Businesses Rate Prison Workers More "Productive" -- New Survey by The Enterprise Prison Institute

New Survey by The Enterprise Prison Institute Compares Inmates With Domestic Workers -- "If You Could Find Them"

BETHESDA, Md. (Feb. 19, 2002) -- Businesses employing prison inmates say they are more productive than domestic workers, according to a recent survey of those employers by the Enterprise Prison Institute (EPI) to be released at a conference co-sponsored with the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). "This is an employer 'Good Business Seal of Approval' of inmate workers. It raises important questions when the National Association of Manufacturers' own survey documents a severe production worker skills shortage," says Knut A. Rostad, president of the EPI. EPI's groundbreaking survey, conducted in cooperation with several state corrections departments, will be released February 19, at 2:00 p.m. at a briefing in Room 2226 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The survey measures the satisfaction of businesses with state prison inmate workers - as compared with domestic workers, when they can be found.

  • Employers ranked prison employees more productive -- 6.4 on a scale of 10 (5 would be equally productive).
  • 92 percent of employers say they have recommended the inmate workforce to other business associates.
  • 58 percent of the companies say they also offer employment to these inmates when they are released.

Chief among the findings that will be discussed is employers' evaluation of inmate productivity, and the workplace and job skills training inmates acquire from this work.

Who: Morgan O. Reynolds, chief economist, U.S. Department of Labor
Ron Bird, chief economist, Employment Policy Foundation
Thomas J. Petersik, CURE
Knut Rostad, president EPI

What: Release of an important new EPI survey on the training and productivity of inmate workers -- according to business employers.

When: Tuesday, February 19-2 p.m.

Where: Rayburn Office Building,
Room 2226, Washington, D.C.