The Joint Committee on

Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review

Report # 571

A Performance Review of the Mississippi Prison Industries Corporation

Executive Summary


PEER received an inquiry from a legislator regarding whether the Mississippi Prison Industries Corporation (MPIC) is in conformity with its statutory mandate. The complaint alleges that MPIC might have exceeded its statutory authority because of:

PEER focused its analysis on determining whether MPIC’s operations are accomplishing its statutory mission and goals.

In assessing the activities of MPIC in relation to its statutory mission and goals, PEER sought to answer the following questions:


Prison industries are work programs in correctional facilities that aim to provide real-world experience to inmates in order to increase inmates’ job skills and instill a work ethic so that they are better prepared to re-enter society and gain employment.

Although the prison industries program is not a new concept in Mississippi, the Mississippi Prison Industries Act of 1990 created the current prison industries program and defines MPIC’s mission and goals. These include providing inmates with useful activities that can lead to meaningful employment after release in order to assist in reducing recidivism, reducing the cost of state government, mirroring as closely as possible operations of private industry for rehabilitative purposes, reducing the idleness of inmates, and providing an incentive for good behavior. The law also notes that Mississippi’s prison industries should “not seek to unreasonably compete with private enterprise.”

MPIC is governed by a thirteen-member board appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The corporation employs full-time, non-inmate employees, as well as non-inmate contract employees, and operates five traditional industry work programs at the state prisons with inmate labor. MPIC also contracts with private businesses to use inmate labor and prison space to supplement the businesses’ workforce.

In FY 2012, MPIC provided work opportunities for 338 inmates. Sales for that fiscal year totaled approximately $6.5 million and were primarily made to government entities. Net profits were $30,873; overhead expenditures totaled approximately $1.6 million; and MPIC’s assets were valued at approximately $10.2 million.


The following summarize PEER’s conclusions regarding whether MPIC is accomplishing its statutory mission and goals.


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