28 CFR § 345.10 - Purpose and scope.
It is the policy of the Bureau of Prisons to provide work to all inmates (including inmates with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodations, can perform the essential tasks of the work assignment) confined in a federal institution. Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (FPI) was established as a program to provide meaningful work for inmates. This work is designed to allow inmates the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, and work habits which will be useful when released from the institution. There is no statutory requirement that inmates be paid for work in an industrial assignment. 18 U.S.C. 4126, however, provides for discretionary compensation to inmates working in Industries. Under this authority, inmates of the same grade jobs, regardless of the basis of pay (hourly, group piece, or individual piece rates) shall receive approximately the same compensation. All pay rates under this part are established at the discretion of Federal Prison Industries, Inc. Any alteration or termination of the rates shall require the approval of the Federal Prison Industries' Board of Directors. While the Warden is responsible for the local administration of Inmate Industrial Payroll regulations, no pay system is initiated or changed without prior approval of the Assistant Director, Industries, Education and Vocational Training (Assistant Director).