Audit: California prison program illegally spent $1.3M

California

FILE — In this May 15, 2012, file photo an inmate gets some blank KIDS specialty license plates to be made through the prison industries program at Folsom State Prison in Folsom, Calif. A California prison program that employs inmates illegally spent $1.3 million on goods and salaries, including $82,000 in artificial turf that has gone unused, as part of a pattern of “gross misconduct,” state auditors said Tuesday, July 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Auditors say a California prison program that employs inmates illegally spent $1.3 billion in goods and salaries, including $82,000 worth of artificial turf that so far has gone unused.

Auditors say in their report Tuesday that it amounts to gross misconduct.

They are recommending disciplinary action against California Prison Industry Authority employees who authorized the spending.

They also recommended disciplinary action against executives they say manipulated state laws to favor at least 10 relatives and friends for jobs and promotions.

The state program relies on inmate labor to produce a range of goods that are sold mostly to state agencies.

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