If you have ever purchased timeshare accommodation from the Sunset World chain in Cancun or the Riviera Maya, you may never have imagined they were sold from the Bryan Federal Prison Camp in Texas, USA.
The project is a pilot program of rehabilitation for low hazard inmate women that Mexican chain Sunset World began in 2007 with support from the Department of Justice of the United States.
These women, mostly bilingual Hispanic, are assigned a salary, which is set by the Department of Justice. Other than that, they have a scale of commissions for generated sales; they also receive weekly incentives if they meet a minimum share packages sold. These incentives are fully covered by the marketing division of Sunset Group.
The operation of this program required the authorization of a call center within the prison, which is operated at 90 percent by the inmates.
“They do not have the permissibility of making outgoing calls; they can only receive calls from potential customers. At the time of the sale, they transfer the call to a verifier, which covers all of the terms and conditions of the vacation package that is being sold while the customer confirms that he understands 100% what he is buying ,” Sunset World owner Arroyo Marroquín said.
“The verifier is a person who works directly for our office here in Cancun, no inmate obtains confidential information from the customer. We work with a number of rules and regulations implemented by the Department of Justice of the United States, which must be respected in its entirety in order to operate in a federal prison, “ he added.
It is a unique project of its kind in the United States in which Sunset Group has invested about five million dollars. “The pilot program will run for one or two years, and until then, we will determine the feasibility of making this a formal rehabilitation program to be replicated in other U.S. federal prisons,” he concluded.