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Incarcerated Individual Betterment Fund (IIBF)

About

The department has established an Incarcerated Individual Betterment Fund (IIBF). Assets of the betterment fund will be used solely for incarcerated individual betterment activities that enhance security and orderly operation of a facility by reducing idleness, encouraging positive development of family and community ties, and authorized expenses for incarcerated individuals.

Per RCW 72.09.470, to the greatest extent practical, all incarcerated individuals shall contribute to the cost of privileges. Contributions may be in the form of incarcerated individual’s collective contributions to the institutional welfare/betterment fund.

The betterment fund, as called by the agency, will be maintained per the Office of Financial Management State Administrative and Accounting Manual (SAAM).

Budget

Per DOC 200.200 Incarcerated Individual Betterment Fund (pdf), revenue and expenditures will be documented and measured for tracking and financial status and determining budgets. Unspent budgeted funds from the previous fiscal year will revert back into the betterment fund balance.

Budget Committee

Per DOC 200.200 Incarcerated Individual Betterment Fund (pdf), two Statewide Family Council members with relevant experience (e.g., budget, finance, accounting) will be invited to attend and provide input during the review process for the agency budget.

Members:

  • Secretary
  • Deputy Secretary
  • Assistant Secretaries, as applicable
  • Comptroller
  • Assistant Comptroller, Strategic Planning
  • Financial Services Manager
  • Betterment Fund Administrator
  • Budget Director
  • Other agency stakeholders

Statewide Family Council Representatives:

  • Felix D’Allesandro – Fiscal Year 2020, Fiscal Year 2021
  • Anna Ivanov -- Fiscal Year 2020, Fiscal Year 2021

Budget & Quarterly Reports

Per DOC 200.200 Incarcerated Individual Betterment Fund (pdf), the Secretary will review and approve the final budget for the betterment fund each fiscal year and the betterment fund financial report will be updated and submitted quarterly for posting on the department’s website.

Status – Fiscal Year (FY) 2021

The Incarcerated Individual Technology Services (IITS) project will impact IIBF revenue. Until a new contract is negotiated, the amount of future revenue coming into this fund is uncertain. Therefore, the budget build group took a conservative approach to building the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget. New items incorporated into the FY 2021 budget are as follows:

Changes in Family Friendly

We have provided a new pop-up allotment that will provide staff the added flexibility to work with stakeholders to plan more spontaneous activities for families and individuals. These are separate from the preplanned family friendly events and can be structured around the needs of the individuals and their families at specific locations.

Additionally, after conducting a survey with over 400 family members responding, we have now created a statewide hotel/motel voucher program that will be made available to families who travel longer distances to visit their loved ones to offset costs associated with long-distance travel and lodging.

Communication Support

Provides funding for incarcerated individuals to make one five-minute phone call per week without charge, until such time as in-person visiting resumes. Currently, our contract communications provider is matching this program.

Incarcerated Individual Comfort Items

This line item is zero in the budget, but was part of the discussion. It was left as a line item to record expenditures shown on the Budget to Actual report for those items that are approved from the future deployment bucket.

Future Deployment

The family/friend representatives on the Budget Committee offered to solicit ideas of the incarcerated population and family members to what type of items would benefit the population. Those ideas will be brought back to the committee for discussion.

Emergent Purchases

Funds set aside for facilities to request and purchase items for emergent needs when funds from the approved facility IIBF budget are not available. A standardized process has been developed for submitting requests and making recommendations to the Prisons Assistant Secretary for final decision.

Meetings & Materials

Per DOC 200.200 Incarcerated Individual Betterment Fund (pdf), the betterment fund financial status will be publicly reviewed quarterly.

The department will host a quarterly event live on Microsoft Teams to review agency-level betterment fund financial reports. These meetings will typically occur on the last Thursday of the month. Dates and times will be posted and are open to the public.

Upcoming Meetings

Past Meetings

Each prison facility business office will be available upon the request of the local family council to present the budget to actual financial reports at facility local family council meetings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Incarcerated Individual Betterment Fund (IIBF)?

The IIBF is a special revenue fund administered by the Department of Corrections (DOC) and used solely for incarcerated individual betterment activities. The fund was established prior to 1981, when DOC became a separate agency. The authority to spend from the IIBF is vested with the Secretary of DOC. The fund is budgeted on a fiscal year basis. The Assistant Secretaries for Prisons, Reentry, and Community Corrections, the Budget Director and the Comptroller determine the annual budgets for family centered, and other discretionary funding. The Secretary reviews and approves the final budget.

How is the overall IIBF budget built?

Revenue from phone commissions, which is the primary source of IIBF revenue, is projected at the level of previous fiscal year’s actual receipts, unless information is available that suggests a deviation is necessary. Projections for the other minor revenue categories is based on an annualized rate of actual receipts at the time the budget is being built. Expenditures are budgeted into main groupings.

What is the revenue projected for the IIBF fund budget each fiscal year?

The primary source of revenue for the IIBF is telephone commission (approximately 89% of all revenue). The phone revenue is projected at the previous fiscal year’s actual receipts. Projections for the other minor revenue categories is based on an annualized rate of actual receipts at the time the budget is being built. Projected revenue sources include:

  • Telephone commissions. Revenue from the contract provider for local and long distance in-state phone service. The provider is responsible to maintain the phones, phone infrastructure, and the call monitoring and recording systems.
  • Interest: IIBF funds are maintained in an interest-bearing account, and any funds earned on the principle deposit is retained in the IIBF as interest income.
  • J-Pay commissions. Revenue received from contracted electronic MP3 music, e-mail and video visiting services.
  • Recycling: Any revenue received from recycling plastic, aluminum cans, etc., from designated incarcerated individual visiting rooms.
  • Vending commissions. Revenue received from vending machines located in incarcerated individual visit rooms.
  • Crime Victim’s Compensation: As required by RCW 72.09.095, DOC transfers 25 percent of all IIBF revenue received to the Crime Victims Compensation (CVC) Fund, which is administered by the Department of Labor and Industries. CVC is not restitution to a specific victim for a specific crime, but rather a fund for individuals who are victims of crimes.

What is required funding under IIBF budget each fiscal year?

Authorized Expenditures from IIBF

Expenditures are authorized for activities that contribute to the betterment of the incarcerated population. Expenditures on behalf of identifiable individuals or groups to the exclusion of the majority of incarcerated individuals are not allowed, except for approved family-centered programs/events. Expenditures fall within, but not limited to, the following categories:

  • Staffing: Staffing projections for authorized positions are prepared by the department’s budget office, based on actual staff salary and benefit costs, adjusted for general cost of living salary adjustments, state classification actions, or inclusion in a represented bargaining unit. Positions funded include some Prisons recreation, visiting, law library, and store security staff, family services staff, and staff associated with the statewide visit program, IIBF administration, and information technology support for incarcerated individual related applications.
  • Family Friendly: Major funding categories include annual Family Friendly events, hotel/motel voucher program, Statewide Family Council (SFC) support, Parenting Inside and Out (PIO) activities and Parenting Sentencing Alternatives (FOSA). Family Friendly annual events are budgeted at the approved amount. SFC travel and meeting supplies, PIO and FOSA are budgeted based on historical allocations.
  • Television Systems/Public Performance license: Each year, facilities are asked to contact their local television service provider and inquire about any know rate increases, which are incorporated into the expenditure projections. Typically, this cost increases each year. Public performance licenses are funded so that commercially rented/sold movies and other copyrighted materials can be presented at the prisons and work release facilities.
  • Law Library: Funding is based on contracted subscription rates for the computerized law library resource, computer leases, and additional publications not available through the main computer subscription.

Discretionary Funding

Building what becomes the final approved IIBF budget takes into consideration the total projected revenue and required funding categories to determine what is left for discretionary funding.

  • Emergent Funding: Emergent Funding purchases are considered items that are operationally necessary, emergent in nature, and cannot be funded from the facilities per incarcerated individual allocation and/or facility operating funds. Request for expenditure in this funding category will follow a standard submission and recommendation process before the request submitted to the Prison’s Assistant Secretary for approval.
  • Special Projects : This category includes large equipment purchases and maintenance/repair of recreation, visiting, and other incarcerated individual programs that are needed, but cannot be funded within the limited facility maintenance budgets. Request for expenditures in this funding category is based on a “ready list” concept, where facilities keep a running list of items they wish to be considered for funding. As funds allow, projects are approved.
  • Per Incarcerated Individual Allocation: Each prison facility and work release are allocated a per-incarcerated individual amount, based on the actual June ADP preceding the IIBF budget year. Facilities are given wide discretion to budget these funds, within the overall expectation of IIBF expenditures, for programs and activities suited to their facility and population. Annual allocations may be adjusted each year based on overall funding levels, as well as utilization of these funds in the previous budget cycle.

What are the budgeted staffing costs?

Staffing costs support a number of different position classifications and activities that were moved into IIBF funding during multiple past legislative budget bills.

  • Prison Recreation Staff (No Overtime): Funds critical staffing for incarcerated individuals’ recreational activities to provide supervised and structured physical and pro-social activities, that include, but are not limited to, gym sports (basketball, pickle ball, handball) hobby craft programs, cardio and weight training fitness, music programs (where available), seasonal sports team competitions, indoor tournaments for cards and other activities. These contribute to a safe and secure environment through positive activities designed to promote the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of individuals. These positions were moved to IIBF funding many years ago when the Legislature cut recreation staff funding department-wide by fifty percent (50%) as a result of a statewide economic downturn.
  • Prison Recreation Staff (Overtime): Provides funding for overtime incurred by recreation staff. Overtime can occur due to recreation staff working on state holidays or to provide minimum staffing levels during sick leave, vacations, or vacant positions.
  • Prison Stores and Security Staff: Funds security and custody services for the Correctional Industries Commissary operations, which provide incarcerated individuals with the opportunity to purchase numerous amenities not provided by Corrections. Per RCW 72.09.100, the Department is obligated to provide appropriate security and custody services without charge.
  • Prison Visiting Staff: Funds a Corrections Specialist position to oversee statewide visit programs (extended family, in-person, video, and no-contact) to ensure statewide compliance with facility programs and Family Friendly visit operations. Improves public safety through background checks and oversight of victim/witness concerns, as well as, safety issues for children and vulnerable adults. Collaborates with DCYF on child dependency cases regarding visitation. This position also manages processing unit that provides communication with prospective visitor(s) in a timely manner for expedient application decisions.
  • Prison Law Library Staff: Funds professional staff to supervise law library operations so that incarcerants have meaningful access to the courts. The law libraries and library staff afford incarcerants the constitutional requirement of accessing the courts per the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision (Bound v. Smith, 97 S. Ct. 1491, 52 L. Ed.2d 72) and DOC policy 590.500, Legal Access for incarcerated individuals. Staff assist incarcerants in using law library materials to research and prepare their legal issues. Staff provide incarcerants with photocopies of library materials or printed pages from the Internet to fill reference and informational requests to assist incarcerated individuals with legal research, as well as electronic case filing services required by some courts. These positions were moved to IIBF funding many years ago when the Legislature cut law library staff funding department- as a result of a statewide economic downturn.
  • Family Services Staff: Funds three of four Family Services staff who are responsible for assisting/coordinating family-centered programs, activities, and events throughout the Department. . They work with prison staff to administer Family Friendly activities to support reunification opportunities, offer guidance for families on prison operations that affect their loved ones and to better understand ways to engage with their loved ones during incarceration. Additional activities include the coordination of individuals with their children’s educators through parent-teacher conferences, guidance for local family councils at assigned facilities, as well as, collaborating with facility personnel to address individual concerns of families who contact them regarding their incarcerated loved ones.
  • IIBF Administrator/IT Specialist: The IIBF Administrator is responsible for the development, implementation, monitoring, and financial reporting activities of the fund. This position is also responsible to respond to internal and external questions regarding IIBF operations. The Information Technology Specialist provides computer application support for the incarcerated individual Trust Accounting System (TAS) operation, to include support for the electronic ordering related to the commissary. This position ensures that TAS and related incarcerated individual-centered computer applications operate on a reliable and consistent basis.
  • Prison Project Positions: Funds a Corrections Specialist position to assist with the Resolution (formerly Grievance) Program to ensure that resolution requests made by incarcerated individuals receive appropriate investigative attention at the facility level, assess and evaluate appeal responses from investigators, and to provide proactive management of resolution trends. Additionally, provides a Corrections Specialist for oversight of the statewide Religious Services, Volunteer, and Community Partnership programs to ensure that incarcerated individuals have the opportunity to believe, express, and exercise the religion of their choice at the facilities where they are assigned. It ensures that the Department has a robust and supportive relationship with community partners who provide significant volunteer services to the incarcerated and supervised population. Also, funds a position to provide clerical support to the Program & Services Unit covering religious, community partnership, resolution, recreation, visitation, and library services programs. Finally, funds a clerical position to pilot and operationalize a centralized Extended Family Visit (EVF) application process, to increase efficiency and timeliness of EFV applications, as well as improve consistency in responses and application of EFV eligibility criteria.

Resources

Policies

Below are Department of Corrections (DOC) policies that apply to the Incarcerated Individual Betterment Fund.

Laws & Regulations

Below are the federal laws, state laws (RCWs) and regulations (WACs) that apply to and/or relate to the Incarcerated Individual Betterment Fund.

Revised Code of Washington (RCW)

  • RCW 43.88.195
    As applicable to establishment of accounts or funds outside treasury without permission of director of financial management prohibited.
  • RCW 72.09.095
    As applicable to transfer of funds to department of labor and industries for crime victims' compensation.
  • RCW 72.09.470
    As applicable to inmate contributions for cost of privileges—Standards.
  • RCW 74.18.230
    As applicable to business enterprises revolving account.

Washington Administrative Code (WAC)

  • WAC 67-35-160
    As applicable to business enterprises revolving fund.
  • WAC 137-36-040
    As applicable to disposition of personal property.

Publications

Below are Department of Corrections (DOC) publications that apply to the Incarcerated Individual Betterment Fund.

Resource Links