U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


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Construction

Construction Program Guide

Convict Produced Material / Convict Labor

FHWA policy prohibits the use of convict labor and material for projects located on Federal-aid highways.

Authority / Legal Basis

  1. Laws
  2. Regulations
    • Title 23 C.F.R. 635.117(a) provides the FHWA's regulatory policy for convict labor.
    • Title 23 C.F.R. 635.417 provides the FHWA's regulatory policy for convict produced materials. Such materials are prohibited from use on the Federal-aid highway system, except that "Materials produced after July 1, 1991, by convict labor may only be incorporated in a Federal-aid highway construction project if such materials have been:
      1. Produced by convicts who are on parole, supervised release, or probation from a prison or
      2. Produced in a qualified prison facility and the cumulative annual production amount of such materials for use in Federal-aid highway construction does not exceed the amount of such materials produced in such facility for use in Federal-aid highway construction during the 12-month period ending July 1, 1987."
  3. Orders
    • None
  4. Policy
  5. Other
    FHWA HQ polled the Division Offices to determine the types, quantities, and costs of convict-produced materials produced in each State for the 12-month period ending July 1, 1987. The allowable material types and quantities the results of the survey are in the table below. States not listed did not incorporate convict produced materials into its Federal-aid highway construction products during that period. By statute, each state listed is limited to the convict-produced materials and quantities shown:
    State Material Quantity Cost
    California Aluminum Tear Drop Assemblies 3,500 ea $2,800
    Aluminum Guide Plates 5,000 ea $5,750
    Type K Markers 2,200 ea $7,786
      Total $16,536
    District Of Columbia Sign Material Not stated $325,000
    Iowa Signs 21,408 sq.ft. $152,384
    Michigan Signs 335 ea $9,752
    Missouri Signs 42,829 ea $506,573
    North Carolina Signs 8,938 ea $850,652
    Pavement Markings 25,900 gal. $116,298
      Total $966,950
    North Dakota Signs - High Intensity 62,784 sq.ft. $373,370
    Signs - Engineering Grade 26,664 sq.ft. $83,256
    Totals 89,448 sq.ft. $456,625
    Rhode Island Signing Material 4,851 ea $195,521
    Utah Signs 12,000 sq.ft. $66,000
    Vermont Posts 32,202 ea Not Stated
    Offset Blocks 11,149 ea
    Ties 7,911 ea
    Lumber 76,604 bd.ft.
    Signs 43,572 sq.ft.
    Virginia Sign Blanks 45,977 sq.ft. $92,413
    Washington Signs 46,000 sq.ft. $184,000

Guidance

  1. General Information
  2. Training
Updated: 12/10/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000