Criminal Justice

Inmates at this prison learn how to be tech entrepreneurs


Select inmates at San Quentin prison in California are learning how to be technology entrepreneurs in a six- month program taught by local experts.

Twelve inmates have graduated from the rigorous program in its first two years, the Associated Press reports. Five have been released from prison and are working in the tech sector where they get guaranteed, paid internships.

Co-founders of the prison program are husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Beverly Parenti and Chris Redlitz. The inmates practice tweeting, learn blogging skills, study business concepts and brainstorm new companies, the story says.

The inmates don’t have access to the Internet, but volunteers help them communicate on the Quora website. One prisoner, 30-year-old David Monroe, recently responded to a question about what it feels like to murder someone.

He said the experience “was the ultimate release for me” but admitted that the crime “has forever pitted my heart with regret and covered it in shame.”

Law Technology News noted the AP story. Reuters also covered the program in February, when inmates discussed their ideas for a fitness app for drug addicts, an e-commerce site for prison artists, and a social network for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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