An Indian outsourcing firm is working with prison authorities to set up a 200 man unit to handle back office and data entry functions for businesses worldwide.
Charlapally Central Jail near Hyderabad was chosen because 40 per cent of prisoners are well-educated. Lags will get the chance to learn some skills that might actually get them a job once released.
There will be 200 jobs in the unit - made up of three shifts of about 70 people - to provide 24-hour coverage, the BBC reports.
The prison governor told the Beeb an area had already been found for the computers. The main focus for their work is expected to be back-office functions for banks.
Wages will be far higher than normal for Indian prisoners. Typically jobs like weaving earn a prisoner 15 rupees a day (22 pence) but men working in the offshoring unit will get between 100 and 150 rupees a day (between £1.50 and £2.24).
The pilot project is a private-public partnership between prison officials and Radiant Info Systems. Radiant confirmed the story to the Register.
US prisons have long recognised the economic possibilities of their prisoners and there are a wide variety of public and private businesses which use prison labour. Apart from making license plates and post bags, these include supporting back-office functions and even running call centres for airlines. ®