County of Marin - News Releases - Joint Venture Program

For Immediate Release
October 20, 2015

Local Nonprofits See Benefit from Inmate Worker Program

District Attorney pleased that retribution is part of business program at San Quentin

San Rafael, CA -- Three Marin County nonprofit agencies that specialize in advocating for children received generous checks October 19 courtesy of a state program that allows qualified prison inmates to contribute work skills to private industry as long as wages include a portion toward restitution.

In a ceremony at San Quentin State Prison, officials from the Jeanette Prandi Children’s Center, Marin Advocates for Children, and the Center for Domestic Peace were handed checks for just over $3,700 as part of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Joint Venture Program. The statewide program, managed by the California Prison Industry Authority, allows for inmates to gain work experience and job skills training while contributing to worthy causes.

Under the Joint Venture Program, the inmates are paid comparable wages that are subjected to taxes. The earned money is distributed in equal 20 percent amounts to victim compensation, room and board, inmate trust/canteen account, family support, and mandatory savings.

In a partnership between Labcon North America and San Quentin, the total funds raised during the 2014-2015 fiscal year amounted to $11,102.27, resulting in the contributions to the three local nonprofits. The Jeanette Prandi Center and Marin Advocates for Children were given $3,700.76; the Center for Domestic Peace accepted 1 cent less than the others to help with accounting.

Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian accompanied Dr. Michael Grogan, director of the Jeanette Prandi Children’s Center, to the ceremony and said the financial resources will directly assist his office with meeting young victims’ needs as they process through their traumatic experiences. The Prandi Center works closely with the DA’s Office in handling crimes against children.

“A portion of the inmates’ compensation is required to be set aside as restitution to their crime victims and/or set aside in a restitution fund for victims of crime,” Berberian said. “We know that many of today’s prison inmates were victims of child abuse. Left untreated, today’s victims can become tomorrow’s victimizers. We want to do whatever we can at that initial stage of documented abuse to get the needed services to these young victims and reduce the likelihood they will be the damaged adults of the future.”

The Joint Venture Program was established in 1990 upon the passage of Proposition 139, the Prison Inmate Labor Initiative, as a rehabilitative endeavor providing opportunities for offenders to gain valuable work experience.  


Ed Berberian
District Attorney
County of Marin

Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6450


Email: Ed Berberian