Inmates at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Perryville are using phone systems to build a new life.
A company called Televerde is operating four call centers at Perryville to provide jobs and training to convicts.
The call centre work allows those in prison to save money towards their release. One lady Andria Goodwin, who is serving a five year sentence for fraud, was able to save $8,000 by selling database software packages over the phone.
She said: "You get your dignity back. Working is good for the soul and helps take my mind off of prison."
Televerde workers earn the minimum wage of $7.25, which is better than the 35 cents per hour which they might get for working in the prison laundry (that job which we all see in the movies). The money minus taxes goes towards their expenses while in prison and they can save what is left over.
However, there are many critics of prison employment services especially when a large proportion of the national workforce is unemployed. There has even been one incidence of a serial rapist trying to use a prison job to get sensitive personal information.
Nevertheless Televerde showed astonishing growth last year making over $12 million and it is has a number of large phone system clients including Cisco.
Telephone Systems are increasingly being used to improve the prison experience for inmates.
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