INMATES at a women’s prison near Stafford are being paid to call people and ask them questions about what valuables they have.
Under the scheme at Drake Hall women’s prison in Eccleshall, inmates tell people they are ringing on behalf of a market research company without revealing they are prisoners.
The women are paid £20 a week for their work and government officials say numbers are dialled by computer and the inmates don’t have pens to write numbers down or access to full addresses.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “We prepare offenders for work inside prison so they can get a job after release.
"All prisoners working in call centres are risk-assessed and stringent security measures are in place, with calls supervised and recorded.”
MP Bill Cash said: “That sounds very unwise.
"I have got a meeting with the prison and I will definitely be raising that with them.
"I’m quite sure there are a lot of other things they could be doing."