Prison and Probation Service, Denmark


Prison Work

Prison work in Denmark is divided in 2 sectors – a sector for prison industry and a sector for intern service.

 

Prison Industry

In Denmark the Prison Industry is financed entirely by the state as a part of the total grant for the Prison and Probation Service.
 

The employment is placed in workshops where the surroundings are as similar to private companies as possible.
During the employment the most of the inmates are developing basic skills (get up in the morning, work together with others, responsibility etc.), and the final product is in a way the outcome of that process. 


All products and services are calculated and sold to normal market price, as the Prison Indus-try is not allowed unfair competitive practices.
 

To prevent the unfair competition, a permanent council was established many years ago with members from employer- and worker organizations, members of Parliament and the Prison and Probation Service.
The council meets regularly (twice a year) to discuss the way in which the prison productions are performed.


The income from the sale of products and services contributes to reduce the total expenses of the Prison Industry.


The Prison Industry has a turnover of app. 110 million DKR (14 million €) a year. Approximately half of the production is managed, marketed and sold by the central administration in the department. The other half is managed and sold by the state prisons and the local prisons. Products and services for app. 40 million DKR are sold to governmental agencies – the main part of it being sold to institutions under the Prison and Probation Service.

Employment opportunities in Prison Industry
The inmates are employed in 8 different branches:
• Agriculture, market gardening and forestry. Agriculture in Danish Prisons is run ecological and we are among the largest  producers of ecological milk in Denmark.
• Textile workshops: All kind of sowing, upholstery and fireprotecting textilework for our own prisons.
• Graphic workshops: All kind of graphic industries and bookbinding.
• Metal workshops: All kind of metal industries.
• Woodwork: Furniture, windows, doors and all kind of woodwork for private companies.
• Food production: Production of meals for the inmates in the local prisons.
• Private cooperation: Assembly tasks for private companies.
• Production schools: Training of weak inmates.


The Prison Industry employ app. 1.200 inmates (app. 30% of the total numbers of inmates) and 250 work instructors are supervising the work. The working instructors are both educated within their branch as well as prison officers.

Operation grant and plan of occupation
In Denmark the state prisons and the local prisons each have an operation grant for the Prison Industry. The grant is a net sum grant, which means that the prison can keep the profit for a better result than stipulated in advance. Normally the prisons use that kind of money to consolidate the industry with new machines or repairing the buildings.
Prisons with good production machinery and good products have to earn a certain profit and other prisons are allowed to have a negative result.
 

The operation grant goes hand in hand with a plan of occupation of the inmates according to which, the prisons must occupy the inmates in a number of hours stipulated in advance.


Intern Services
 
The employment is placed in workshops where the surroundings are as similar to private companies as possible.
During the employment the most of the inmates are developing basic skills (get up in the morning, work together with others, responsibility etc.), and the final product is, in a way, the outcome of that process. 

Employment opportunities in Intern Services
The inmates are employed in 8 different branches:
• Cleaning and housekeeping
• Carpenter
• Painter
• Plumbing and heating 
• Blacksmith
• Electrician
• Park and gardens
• Key and security (only in open prisons)

The Intern Services employ app. 1.200 inmates (app. 30% of the total numbers of inmates) and 275 work instructors are supervising the work. The working instructors are both educated within their branch as well as prison officers.
 

Operation grant and plan of occupation
The operation grant for the Intern Services is included in the total grant for the prisons.
The operation grant goes hand in hand with a plan of occupation of the inmates according to which, the prisons must occupy the inmates in a number of hours stipulated in advance.

Wages for the inmates
The inmates receive wages in form of work money. The hourly wage is app. 1 ½ €.  The amount has been fixed on the basis of the amount that a recipient of social security would typically has left over after payment of fixed expenses for food and lodging. The inmates do not pay taxes of their income.

 

Vocational training and education with certification
VOKS (systemizing centers for guidance and qualifications)
Systemizing the afford for guidance and qualifications for inmates in prisons in Denmark, where the local prisons in cooperation and with qualified support from local educational teams and representatives from vocational training schools are offering the inmates qualifying vocational training and education with certification.


The vocational training is an integrated part of the ordinary work in the workshop in both prison industry and intern service, and the work instructors has a teachers role during the courses. The activity can be anything from a short term course to a craft's apprenticeship – trainee or just practical experience in a factory as a beginning of a long-term education.
It is possible to get certification for only one day course - normally one or two week.

In 2008 was app. 300 inmates given vocational education with certification. The Danish Prison and Probation Service is implementing the VOKS-system to all prisons during the following years.
 
We do believe that training and education, improvement of qualification and network pro-vides a better foundation for establishing a fairly life, combined with attachment to the labour market.