When I get paid, I don't get to see the cash of a paycheck. My supervisor gives me a copy of the "Inmate Work Supervisor's Time Log," which documents the total hours and days that I worked. The original time log goes to the institution's trust office where it keeps an account for each prisoner. The trust office enters the amount of money I made into my account which is my California Department of Corrections Number D42387.
Each inmate must sign a power of attorney form to give the CDC authority to process his money during the duration of his incarceration. Can you calculate how much money is in the CDC account with approximately 165,000 prisoners in its custody? Better yet, can you calculate how much interest the CDC is collecting?
Aside from the paychecks, all money sent in from family or friends in the form of money orders or checks go into the prisoner's account. When a prisoner needs to withdraw money to buy food items from the prison canteen or purchase things from an approved vendor, he will sign a trust withdrawal form.
I consider myself lucky to have a job that pays. Some prisoners have to work without pay. However, there is a small percent of prisoners who work for minimum wage. The catch is that they have to pay room and board, taxes, and the victims' fund. Either way I look at it, it's all slave wages. A prisoner cannot refuse to work. If he does, he will be punished by having his privileges taken away or adding more time to his original sentence. Hence the term "modern-day slave plantation."