The California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) is a self-supporting state entity operating California's correctional industries in a manner similar to private industry. The CALPIA was reconstituted from the previous California Correctional Industries Program through legislation enacted in 1982. The CALPIA is overseen by the Prison Industry Board, which acts much like a corporate board of directors. The Board is composed of 11 members, including the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) or his or her designee, the Director of the Department of General Services or his or her designee, the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing or his or her designee, two public members appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, two public members appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, and four members appointed by the Governor representing organized labor and the industry. The Secretary of the CDCR serves as chair of the Board.
The CALPIA supports the public safety mission of the CDCR by producing well-trained offenders that have a job skill, good work habits, basic education, and job support in the community to reduce the likelihood of returning to prison. The CALPIA work programs also help the CDCR to avoid the cost of alternative inmate programming for program participants.
The CALPIA has three statutory objectives: 1) develop and operate manufacturing, agricultural, and service enterprises that provide work opportunities for offenders under the jurisdiction of the CDCR; 2) create and maintain working conditions within enterprises similar to those which prevail in private industry to assure offenders assigned therein the opportunity to work productively to earn funds and to acquire or improve effective work habits and occupational skills; and 3) operate work programs for offenders that are self-supporting through the generation of sufficient funds from the sale of products and services to pay all program expenses, and which provide goods and services to be used by the CDCR, thereby reducing the costs of its operation. The CALPIA receives no annual appropriation from the Legislature.