The next time you dial 12 to get information on phone numbers and addresses in Italy, the operator could be someone serving time in Milans S. Vittore prison. As part of a project by Telecom Italia and prisoners association Out&Sider, a team has been created of 26 operators and four managers, mostly drug-related offenders. Prisoners had to undergo a strenuous selection process to get the job and are now expected to answer an average of 300 calls daily and work five seven-hour shifts a week. In return they are guaranteed monthly earnings of 1,000. Marco Tronchetti Provera, managing director of Telecom Italia, explains that this is a "proper job offering exactly the same sort of contract available in the 73 other call centers throughout Italy." According to justice minister Roberto Castelli there has been a 20 per cent increase since 2001 in the amount of prisoners in Italy working for associations, cooperatives and private companies.