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Now, Prisoners to Run BPOs

SI Team
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
SI Team
Ever imagined, why do we convict criminals and offenders? The sole reason is to rehabilitate their mindset and make them realize their mistakes to help them transform to become better human beings. But do the prisons in India have any such facility?

According to a national financial daily, there’s one in Hyderabad’s Cherlapally Central Jail, which would have a BPO unit in its premises. It is a public private partnership where the global IT firm Radiant Info Systems will invest money and expertise in the unit and the establishment space along with the manpower would be provided by the prison authorities.
With a strength of around 70 odd inmates in one shift, the BPO will run in three shifts. The prisoners will work from within the 'closed space' of the BPO office and will be taken out of the locked enclosure at the beginning and end of each shift.

Jail officials say that the ‘interest level and aptitude’ of the inmates will be considered before involving them in this ambitious project. According to C N Gopinatha Reddy, Director General of Prisons, Andhra Pradesh, as many as 200-250 inmates could be engaged in the BPO unit and they will be shortlisted from inmates that are matriculates and graduates. Officials explain that those shortlisted would first be trained by experts and later absorbed by the BPO company.

"For starters, the convicts working at the BPO would not have access to phones as is the case in a call center. They would be involved in bank-related work of data entry and transfer," says Reddy. "The idea is to ensure that on being released, the prisoners find it easy to get absorbed in the mainstream. Prisoners often find getting suitable employment post release a tough task. So, this is an attempt to ensure that their employers know them well in advance."

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