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Inmates Learn Tech Sector From Silicon Valley Pros

Society & Culture  (tags: crime, culture, GoodNews, humans, interesting, internet )

- 1666 days ago -
Graduates, now trickling out of the penal system, are landing real jobs at real dot-coms.

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Phyllis P (237)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 6:50 pm
The program, launched by successful tech entrepreneurs for inmates north of San Francisco in the decaying San Quentin State Prison, has expanded, and a new session began this month in the gritty, downtown Los Angeles Twin Towers Correctional Facility.
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.

They are guaranteed paid internships if they can finish the rigorous training program, which requires prerequisite courses, proven social skills and a lifetime oath to lead by positive example.

In one recent class, while thousands of inmates exercised or played chess in San Quentin's prison yard, students worked their way through a business model, pitching different technology concepts.

Phyllis P (237)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 6:51 pm
Just months after serving 24 years for repeat drug offenses and weapons possession, Chrisfino Kenyatta Leal fed his cat and ironed his shirt before hurrying off to catch a Bay Area Rapid Transit train in to his office in San Francisco.

"I always had an entrepreneurial fire in my belly, I just used it in the wrong way," said Leal, 45.

Sue Matheson (79)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 7:16 pm

Beth S (330)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 8:48 pm
I imagine this will reduce the rate of recidivism significantly.

Henriette Matthijssen (154)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 10:47 pm
Great incentive for them! Thanks Phyllis.

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 11:08 pm
Wיhat a wonderful new initiative.

Arild Gone for now (174)
Monday November 25, 2013, 2:56 am
Thanks Phyllis.

Carmen S (611)
Monday November 25, 2013, 5:10 am
Thanks Phyllis for sharing this good news, wonderful for them that they got that chance.

lee e (114)
Monday November 25, 2013, 8:25 am
Now if we can only do the same for seniors like me! Oh well - I guess some of us get "put out to pasture" - (not really feeling sorry for myself) - I'm glad that the "correctional system" occasionally "corrects and rehabilitates" as it was meant to - good for them!

Franshisca Dearmas (89)
Monday November 25, 2013, 2:40 pm
Noted TY Phyllis

milca V (79)
Monday November 25, 2013, 3:29 pm
thanx Phyllis! now, that s the new world... leaving middle age era behind... ;-) the most important thing on this planet is for people to find a way to have an interesting life... and that helps! great idea!

mar l ene dinkins (264)
Monday November 25, 2013, 4:48 pm
noted ty !!!!

Bob P (394)
Monday November 25, 2013, 7:16 pm

Michael Austin (51)
Monday November 25, 2013, 8:50 pm
Good stuff Phyllis, thanks! This is a good thing for those who want to turn their lives around. But there is one thing I would do different. We have who knows how many college students with student loans trying to do this very same thing. While they take out massive loans for their education, there's no guarantee at all of a job. In fact, many graduates end up flipping burgers for years right along side high school dropouts and seniors looking for a little extra income. What I would change is I would make them sign for a loan, just as students do, payable in installments from their new guaranteed salary when they get out. It's only fair. The last thing we need are people thinking the way to an education is doing something bad enough to land in prison for a couple to 4 years so they can get a free education and a promise of a job.

Susanne R (235)
Monday November 25, 2013, 11:45 pm
Now THAT'S the way to rehabilitate non-violent offenders!

From the article: "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."

By believing in them, bolstering their self-esteem, building their confidence, and providing them with opportunities for gainful employment, they're keeping them from returning to their former way of life. This is a win-win situation!

Thanks for posting this, Phyllis!

. (0)
Tuesday November 26, 2013, 8:59 am
Ty Pyhllis. Good news

PlsNoMessage se (588)
Tuesday November 26, 2013, 9:09 am

Mandi T (367)
Tuesday November 26, 2013, 9:54 am

desanka s (416)
Tuesday November 26, 2013, 11:04 am
Good idea! Glad to see these people are doing something positive with their lives.
Thank you Pyhillis.

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday November 26, 2013, 1:43 pm
Noted, thanks.

JL A (281)
Tuesday November 26, 2013, 3:50 pm
Hopefully these guys have parole officers who also want them to succeed with thhis--historically an awful lot of CA's recidivism was technical violations rather than a re-offense (e.g., a rule of parole like crossing a county line without advance permission, etc.--things that ordinarily aren't crimes).

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 30, 2013, 6:36 pm
Thanks for sharing this, Phyllis! noted.

MmAway M (506)
Wednesday December 4, 2013, 2:55 am
Thank you Phyllis for the news. Just caught this and sorry I am late! Noted & read.

Craig Pittman (52)
Sunday December 8, 2013, 5:18 am
What and innovative program. This is just plane great from every point of view. Thanks for sharing this sharing this story Phyllis.

Sharon Karson (82)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 2:35 pm
What a lovely idea. I hope those trained use it well and not criminally.
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