arrow Home Tuesday, 12 December 2017  

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Learn more about the Jail Industries program here at Franklin County Prison

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The website enables inmate's friends and family to order gift and care packages for delivery to the jail.

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National Jail Work and Industry Center. A national clearinghouse created by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and now operated as a public service by Community Resource Services, Inc.

Jail Industries







Franklin County is known for possessing a strong work ethic. The value of work is seen as going beyond simply making a living. The acceptance of individual responsibility to support yourself and your family is held in high regard. People who pay their debts and meet their obligations earn respect in their communities. Holding on to a regular job and doing quality work are important here.

These community beliefs are mirrored in the Jail. We have always believed in keeping inmates busy and engaged in useful tasks. We believe that inmates who are doing useful work exhibit fewer behavior problems than inmates with a lot of idle time. Inmates here are responsible for keeping their living space and common areas clean and in good order. Inmates additionally are given larger work assignments. For example:

  -  Under the direction of a manager, inmates prepare and serve all meals, and complete clean-up afterwards.
  -  Inmates do all mowing, landscaping and snow removal around the jail.
  -  Inmate crews do all housekeeping..
  -  Inmates do all painting, and assist in other maintenance not related to security.
  -  We operate a laundry using inmate labor.The belief in the value of work motivated Franklin County to implement a Work Release Program in the early 1970
s. For our size, we have one of the largest programs in the state. As many as one hundred sentenced inmates per day are released to work regular jobs. The money they earn pays fines and costs, restitution to victims, and provides support for their families.

  Understanding the value of work, and wishing to involve a larger percentage of our population than can be served by Work Release, the Warden became interested in creating new opportunities for meaningful work and training that could take place here at the jail. Sentenced inmates make up about half of our population. We wanted to look at work and training that could be done by unsentenced inmates, and sentenced inmates who were not eligible for Work Release or had failed in the program.

  We sought help in getting started from the Bureau of Justice Assistance ( and got good advice. After getting approval from the County Prison Board, we decided to form a Jail Industries committee. We recruited members for this committee from local, county and state government; education, human resources; banking; the bar association; the chamber of commerce; and local industry. This group first met as our Jail Industries Advisory Board in April of 2003. The Warden charged the group to:

1. Advise the Franklin County Prison Warden, as the representative of the Franklin County Prison Board, on the development and ongoing operation of inmate work and industries programs.
2. Meet as needed, and periodically review membership to identify additional members that should be invited to participate, and members who would like to be excused.
3. Develop initial "foundation decision" recommendations to set the stage for responsible long-term development of new programs.
4. Evaluate proposed work and industry programs in an effort to ensure that each provides a "win/win" opportunity for all stakeholders.

The Board has done an excellent job answering this charge, and have met regularly. One of their accomplishments was producing the following mission statement:

Mission Statement

The mission of the Franklin County Jail Industries Program is to develop and improve inmate work ethics to increase public safety and have positive outcomes for the local economy.

Anticipated Outcomes:

 Create a safer jail through reduced idleness and tension
 Reduce recidivism.
 Improve inmate successful reentry to the community.
 Contribute to the local economy.
 Increase self worth of inmates.
 Increase victim compensation and restitution
 Reduce cost of incarceration.
 Provide meaningful work experience and improve inmate work ethic.
 Deliver public service using inmate labor.
 Provide a new training opportunity for inmates
 Offer a new labor pool of potential employees to local employers.
 Offset costs of incarceration
 Provide county services at lower costs
 Expand services for taxpayers that otherwise could not be provided
 Develop new inmate behavior management tools
 Strengthened ties to the community
The Franklin County Commissioners accepted the foundation decisions formulated by this group.

  Sub-committees were formed from the main Board to address Marketing, Selection and Negotiation, and Evaluation. These committees along with the Advisory Board continue to meet regularly.

One of our running projects is assisting the Council for the Arts with their newsletter. We assemble and collate the pages from the printer, and sort and label them for bulk mailing, then deliver them to the Post Office. We do this for them every other month. The project takes us about two days, and employs 15 to 20 women inmates.

We have a running project with the Chambersburg Cardinal Football team. Weekly, they deliver their uniforms to us, and we wash, dry and deliver them back on hangers ready to go. This project employs one to two persons, needs minimal supervision, and is a regular work opportunity. We also did another project for the Cardinals, we cleaned and repainted their helmets during the off season.

We are currently negotiating with the Falling Spring Nursing Home on a project that will provide mutual benefit to both of us.

The work of our Advisory Board has received national attention, and their work so far has been used as a model by groups across the country. We publicly thank them for their excellent work.

The following is an excerpt from "Foundation Decisions: Franklin County Inmate Workforce" Developed by: Franklin County Jail Industries Advisory Board, December 2003. For a complete copy of the report, click on the "download complete report" link at the bottom of the page.

download complete report