Vinarice, Central Bohemia, Aug 29 (CTK) – A Czech mobile operator has launched its call centre in the Vinarice prison, which will secure in the next two years jobs for up to 100 inmates, who will not have access to the clients’ data, however, Vera Babisova told journalists yesterday.
Babisova, executive secretary of the founder firm, said the prisoners who will offer the tariffs, will be chosen out from some 400 applicants who will be assessed by a commission including a doctor, a psychologist, a special teacher and a representative of the prison, and they will have to undergo a retraining course.
“The retraining course lasts two to three months and is comprised of 120 hours of theory and 30 hours of practice. The prison will mainly learn the art of communication and fundamental IT knowledge,” Babisova said.
The telephone numbers which the prisoners will call will be randomly selected by a special application. The convicts can only get the name of the person they call. If the person shows interest in the offered tariff, the prisoner will hand the client’s name and telephone number to civilian employees of the call centre’s founder. The centre’s applications will be operated by secured servers outside the prison.
A call centre functioned in Vinarice in the past already, but it was closed down over reports that the prisoners gain sensitive data during their work.
Babisova said, however, this is not possible and the prisoners cannot make private calls from the call centre.
Justice Minister Robert Pelikan also dismissed the rumours.
“The employment of prisoners is an exceptionally strong priority of the Justice Ministry. A call centre is generally considered a strongly suitable way of employing the convicts,” he told journalists yesterday.
The Prison Service says the rate of relapse into crime dropped from the national average of 70 percent to 18 percent among the participants of the original Vinarice call centre project.
The state spends nine billion crowns on the prison administration annually, the costs per prisoner run into several dozens of thousands of crowns.
The prisoners who work can repay their debts, pay the costs of their prison stay and they can help maintain their families.
The call centre workers get 4500 crowns a month.
The cost of the call centre project of 8.3 million crowns has been covered by the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry.
Last year, 55 percent of prisoners worked. This year, the rate has increased by 19 percent.
($1=23.928 crowns)