Inmate Labor Disclosure Act Exposed

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The Inmate Labor Disclosure Act was adopted by ALEC's Criminal Justice Task Force at the Annual Meeting on August 21, 1998, approved by the full ALEC Board of Directors in September, 1998. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

ALEC Bill Text

Section 1.

“This Act may be cited as the Inmate Labor Disclosure Act”

Section 2.

With regard to telemarketing, direct mailing, or any other form of prison inmate labor, where such labor involves either the direct or indirect contact or solicitation by such inmates with the general public, no person who is incarcerated by a court of law and is being detained in any prison, correctional facility, jail, temporary holding center, pre-release center, or halfway house, shall have access to, or use of, any confidential information obtained thereof, unless:

(a) such inmate makes full disclosure of his or her inmate status and work program to each person contacted prior to any request, whether verbal or in writing, for confidential information; and

(b) such inmates obtains the full and voluntary consent of the person solicited prior to any further attempt at obtaining such information.

Section 3.

Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, no inmate shall be permitted to continue soliciting confidential information form any person that fails to provide such consent. To ensure compliance, each prison or facility shall take reasonable precautions in order to monitor all calls and mail solicitations. Such precautions shall include, but are not limited to, tape-recording each call made by an inmate, and screening all mail inquiries prior to shipment. In addition, this disclosure shall include an automated screening process whereby consumers will hear a voice message informing them of the inmate labor program prior to speaking to and/or consenting to continuing the conversation with an inmate.

Section 4. {Definitions.}

For purposes of this section:

(a) The phrase “confidential information” includes, but is not limited to, social security numbers, names and addresses, salary and yearly gross income, tax forms, car make, model, and year, credit card numbers, marital status, phone number and any other relevant information that can be used to identify either the person, property, or affairs of any member of the public.

(b) The term “disclosure” includes an oral or written statement, revelation, or utterance by such inmate to the person or party from whom he or she wishes to solicit information of the inmate’s present status and the inmate’s participation in a work rehabilitation program. It also requires such inmate to inform the person he or she intends to solicit from of his or her right not to disclose such information.

(c) The term “consent” is intended to include either a written or oral affirmation or assurance by the person from whom such information is requested that he or she understands that the solicitor is an inmate, that they realize they are not required to disclose this information, and that they agree to disclose it freely, voluntarily, and knowingly.

Section 5. Compliance

(a) Any person that fails to ensure full compliance with this Act shall be subject to civil penalties and fines in a manner deemed appropriate by a court of law with appropriate jurisdiction over the matter.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, no inmate who violates this section shall be allowed to participate in any work program.

Adopted by ALEC's Criminal Justice Task Force at the Annual Meeting August 21, 1998.

Approved by full ALEC Board of Directors September, 1998.