Section 48A. Subject to appropriation from the General Fund, the commissioner shall establish a system of compensation for inmates of the correctional institutions of the commonwealth who perform good and satisfactory work either within the industrial program or in the servicing and maintenance of the correctional institutions or in the prison camps. Upon the recommendation of any superintendent, the commissioner may establish a graduated scale of compensation to be paid inmates in accordance with their skill and industry, and the commissioner shall establish, and may at any time amend or annul, rules and regulations for carrying out the purposes of this section. No money shall be paid directly to any inmate during the term of his imprisonment.
The superintendent of any correctional institution may expend one half of the money so earned by any inmate on behalf of the inmate for articles for the use of the inmate; provided, however, that in the case of an inmate who is a defective delinquent or a sexually dangerous person or who is serving a life term, the superintendent may so expend any part or all of such money. The superintendent shall also expend any part or all of such money of any inmate to satisfy the victim and witness assessment ordered by a court pursuant to section eight of chapter two hundred and fifty-eight B. The remainder of the moneys so earned, after deducting amounts expended on behalf of the inmate as aforesaid, shall be accumulated to the credit of the inmate and shall be deposited in an interest-bearing account by the superintendent as trustee in a bank approved by the state treasurer and paid to the inmate, with the accrued interest, upon his release from such institution in such instalments and at such times as may be described in such rules and regulations. The superintendent shall also expend any part or all of such money of any inmate to satisfy the victim and witness assessment ordered by a court pursuant to section eight of chapter two hundred and fifty-eight B.
Said superintendent may also expend on behalf of any inmate such further sums from the money the inmate has earned upon the inmate’s written request and in circumstances of compelling need, including, but not limited to, expenses related to family illness or death, legal defense, provision of essential articles of personal use or any other such circumstances of compelling need as determined by the superintendent.
Subject to appropriation from the General Fund, the commissioner may expend such amounts as are appropriated to rearrange or enlarge the shops and to provide storage room needed for the manufacturing of prison goods in an established industry. The commissioner may employ such additional employees as shall be approved by the governor and council to make arrangements with the offices, departments and institutions named in sections fifty-three and fifty-seven.