“Years ago a relative of mine worked in a call centre for a mobile phone company, she had to be CRB Checked, how’s this going to work with inmates handling peoples personal bank details etc” Paul Smith – Atos Victims Group
The Ministry of Justice is planning to set up call centres inside jails as part of its work programme for prisoners, according to documents promoting the scheme.
The MoJ stressed that the company, UrbanData Ltd, was no longer involved in the programme as it had filed for liquidation this month but the department confirmed they are still interested in setting up call centres from inside the prison estate as part of their programme for expanding ONE3ONE Solutions, formerly known as the Prison Industries Unit.
In a leaflet sent out to various organisations late last year, UrbanData said it could offer “lower costs and overheads” if businesses signed up.
“The opportunity for your organisation is a higher corporate responsibility profile by engaging in a high-profile initiative supported by the Ministry of Justice, lower costs and overheads for trained contract centre agents, flexible resources that can deal with overflow calls and specific projects, all dedicated to growing and supporting your business,” the leaflet read.
Advertising the scheme as a “fantastic rehabilitation revolution” the flyer added that prison-run call centres could offer trained operators “with British Regional [sic] accents as an effective alternative to off shoring operations”. A marketing email sent with the flyer confirmed the plans to get prisoners to work manning phones were backed by the government.