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Prison Industry Enhancement Certification (PIECP) Technical Assistance Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $300,000)

The Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP) was created to encourage states and counties to establish employment opportunities for inmates that approximate those found in the private sector. States or counties participating in the program must have statutory authority to administer prison industry projects. Project officials shall consult with organized labor and local private industry prior to start-up; pay prevailing local wages; assure that the certified program will not displace free-world workers; employ inmates only on a voluntary basis; provide benefits including the compensation of injured workers; comply with all National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements; and involve the private sector. The Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Technical Assistance Program (PIECTAP) provides assistance to entities that hold PIECP certificates and entities interested in applying for PIECP certificates.

The primary purpose of the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Technical Assistance Program is to certify that local or state prison industry programs meet all the necessary requirements to be exempt from federal restrictions on prisoner-made goods in interstate commerce. These certified prison industry programs place inmates in realistic work environments, pay them prevailing wages, and give them a chance to develop marketable skills that will increase their potential for rehabilitation and meaningful employment upon release. The primary purpose of the PIECTAP is to provide technical assistance to current PIECP certificate holders and related cost accounting centers (CACs) to ensure they are operating PIECP projects in accordance with 18 U.S.C. 1761(c) and the BJA PIECP guidelines (64 Fed. Reg. 17000-17016 (April 7, 1999)). Additionally, technical assistance is provided to applicants who are interested in applying for a certificate under PIECP and ensuring that certificate holders deemed noncompliant receive the necessary assistance to become compliant with program guidelines.

The National Correctional Industries Association will perform on-site assessments of certificate holders' Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Programs (PIECP); provide electronic and telephonic technical assistance to jurisdictions drafting legislation to obtain PIECP authority, jurisdictions applying for new PIECP certification, and current PIECP certificate holders in need of technical assistance in order to assure program compliance; compile and produce the PIECP quarterly reports which document PIECP inmate contributions to taxes, room and board, family support and victims' compensation overtime; and provide BJA with an overall blueprint of the program's achievements.


Date Created: September 27, 2016