Will receive Award in April at the NCIA National Convention and Training Conference in Pittsburgh

NCIA logoThe NCIA (National Correctional Industries Association, Inc.) is an international nonprofit professional association whose members represent state correctional industry agencies, Federal Prison Industries, foreign correctional industry agencies and city/county jail industry programs.

The Staff Award recognizes the superior performance and supervisory excellence of a correctional industries staff member who has made a significant and sustained contribution to a correctional industries program. Like all Staff Award recipients, Richard excels in the use of human resources, effectiveness in meeting goals and objectives, and quality of service.

Richard Selapack

Richard Selapack, 2016 NCIA Western Region Staff Award Winner

Richard Selapack, Vice President for Labor Contracts, negotiates all new labor partnership contracts and renewals for Arizona Correctional Industries (ACI). This involves coordination with the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) Complex Wardens and support staff, the ADC Contracts Department, the AZ Department of Administration Risk Management unit, the AZ Department of Labor and the private industry partners themselves. Inmate Work Contracts are official agreements between a Labor Contract Partner and the ADC Director, for and on behalf of ACI. Like all legal contracts, each party agrees to perform certain tasks or services for the other under clearly defined terms and conditions. A typical Inmate Work Contract will run 30 or 40 pages and include attachments and revisions over time, as scope of work or requirements change.

ACI is very grateful to Richard for his dedication to this program that he has been a part of since 2001. He has brought in new partners, like Swift Trucking (Common Market Equipment) while helping us retain and grow other partnerships, including the ones begun in 1995: Hickman Family Farms and Televerde. In April 2015, Hickman’s had a huge celebration commemorating the 20th Year of our Partnership at a local resort with state dignitaries including former governor Jan Brewer in attendance as well as many “graduates” of the program who were hired by Hickman’s after their release and now hold key management positions with the company. Richard has worked on many revisions of their contract, expanding the program as Hickman’s expanded their business.

Hickmans Support Team and Mascot

The Hickman’s Support Team (l to r): Erika Seborg, Gail Rittenhouse, Hickman Chicken, Richard Selapack, Glen Davis, Mario Diaz


Steering ACI in New Directions
Richard was the driving force behind ACI’s first Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP) partnership. Though this program has been available to correctional industries in one form or another since 1979, few could navigate its many rules and regulations. Administered by the US Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), PIECP certification excepts participating agencies from certain Federal restraints placed on the marketability of prison-made goods by permitting the transport of such goods in interstate commerce and the sale of such goods to the Federal government.

PIECP Study, coverUnder BJA’s guidance, correctional agencies can engage in the interstate shipment of prison-made goods for sale on the open market if, and only if:

  • Inmates are paid at a rate not less than the rate paid for work of a similar nature in the locality where the work takes place
  • The hiring of inmates does not result in the displacement of employed workers outside the prison or jail, does not occur in occupations in which there is a surplus of labor in the locality, and does not impair existing contracts for services
  • Deductions from inmate PIECP wages are limited to four purposes only (room and board, taxes, victims’ compensation/restitution, and family support) and do not exceed 80% of gross PIECP wages
  • Inmate workers are provided with the same benefits normally provided by the state or Federal government to similarly situated workers, e.g., Workers’ Compensation (or its equivalent) and FICA
  • Local labor organizations and competitor manufacturers are notified of the partnership prior to the initiation of operations
  • Inmate involvement is voluntary

PIECP is designed to benefit participating departments of correction by providing both a cost-effective prison work program that would offset some of the costs of incarceration, and a prison management tool that reduces institutional violence. Taxpayers benefit as inmates became tax producers, able to provide financial support to victims of crime and their own families. Victims and the families of participating prisoners benefit through direct financial contributions from inmate workers. Private sector companies gain a stable and readily available workforce, and possibly industrial space and training assistance. Inmates themselves benefit by increasing their job skills and experience and thus their prospects for successful transition to a job upon release.

Richard’s efforts in creating the JimGlo Trailer PIECP partnership at the facility in Kingman, opens up many new possibilities for ACI to grow this part of its business.

Labor Contract Team

The ACI Labor Contract Team (l-r): Glen Davis, Mario Diaz, Corinne Samuelson, Eric Cole and Richard Selapack


But Richard is much more than a contract writer. He directly supervises six partnerships at seven sites, employing 23 security staff. This includes day-to-day operations that interface between the labor partner and the prison complex staff, such as security issues, staffing issues, transportation coordination, facility problems and helping to improve the partner’s operation. Richard conducts annual compliance surveys with each partnership.

He also indirectly supervises 24 partnerships at 34 different sites with another 33 security personnel and helps manage the hiring and management process of the security staff. These IPSs (Industry Program Specialists) provide security and (in some cases) transportation to worksites as ADC Operations do not provide security staffing at any ACI Program.

The combined programs employ nearly 1,290 inmates daily.

A Particular Set of Skills
Richard is uniquely qualified to work on these complex labor partnerships and the myriad federal, state and local regulations governing them. Throughout his 27-year US military career, he served in Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Turkey. Starting as an Air Force heavy equipment operator from 1969 to 1973, he served a year in the Army and another in the Air National Guard before returning to the Air Force. In 1977 he was commissioned as second lieutenant from Lackland AFB, TX Officer Training School, where he was a Distinguished Graduate. He also earned his BA in business management as a summa cum laude graduate from Park College Missouri and a Master of Science in public administration from Troy State University.

During his years of service Richard earned promotions from Lieutenant through Captain, Major and Lieutenant Colonel as an air battle manager. He was awarded many medals, ribbons and other recognitions like the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal. All of the officers he reported to consistently gave him glowing evaluations. Just a couple of them illustrate how committed Richard was to his duties:

    Evaluation: Richard E. Favela, Colonel, USAF; Chief, Combat Integration Division, Washington, DC; 8 June 1996:

    • Lieutenant Colonel Selapack is exceptionally well versed in all aspects of airborne command and control (C2), and superbly articulates how the Air Force plays a pivotal role in joint warfare C2 architectures.
    • A leader and consensus builder; skilled at bringing together many defense agencies to get the job done right.
    • A visionary thinker tempered with operational savvy, a superior officer ready for command.
    • An operator with a Ph.D in C2; keeps me apprised of the latest C2 topics, on top of every JSTARS (E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System) acquisition and requirements issue and is the first to assess any operational impacts – nothing gets by him.
    • Influential in the SAF acquisition community, quickly sought out when they need the operator’s perspective.
    • Air Staff source for answering numerous questions generated by the recent European JSTARS deployment.
    • Loyal, dedicated, relished solving the tough problems.
    • I picked Rich to represent AF/XO on an AF/IG inquiry into the facts and circumstances surrounding an over-tasked Air Force unit; they did an outstanding job! A player with the skills for command.

    Evaluation: Ralph F. Witterhahn, Col, USAF, Chief, Air Force Division, Bangkok, Thailand, 2 Oct 1990:

    • Major Selapack is an exceptionally capable officer who is paving the way for enhanced joint operations in an increasingly important western-Pacific arena. He has diplomatically overcome bureaucratic roadblocks and cultural/political sensitivities in his efforts to bring the Royal Thailand Air Defense system on line. Many would have simply given up, but Rich made it happen. This strong leader is ready and capable to take on our toughest challenges.

His final military assignment was at Luke AFB here in Phoenix, where he decided to stay after his service. He joined ADC and went through Correctional Officer Training Academy (COTA) training in 1999 quickly moving from CO II to CO III by 2001. That same year he transferred to ACI, where he saw an opportunity to employ the many skills he had acquired in the military to the challenges of creating private business partnerships with the department.

Remarkable Partnerships that Save Arizona Taxpayers Millions
He possesses a thorough knowledge of the industry, the complexes, security considerations, the state political winds, and our partners’ labor requirements. He has a good relationship with the key personnel within the various agencies and facilities and a meticulous attention to detail. These attributes helped him create some remarkable partnerships that have saved Arizona taxpayers millions of dollars (through inmate payroll deductions for room and board and restitution) and helped many small businesses grow into national industries, while creating thousands of new jobs.

Remote Monitoring

Richard can observe activity at Papa John’s Produce in real time from his desk

This year Richard helped ACI negotiate with ADC to have minimum-security inmates moved from different facilities so that we could complete a partnership that will employ 100 inmates. This new labor contract partner, Papa John’s Salads and Produce, supplies Arizona grocery and convenience stores with fresh fruits and vegetables, deli salads, sandwiches and various specialty items. Other new partners include local recyclers Bonded Logic and RAD with contract development activities underway with Western Organics, Cavco West, Erickson Construction, Apache Railway and United Fibers.

Richard has also, personally, escorted inmates injured on job sites to the hospital and stayed with them until ADC facility personnel could arrive to assume custody. Another innovation he has introduced to the labor contract program is tapping into the closed circuit TV systems at our private business partners locations so that he and the rest of the labor contract team can monitor inmates across the state, from their desktops.

Evaluation: Glen Davis, ACI, Senior Vice President of Operations; Phoenix, AZ; 30 Nov 2015:

  • Richard is tenacious. He is always willing to step in where needed and will take on complex projects that involve lots of negotiation, endless patience and very lengthy time-frames before they are successfully executed.
  • He sticks with them, doggedly crossing all the “T”s and dotting all the “I”s until it’s completed. He then continues to stay involved to ensure that the negotiated terms are being met (by all parties).
  • He is respected by all within ADC and all our labor partners for his hard work and unwavering support and for establishing true team work and partnership with these two different groups.

The ultimate team player, Richard Selapack will receive his NCIA Western Region 2016 Staff Award in April at the NCIA National Convention and Training Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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