and municipal offices and school districts. Inmates working in this program may receive a wage of up to $.35 per hour. PI offers comprehensive printing services to a wide range of customers. The purchase of all new equipment in the ‘quick copy’ center provides improved quality and service at reduced cost.

In the Service Program, inmates rebuild/reupholster furniture for both public and private sector customers, disassemble transmissions, recycle textiles and launder linen items. Additionally, PI packages hosiery, plastic cutlery and tennis balls. Service work is not original equipment manufacturing and inmate wages can be negotiated with private sector companies since it does not fall under Federal Minimum Wage requirements. Inmates earn from $.35 to $.85 per hour. Donated computers are recycled and upgraded for distribution to local school districts.

In the PIE Program, strict guidelines must be followed which require that inmates voluntarily work in the program and acknowledge that taxes, victim compensation and room and board will be deducted from their gross pay. Inmates in this program are paid the prevailing wage of the local area for the particular jobs they perform. Also, P.I. does not displace currently employed workers in the community. Since this work is manufacturing and goods are placed in interstate commerce, the PIE guidelines must be followed. Currently hardwood flooring, apparel, computer wire harnesses, furniture and faucet handles are being produced. Pay ranges from $5.15 to $10.00 per hour.

Currently 2,233 inmates are working in Prison Industries generating over $28 million annually. The Prison Industries Program is completely self-supporting, providing valuable training for the inmates while generating funding for the Agency.

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You can contact Prison Industries at scdcpi.custserv@doc.state.sc.us for additional information, or by calling 803-896-8516 in the Columbia area or 1-800-922-8121 in South Carolina.