A council in Lancashire is defending its decision to employ two prisoners.
The inmates from Kirkham Prison are among seven people recruited as binmen by Fylde Council.
Christine Miller, Head of Partnerships at Fylde Borough Council said the inmates were employed as part of a scheme to "support rehabilitation and community integration."
But local business leader Steve Pye said it was "the right idea at the wrong time".
Ms Miller said: "Kirkham is a working prison - every inmate is required to work or they go elsewhere - and their services are used by many organisations within the local community and have been for many years.
"Every one of the 600 plus prisoners is in the final stage of their rehabilitation in preparation for integration into the local community."
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