Get your bumper sticker now!

Wisconsin County to Offer 'Living Wage' - for Jail Inmate Workers?


Dane County, WI seeks to ensure their prisoners earn a living wage while in custody.

In their ordinance amendment, the Board of County Supervisors writes,

“This amendment requires that a living wage be paid to any inmate of the Dane County Jail who provides services to others.”

“Inmate worker means any person in the custody of Dane County who provides services to Dane County similar to a job, including but not limited to laundry and food service.”

Here's a copy of the proposal below: 


In anticipation of changes to the county’s budget, Board Supervisor John Hendrick promoted the ordinance in a Feb. 2015 report:

Another change in the Executive Budget will terminate a contract for living wage jobs providing laundry service to the jail and transfer the work to jail inmates for little or no pay,” he explains. “I support an ordinance amendment to guarantee a living wage for jail inmate workers.”

Prisoners upon release owe a certain amount in restitution, dependent upon the length of sentence, type and impact or "harm" of crime. Earning a living wage while in prison would help ex-offenders pay their dues and move on from their wrongdoings to becoming prosperous members of the community.

In Dane County, the living wage for an adult, or the hourly rate that an individual must earn to support his or her family, is an estimated $9.54. The amount increases with a spouse and/or child. 

According to, for non-industry work (e.g. jail laundry, food services),

  • The average of the minimum wages for prisoners paid by the states, in dollars per day, is $0.93.
  • The average of the maximum wages paid to prisoners by the states, in dollars per day, is $4.73.

Most prisons that pay prisoners for work have a range of pay depending on the job. Some prisons don’t pay their inmate workers, period.

In Georgia and Texas, for example, the maximum wage paid to prisoners in dollars per day is $0. 

Whether such an amendment to guarantee inmates a living wage would pass is doubtful, with prison costs in the U.S. already sky-high on the local, state, and federal levels. 

MRCTV Reader,

The liberal media are terrified of the truth, especially when it leads to uncomfortable questions about their own leftist worldview.

MRCTV is the multimedia division of MRC featuring original content and aggregated videos of the news, people, and events conservatives care about.

MRCTV relies on the support of our loyal readers (and video viewers) to keep providing the news and commentary that matter to the American people, not just stories that prop up the liberal agenda.

Make a donation today. Just $15 a month would make a tremendous impact and enable us to keeping shining the light where the liberal media are afraid to tread.

— The MRCTV Team



Sign up for our MRCTV newsletter to receive the latest news.

Sponsored Links