For the first time ever, San Quentin State Prison in California is offering a class in coding skills to inmates. The intensive course requires prisoners to attend classes eight hours a day, four days a week, for six months. Eighteen inmates were selected to participate in the class, and many of them have already received training in technology and entrepreneurship and have participated in a Demo Day where they pitched their ideas for startups.
Once the prisoners have completed the program, they hope to work with the Prison Industry Authority to get paying jobs while they are still incarcerated. “That’s my goal, to become a computer programmer behind bars, to become confident and then to take that skill to the streets … as I look for the opportunity to start my business,” inmate Larry Hinston said. “It’s given me hope to continue to strive.”