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House Corrections Chair Calls For Investigation Of Inmate Work Program
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The chair of the Mississippi House Corrections Committee is calling for an in-depth investigation of the program designed to teach prison inmates a skill or trade. 

Mississippi Prison Industries Corporation has been active for 24 years teaching inmates to weld, and make clothing or furniture among other skills.

But now it is drawing the attention of state leaders who question if the program is effective for inmates and the state.

House Corrections Chair Tommy Taylor of Boyle says he intends to ask for a state investigation to analyze the program.

"I am not concerned that they are not achieving. We are just initiating a fast track to make sure that they will . And give them more opportunity in other jobs besides making garments and putting furniture together," Taylor said.

Taylor says he also wants to ensure that the inmates, some of whom make less than a dollar an hour, are not undercutting local businesses.

Prison Industries CEO John Dennery is not concerned about an investigation and says they are in the process of implementing a set of recommended changes.

"If we didn't adequately chart our course correctly and implement the recommendations by June of 2016. That the legislature should consider making a change," Dennery said.

Less than two percent of Mississippi's 22-thousand inmates take part in the program.