Cyrus Farivar

SAN QUENTIN, CA—It sounds almost like a parody of Silicon Valley: two wealthy San Francisco Bay Area tech veterans want San Quentin State Prison inmates to learn basic computer programming as a way to better themselves.

The eventual goal? That a specially selected group of 18 men be employed as Web designers and developers even before they’re released and then continue beyond prison, competing with coders worldwide. The hope is that given the right skills, recidivism (returning to prison) will decrease.
On Thursday, prisons officials and program organizers invited local media to attend a regular class session of what they’ve dubbed “Code 7370,” a four-day-per-week, eight-hour-per-day, six-month course teaching HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It’s believed to be the first computer coding class taught inside any prison in the United States. Of course, as the class is taught inside a prison, it has an extra obstacle—inmates don’t have access to the Internet at all, and their only time spent with a computer is inside the classroom. (All course materials are saved locally.)
Read 26 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Leave a Reply