Prisoners have been made to work overtime to produce road signs due to the heavy demand of so many infrastructure projects.
While most of the working population faces job uncertainty, prisoners have been working up to 10 hours a day to keep pace.
'They had to work two hours' overtime every day for a continuous six-month period to rush for the opening of the new airport,' a Stanley prison warden said yesterday.
The basic pay for prisoners was $12.64 per week, but they could earn up to $102.67.
It is understood Hong Kong's once most-wanted man, Yip Kai-foon, is being kept on the first floor of the new three-storey hospital block at Stanley which came into service on Sunday.
The wheelchair-bound Yip was given a lighter workload such as stuffing cotton into dolls.
Yip was paralysed in an exchange of gunfire with police when he landed at a Kennedy Town pier with ammunition from the mainland in May 1996.
Stanley prison has a capacity for 1,584 prisoners, but is holding 1,900.
A new extension, expected to be completed in 2000, will alleviate the overcrowding.