Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises, Inc., doing business as PRIDE Enterprises, is an inmate training company operating 37 work training programs located in 19 state correctional facilities in Florida. In addition to vocational work programs that teach job skills and successful job behaviors to inmate workers, PRIDE provides post-release transition services including job referrals and other basic support services that prepare and assist ex-offenders in their successful reintegration into society. PRIDE operates as a not-for-profit corporation, with board oversight, to fulfill four missions defined by Florida statues.
The Legislature has outlined the missions of a correctional work program, in order of priority, which are
PRIDE operates 37 inmate work training programs that produce products and services such as license plates, sewn products, graphics and printing, dental and optical products, land management, wood and metal products, janitorial products, retread tires, traffic paint, and heavy vehicle renovation. PRIDE employs non-inmate employees to manage and supervise inmate workers.
PRIDE also operates Career Resource Centers (CRC) at each inmate work training program location. Every CRC has a trained inmate clerk to assist other workers with materials about career preparation, resume writing, mock interviews, and the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). PRIDE inmate workers at these locations can utilize the CRC to earn certificates as they master different skills.
Most PRIDE work training programs are located on state prison property and may be inside or outside of the secure perimeter of the prison. Several correctional institutions have multiple industries located on their grounds.
In 2020, 336 PRIDE inmate workers earned training certificates and certifications. Third-party external training certificates issued to PRIDE workers totaled 353. Third-party external certificates are issued by organizations that provide training in specific skills, including the National Restaurant Association, Microsoft, the Manufacturing Skills Standard Council (MSSC), and the Electronics Technicians Association.
Every inmate who has worked for PRIDE for longer than six months is eligible to participate in the PRIDE transition program. About 2,054 inmates who have worked for PRIDE at some time were released in 2020; 323 inmates participated in the transition program.
PRIDE has two transition specialists who assist the inmates in the PRIDE transition program. When PRIDE inmates are one year to six months from release, a transition specialist meets with them to develop release plans that cover issues such as where to live, what kind of work to do, and what certifications they have or want to earn before release. PRIDE transition specialists assist the inmates in locating full-time positions after they are released. Once ex-offenders have a job, PRIDE transition specialists offer additional workshops and mentor them to help them keep their jobs. In 2020, 85% of PRIDE transition program participants were placed into full-time jobs.
PRIDE has been authorized by state law to hold the Prison Industry Enhancement (PIE) Certification Program certificate for the State of Florida. The PIE Certification Program is a federal program that exempts departments of corrections at the state and local level from normal restrictions on the sale of prisoner-made goods in interstate commerce. It lifts existing restrictions on certified state and local corrections departments and permits them to sell prisoner-made goods to the federal government in amounts exceeding the $10,000 maximum normally imposed on such transactions.
Inmates assigned to PIE programs have the opportunity to earn wages comparable to those paid by similar businesses located near the prison. Authorized deductions from wages enable inmate workers to pay restitution to victims and to provide support for their families. In 2020, PIE inmate workers contributed $64,139 to the state Crimes Compensation Trust Fund and paid $29,640 toward court-ordered restitution and family support.
Jack Edgemon, President, PRIDE Enterprises, 813-324-8700