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Almost half of prisoners in Prague work

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Prague, Oct 1 (CTK) – Out of the total 1237 inmates in Prague prisons, 530 have some work, mostly within the prisons in Ruzyne and Pankrac, and the rest, 168, outside it, Petra Kucerova, spokeswoman for the Prison Authority, has told journalists.

They mostly perform manual work in the food, car, construction, metal and wood-processing industries, Kucerova.

The work has a positive impact, preventing repeated crime, she added.

Several prisoners have been cleaning the streets of Prague 2 since this February.

The pilot project was started with four prisoners and now there are ten of them in the neighbourhood, Kucerova said.

“The prisoners have excellent labour productivity. All of them wear the working clothes of the Komwag company. We can also see a positive response from the general public as people notice a faster street cleaning,” Jan Petruzalek, from Komwag, has told CTK.

The prisoners are checked by Komwag three times a day and by the prison service several times a week.

“Throughout the cooperation since February 2017, no problems have appeared both with regard to the work or the prisoners’ conduct,” Petruzalek said.

The Prazske sluzby (Prague Services) firm which is in charge of waste collection and street cleaning in Prague employs 20 prisoners, its spokesman Radim Mana told CTK.

The prisoners work in manual waste sorting in and near Prague, Mana said.

The Czech prison population is 20,602. Of the inmates, 15,047 are capable to work, while 60 percent of whom really work, Kucerova said.

In order to work outside a prison, a number of conditions must be met. There must be a medical check and interviews with a psychologist, mentor and social worker.

The workplace, too, must fulfil some conditions. Before a contract is signed between a prison and a firm, the workplace is evaluated with regard to the risk of violating the prison sentence law, whether there is the risk of escape or illegal contact and the influence of the environment on health, Ruzyne prison spokesman Dusan Hajek has said.

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