CDCR, DJJ participate in Joint and Free Venture programs
Crime victims’ support groups throughout the state received more than $100,000 from incarcerated individuals participating in the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) Joint and Free Venture programs in Fiscal Year 2019-20. Four adult CDCR institutions offer The Joint Venture Program. The Free Venture Program operates in one Division of Juvenile Justice facility.
“The Joint and Free Venture Programs are models of public-private partnerships which help prepare incarcerated individuals to be successful and find employment when returning to their communities,” said Scott Walker, General Manager of CALPIA. “Besides providing participants real-world job opportunities, these CALPIA programs also give back to crime victims throughout California.”
How do the programs work?
The Joint Venture Program is provided at adult institutions and the Free Venture Program provides work experience at juvenile facilities.
Incarcerated people earn wages comparable to what someone would earn if they worked in a respective field outside prison.
Federal, state, and local taxes are withheld from an incarcerated person’s gross earnings. Also, 20 percent of remaining wages goes toward room and board, inmate trust/canteen account, family support, mandatory savings, and victims’ compensation.
Incarcerated individuals initially pay court-ordered compensation. The remaining collected restitution is placed in a “Generic Restitution Fund” for local crime victim organizations.
Institutions where incarcerated people are donating
- Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla – Participants in the Joint Venture Program, Allwire, Inc., are donating $63,500 to Mollie’s House, a non-profit organization that helps victims of sexual trafficking. They are also donating to Marjaree Mason Center, a Fresno area domestic violence shelter.
- San Quentin State Prison – Participants working for Big Dawg and The Last Mile Works are donating $8,539 to Seneca Family of Agencies, a non-profit mental health agency providing unconditional care to children. They are also donating to MISSSEY, a non-profit organization helping children of human trafficking.
- N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton – Through Merit Partners, participants are donating $21,874 to the Women’s Center-Youth & Family Services. The group helps the homeless, runaways, and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. They are also donating to Haven Women’s Center which serves all survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and human trafficking.
- California State Prison, Solano – Incarcerated individuals in the Joint Venture Program Customer Model Laundry are donating $4,385 to Empower Yolo. The organization provides services for those affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, and child abuse.
- California Correctional Center in Susanville – Participants in the Joint Venture Program are donating $3,383 to Lassen County’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program.