After you complete the Admission & Orientation Program, you will be assigned to a work detail. Inmates are encouraged to find their own job, going through the department responsible for that detail. Otherwise, the A&O Counselor will assign you a job. All inmates must be on their job for 180 days before a consideration will be made for a job change (with the exception of UNICOR or an apprenticeship program placement). All subsequent job change requests must be sent via cop out to the institution job change committee which meets on Wednesday mornings. If approved for a job change, your name will appear on the call out.
PERFORMANCE PAY: If you are assigned to a paid work assignment (not including UNICOR or Commissary), you may be awarded Performance Pay if your Work Supervisor recommends you for it.
Presently, pay rates are as follows: Grade 4 – $.12
3 – $.17
2 – $.29
1 – $.40
$5.25 maintenance pay
These rates are subject to change according to Federal Bureau of Prisons Policy. You may receive performance pay for a maximum of seven hours per work day, and a maximum of 35 hours per week. You will be paid only for those hours during which your job performance is satisfactory or excellent. Each work detail has a specific number of positions allotted which are utilized to receive performance pay.
Job payments (performance pay) are deposited in your Commissary account no later than the 10th day of the month after you earn your job payment.
For more detailed information, see Program Statement 5251.2, entitled Performance Pay. Those inmates in Financial Responsibility Program refusal status can earn no more than maintenance pay.
UNICOR (Federal Prison Industries) is the largest program at FCI Phoenix. The factory functions in the Electronics Division of the corporation and manufactures electronic connectors and electronic cable harnesses. Inmates working in UNICOR are paid one of four pay grades which are set by Corporate Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Additionally, there is a lower pay rate for inmates participating in pre-industrial training. Advancement depends upon time in grade, ability and availability of positions. Advancement above 4th grade is limited to those individuals who obtain an 8.0 on the Stanford Achievement Test administered by the Education Department. There are additional benefits which may be earned such as extra good time, premium pay for longevity, and vacations.
Inmates seeking employment in UNICOR must apply on the prescribed form available from their unit team.