(A) The department of rehabilitation and correction shall establish work programs in some form of labor for as many prisoners as possible who are in the custody of the department, except those prisoners who are not able to perform labor because of illness or other health problems, security requirements, routine processing, disciplinary action, or other reasonable circumstances or because they are engaged in educational, vocational, or other training. The labor may be in the department's manufacturing and service industries and agriculture, in private industry or agriculture that is located within or outside the department's institutions, in public works, in institutional jobs necessary for the proper maintenance and operation of the institutions under the control of the department, or in any other appropriate form of labor. The department, pursuant to the program, shall attempt to engage in work programs as many prisoners as possible who are in its custody and who are eligible for the programs. The department is not required to engage every eligible prisoner in a work program when sufficient money, facilities, or jobs are not available for the program; however, the department shall continuously seek sources of labor for as many eligible prisoners as possible.
(B) The department, in establishing and administering work programs established pursuant to division (A) of this section, shall do all of the following:
(1) Assign a level, grade within the level, or other category for each job within the penal manufacturing and service industries and agriculture, each job within private industry and agriculture, each institutional job, each job in public works, and every other job for which prisoners are eligible to perform labor. The level, grade, and other categorization of each job shall be dependent upon the skills required to perform the job, the security that is present at the job, the salary and other compensation for the job, and any other relevant characteristics of the job.
(2) Establish for each institution controlled by the department a system for assigning prisoners to perform jobs, for periodically evaluating the job performance of each prisoner, and for periodically evaluating the qualifications of each prisoner for other jobs;
(3) Transfer prisoners, whenever appropriate, to institutions controlled by the department to enable a prisoner to be engaged in a different job;
(4) Whenever appropriate, permit prisoners to be released on transitional control, in addition to other authorized reasons for transferring a prisoner to transitional control, to gain post-release employment in private industry or agriculture;
(5) Attempt to provide jobs and job training for prisoners that will be useful to the prisoners in obtaining employment when released, except that institutional jobs at the institutions need not be related to employment outside the institution;
(6) Establish an accounting system to administer and allocate the earnings of the prisoners as provided by division (C)(8) of this section;
(7) Require all persons in private industry or agriculture who employ prisoners to meet all applicable work safety standards.
(C) The department, in establishing and administering the work programs required to be established by division (A) of this section, may do any of the following:
(1) Enter into contracts with private industry and agriculture and receive grants to establish test work programs within or outside institutions under the control of the department;
(2) Enter into contracts with private industry for the establishment of manufacturing and service industries within or close to institutions under the control of the department for the employment of prisoners;
(3) Enter into contracts with private industry and agriculture to provide work programs for prisoners;
(4) Lease or sell state-owned land for the establishment of private industry or agriculture upon the condition that the majority of the industrial or agricultural jobs created by the industry or agriculture be given to prisoners;
(5) Construct factories or shops to provide work programs for prisoners;
(6) Enter into contracts with labor organizations, except that the department shall not permit any prisoners to establish their own labor organization and that a labor organization shall not represent any prisoners employed within an institution controlled by the department;
(8) Allocate the earnings of the prisoners as follows:
(a) Up to twenty-five per cent of the earnings to reimburse the state for room and board and for the expense of providing employment to the prisoner.
(b) Up to twenty-five per cent of the earnings to be distributed to one or both of the following:
(i) To the victims of the prisoner's offenses for restitution if the prisoner voluntarily requests or is under court order to make restitution payments;
(ii) To the reparations fund established pursuant to division (A) of section 2743.191 of the Revised Code if the prisoner voluntarily participates in an approved work and training program under this section.
(c) Up to twenty-five per cent of the earnings to the prisoner's dependents.
(d) At least twenty-five per cent of the earnings to the account of the prisoner.
(D) A prisoner who is engaged in a work program that is established under this section and in which the prisoner is required to operate a motor vehicle, as defined in division (I) of section 4509.01 of the Revised Code, is an "employee" of the state for the sole purpose of liability insurance coverage pursuant to section 9.83 of the Revised Code to cover the prisoner's required operation of the motor vehicle. A prisoner enrolled in a work program established by the department of rehabilitation and correction shall not be considered as an employee of the state under any other circumstance or for any other purpose.
Effective Date: 03-17-1998