§ Ms Quin
It is Prison Service policy that commercial activities should not be undertaken by prisons at the expense of private sector businesses or employment in this country. Prisons should seek work which substitutes imports, or which uses their facilities for work which would be uneconomic for outside contractors, for example because it involves short production runs or is labour intensive.
Prison Service goods and services should be offered at a fair market price, which recovers direct manufacturing costs plus a contribution to the recovery of overheads. Prison overheads are much higher than outside because of high fixed costs (such as the cost of supervision, a short working week and low productivity rates).
Rather than competition, the Prison Service is keen to see private sector businesses make use of prison labour and facilities through partnerships.