Using Prisoners for call centre work

Using prisoners for call centre work

Using Prisoners for call centre work is now a thing

Well that’s one way to improve your retention rates!

A Call Centre operated by Corrective Service Industries employees 15 convicts at Dillwynia jail in Windsor to call schools, hospital and government agencies to collect personal details for outside clients who pay for the service.

Reported by the Daily Telegraph, CSI touts itself as a “cost-effective business solution achieving major commercial and social outcomes” and has generated $24 million in profits last financial year.

Murderer Keli Lane and Belinda Van Krevel are paid $25 per week to call schools to update basic database contact information.

Convicts do not call private individuals or homes, and they do not speak to children.

Of the 9 years of operation, the contact centre has not had an incident.

The Department of Education and Communities said the call centre was not working for them.

Van Krevel’s boyfriend, Marshall Gould, said yesterday that she enjoyed the work for which she wore a uniform and earned $25 a week — a fortune behind bars.

“It’s updating records and is for companies who sell data records,” Mr Gould said.

The prisoners are told to identify themselves using just their first names.

Convicted killer Keli Lane works in a prison call centre
Baby killer Keli Lane is amongst 15 prisoners working in the call centre at Dillwynia jail in Windsor.

Former elite water polo player Lane, 38, is serving a sentence of at least 13 years five months after being convicted three years ago of killing her two-day-old baby Tegan.

Van Krevel, 33, was jailed for at least two years earlier this month after admitting to wounding Mr Gould with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Despite his wounds, he is sticking by her.

It is her second stint in jail after serving seven years for soliciting the murder of her father, Jack Van Krevel, in 2000.

Her then-boyfriend Keith Schreiber was found guilty of the killing and jailed for life.

Ms Brownlee said parents would be shocked to learn that any information about their children’s schools was being secretly collected by criminals.

“I would have liked to think that as parents, we would have been told that this went on,” Ms Brownlee said.

“If there is a sharing of data between schools and other agencies, we would think the P and C would have been notified about it and how the data is being used.

It’’s something that is most concerning.”

NSW Primary Principals’ Association president Geoff Scott said it “wasn’t ideal” to have killers calling schools but staff who answered calls had strict protocols when it came to giving out information.

The call centre is run as part of Corrective Services Industries, the commercial arm of Corrective Services NSW which gives prisoners work skills.

It made a profit of $24 million in the previous financial year.

A prisons spokesman said it had operated for nine years without incident.

He said the calls were closely monitored and recorded by prison officers and inmates were vetted and assessed for their suitability.

The system did not allow inmates to dial any number other than those assigned to them and inmates read from a script when on the phone, the spokesman said.

“The inmates call government agencies and businesses to update basic database contact information.

They do not call private individuals or homes and they do not speak to children,” he said.

Given the increasing prison population and the apparent distaste of offshore call centres, is a solution to keep the call centre work in Australia and have it performed by inmates?

What do you think, is using prisoners for call centre work a good idea?

Recommended reading: Learn more about call centre outsourcing in Australia

Find a list of call centres outsourcers by country and skill in our CX Directory >

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