Prague’s Newest Call Center is in a Prison

Convicts at Vinařická prison are now being employed by a call center that services T-Mobile and other clients

If you happen to receive an unsolicited call from T-Mobile in the Czech Republic in the near future, you might find yourself speaking with a convict currently serving time.

That’s because the company is employing the services of what might be Prague’s most unusual call center: Vinařická prison, located near Kladno.

The Czech Ministry of Justice, along with T-Mobile and the telemarketing firm A-Giga, are behind the new project, reports

Inmates operating the lines not only act on behalf of operator T-Mobile, but also other companies who employ the services of A-Giga.

Convicts will only take basic information from the prospective customers they reach, according to the iDnes article, while more detailed info will be handled by employees outside the of prison.

To work in the new call center, prisoners must pass certain requirements including a training course certified by the Ministry of Justice. In total, 90 convicts will be selected for the job from a pool of a 900-inmate population.

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This is the second time the prison call center project has been initiated. It previously ran from 2012-14, but was stopped due to concerns that prisoners had access to sensitive personal information.

For inmates themselves, however, the call center might have been a successful form of rehabilitation. The rate of recidivism among convicts employed for the project was 18%, compared to the usual 70%.

“We believe that this social innovation will put us in line with other developed, modern countries where employing sentenced individuals is entirely normal,” said T-Mobile CEO Milan Vašina.

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