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November 25, 2014 AT 2:00 am

The Prison Coding Class That Might Have Inmates Making Six Figures On Their Release #makereducation

3038589 slide s 0 san quentin prison

FastCoExist published a piece on San Quentin Prison’s new initiative that teaches inmates coding and computer programming:

Like everyone else in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jason Jones has an idea for a new app. Called “In Touch,” the app would automatically upload information about a student’s schoolwork, so that busy parents can make sure that their kids aren’t flunking. Jones has a personal stake in this. He has three kids himself, and says his parents never cared whether he paid attention at school. “As a result, I was able to cheat my way through high school and college,” he explains.

Jones is going through a coding bootcamp, so he will soon have the skills necessary to start working on his app. But the 31-year-old has never actually used a smartphone, and his Internet experience is limited to casual web browsing. He’s an inmate at California’s San Quentin State Prison—incarcerated since 2006 for assault—who is participating in Code 7370, a six-month intensive computer programming class developed by The Last Mile, a nonprofit program that offers entrepreneurship training for inmates.

Once Jones and his fellow students graduate, they’ll have the opportunity to take real projects from clients. That way, when they’re released from prison, they’ll already have portfolios. Theoretically, they should be able to get work that pays in the six figure range.

Read more.


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