Philippines eyeing prison call centers

Inmates may soon work as operators, thanks to an initiative to help convicts get a better chance in reintegrating back into society and finding employment.

The Philippines is launching an initiative that could soon see call centers being set up in prisons and run by inmates.

The move is a program, dubbed BILIB I.T., that aims to give convicts new skills to raise their chances of employment and reintegrating back into society upon release, according to the Inquirer Tuesday.

"We’ll see if we can try building call centers inside jail facilities to help these detainees utilize their training and gain employment," said senator Alan Peter Cayetano in the article.

Scholarships for IT courses would be awarded to qualified inmates, according to Cayetano, to least 200 inmates initially with plans to double the number.

Among the courses to be offered are Basic IT, Adobe Photoshop, computer hardware servicing and a finishing course for call center agents, which would include English proficiency and web design, noted the Inquirer.

The senator played down security concerns and cited a similar program in the United States where "inmates do call center work for nonsensitive matters".

According to Cayetano, those who might be part of the program include people who have served their sentence but prefer to live inside the penal community due to lack of skills necessary to rejoin the work force, detainees who have minimum security, and those inmates with sentences not longer than six years.


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