Thanks to the expansion of a prison program, inmates in California have the chance to gain valuable skills in the field of technology. “The Last Mile” trains inmates in San Quentin State Prison as well as Los Angeles Twin Towers Correctional Facility.
The reason they’re growing is simple: Graduates, now trickling out of the penal system, are landing real jobs at real dot-coms. The rigorous, six-month training teaches carefully selected inmates the ins and outs of designing and launching technology firms, using local experts as volunteer instructors.
“We believe that when incarcerated people are released into the world, they need the tools to function in today’s high-tech, wired world,” says co-founder Beverly Parenti, who with her husband, Chris Redlitz, has launched thriving companies, including AdAuction, the first online media exchange.
After speaking to prison administrators, Parenti and Redlitz decided to add a prison-based firm to their work. “The Last Mile” offers evening lessons to inmates twice a week; many of whom have been incarcerated since before the days of smartphones or the internet.
Inmates are guaranteed paid internships if they complete the rigorous training program meaning: prerequisite courses, proven social skills and a lifetime oath to lead by example.
Sounds like a great opportunity for those who may have made the wrong choices to redeem themselves.
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