Skip to main content

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
  • Senior Director of Business Services
  • Comptroller
  • Business Strategy and Results Manager
  • Financial Services Manager
  • Betterment Fund Administrator
  • Budget Director
  • Other agency interested parties

Statewide Family Council Representatives

  • Felix D’Allesandro
  • Lydia Schoen

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.

Fiscal Year 24 Approved IIBF Budget Overview

Budget Assumptions/Proposed Changes

Revenue has been projected based on the most current months’ commission data with the new IITS contract and substantial completion of phone installations and media data services from Securus. The data shows an estimated 50% increase in commissions received compared with the same time last fiscal year. This is a positive sign for the FY24 IIBF budget, and the IIBF budget committee proposed adjusting funding levels and investments based on the positive revenue outlook.

Expenditures

  • Family-Friendly Investments:The total allocation proposed for FY24 Family-Friendly is a 24% increase from FY23 due to the changes/investments below, in addition to increasing event funding levels due to inflation
  • Family Friendly: Lodging and Transportation Assistance Program: This program was started a couple of years ago with suggestions from the family representative, to ease the burden on families when visiting their loved ones from a long distance. This year, the family representatives asked to modify the program to make it more accessible to families and increase assistance frequency and amounts. With the fully resumed visitation at facilities and the increased use of the program, the IIBF budget committee agreed to increase the reimbursable visits for each incarcerated individual from one to two per month with a total allocation of $150,000, up from $100,000 in FY23.
  • KUBI Camp (Kids United by Incarcerated Summer Camp): This program was in operation for five years from 2015 to 2019 and has a long hiatus due to COVID. KUBI is thought to have a meaningful and positive impact on the children of incarcerated parents. There is an allocation of $50,000 to bring this program back in FY24.
  • Family-Friendly Visit Room Photo Program: This program was created in FY23 to enhance the visitation experience at the facility visit rooms by providing free photos to incarcerated and their visitors. The proposed amount for FY24 allocation was doubled to $24,000 due to the increase in interest from families.
  • Family-Friendly Supplemental Pop-up: this category was added last year as a solution to provide funding for events that are identified outside the formal budget cycle. This process is managed by the Family Services Unit and allows facilities leeway in developing more spontaneous events.
  • Family-Friendly Supplemental Program Enhancement: This is a placeholder for SFC Representatives and/or Incarcerated population to make program suggestions that will benefit the incarcerated population.

Other IIBF Expenditures

In addition to the contracted services such as movie licenses, and law library online subscriptions, the newly approved categories is:

  • Facility EFV Consumable Annual Allocation: IIBF formed a special project team this fiscal year to identify areas of need at the facilities with the discretionary $10 per incarcerated individual funding. Based on the data of each facility including numbers of EFV units, and high-use items, we propose a total of $83,250 as the annual allocation for facilities to replenish consumable items at their facility. By funding the EFV’s consumable items separately, not only will it ensure there is adequate funding available at each facility to cover the cost of the consumables, but it will also allow the $10 per incarcerated individual to be used to fully fund other facility priorities. This dedicated funding is a direct result of eliminating the EFV user fees that used to support EFV operations.

The total IIBF revenue projection versus the operating expenditure in FY24 has a positive balance of $783,340. IIBF budget committee proposed using this available funding for the below One-time Re-investment Requests.

One-time Re-investment Requests

  • Wellness Enhancement: This is to provide $250,000 in continued funding to support the wellness equipment at the prison facilities. The wellness enhancement funding proposal started when building the FY22 IIBF budget and continued through FY23 as well. The additional funding approved for FY24 will provide the support to continue the work and further identify the need for wellness equipment for the well-being of the incarcerated population.
  • EFV and Visiting Improvements: As in-person visiting fully resumed, and multiple site visits, the Family Services Unit wanted to focus on improving the experience for the incarcerated individual and family alike. The $250,000 funding is approved to continue the improvement work that began in FY22.
  • Reentry Facility Wellness/Visiting Reinvestment: Reentry Centers (RC)have not historically been included in the reinvestment dollars afforded to the prison facilities. IIBF budget committee requested $100,000 as a reinvestment proposal for wellness/visiting for RC residents.

Summary

The proposed budget before the proposed re-investment is $2,098,301. After considering the proposed reinvestments, expenditures are anticipated to exceed projected revenues by an estimated $81,660, which is supportable by the IIBF fund balance.

The Family Representatives strongly expressed their desire that DOC ensure the funds budgeted are spent. The Budget Group will meet periodically during the fiscal year to review the results of operations and determine if adjustments are necessary. Facility Local Business Managers (LBM) are also tasked with working with their facility management to maximize the use of budgeted funds.

How to request supplemental funding for IIBF during the fiscal year

We encourage families to attend local family council meetings and provide your ideas/suggestions at the meeting for discussion. Once the funding request is identified and approved at the local facility level, the local business manager and prison superintendent will submit the funding request to the IIBF administrator for additional funding request.

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

  • Thursday, April 25, 2024, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m
  • Thursday, July 25, 2024, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m

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.
  • Media Data Commissions: Revenue received from contracted electronic online services including: online music downloading, games, movies / TV shows.
  • 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: Prior to passage of the 21-23 biennial operating budget, IIBF funded a number of staff positions associated with betterment activities. The operating budget’s passage moved those positions to state general fund funding. Historical information regarding staffing salaries can be found in the "What are the budgeted staffing costs?" question below.
  • 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 reentry centers.
  • 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 reentry center 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?

Prior to passage of the 21-23 biennial operating budget, 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 incarcerated individual contributions for cost of privileges – Standards.
  • RCW 74.18.230: As applicable to business enterprises revolving account.

Washington Administrative Code (WAC)

Publications

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

Resource Links