Again – taking the factory as example which is most likely to produce your cutlery, the worker’s freedom is very reasonable. This factory is situated outside the Beijing area. With all respect – work force for simple tasks are plentiful available in the immediate vicinity of the factory.
The more specialized group, like the tool makers and machine operators, can come from further away. For those people houses are built, together with gardens and air conditioning. Please see the images I took with my cell phone at the end of the Lufthansa inspection.
The mother of the factory owner is a Buddhist. She had a temple built at the far south side of the factory. Any employee is invited to join. But there is no pressure to become a Buddhist. This temple is purely built to avoid too much travelling to the next available option.
Is prison labor used?
No. It could work as part of a re-schooling program, but in our cases this is something we do not do. It is too much hassle and I have not heard that is offered to the factories by the (local) government.