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Inmates Program Logistics App For Prison

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the there's-an-app-for-that dept.

Software 98

schweini writes "Inmates in an Oklahoma prison developed software that attempts to streamline the prison's food logistics. A state representative found out, and he's trying to get every other prison in Oklahoma to use it, too. According to the Washington Post, 'The program tracks inmates as they proceed through food lines, to make sure they don’t go through the lines twice... It can help the prison track how popular a particular meal is, so purchasers know how much food to buy in the future. And it can track tools an inmate checks out to perform their jobs.' The program also tracks supply shipments into the system, and it showed that food supplier Sysco had been charging different prices for the same food depending on which facility it was going to. Another state representative was impressed, but realized the need for oversight: 'If they build on what they’ve done here, they actually have to script it out. If you have inmates writing code, there has to be a continual auditing process. Food in prison is a commodity. It’s currency.'"

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98 comments

Teaching Software Development (5, Interesting)

RunFatBoy.net (960072) | about 6 months ago | (#45305295)

Since the code needs to be audited anyways, it'd be a great chance for an instructor to introduce code reviews and/or pull requests. And maybe during that process, help enlighten other curious inmates as to how the system and programming works.

-- Jim
Your website could be better. Getting weekly feedback [weeklyfeedback.com] is a good starting point.

Re:Teaching Software Development (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305597)

OP presumes prison inmates aren't developers?

There's probably more talent behind bars than at CGI or HP...

Re:Teaching Software Development (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 6 months ago | (#45306307)

TFA says one was a murderer, perhaps one of the inmates was Hans Reiser.

Re:Teaching Software Development (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45307881)

In Oklahoma? Wasn't that a California thing?

I can streamline the ENTIRE prison system.Save taxpayer money, cut state and federal jobs and get legislators back on the f*cking ball.
Release all nonviolent/non-sex crime offenders and make them responsible for any and all restitution. Feed what remains the minimum required to sustain life without promoting strength UNLESS they are willing to pay for it by helping to maintain state roads and ditches. When someone is in prison for a long time, long term goals don't seem so important, so motivation fails to come to improve character, thus creating a self feeding problem; prisoners with time on their hands and nothing good to do.

It isn't so important to let a bunch of Okie child molesters, gang bangers, murderers and scum learn to code, as it is to wring out some of the cost society has invested in them. We do not want to kill them, but we do not want them to live longer than it takes to make some amends. They are worthless to us, that is why they are in prison, to separate us from them. No point in investing more in them while they can still produce a profit. Prisoners can farm their own food, form production lines for local manufacturing, pay the costs of the employees, offset costs for road maintenance, stamp license plates and refocus their energy till they meet a maker or a worm. In fact, if we follow historical trends, we can even utilize the remains of a dead prisoner in compost, cutting funeral expenses.
Meanwhile non violent offenders don't take up the $90000 per unit per year that all used to, in fact they are now responsible for expending the majority of their income to erase signs of their burden to others, til it is satisfied. Now we have a working system, financially, morally and judiciously.
Contact your state congressperson for a discussion of details.

Re:Teaching Software Development (1)

tragedy (27079) | about 6 months ago | (#45308891)

[Screed about how we prisons should be filled with starved slaves, being worked to death] Now we have a working system, financially, morally and judiciously.

Some people's definition of what constitutes morality leaves a lot to be desired.

Re:Teaching Software Development (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45311785)

Any ruleset is 'morality'. Even nazi's had morality - albeit different ethical standards than us. Evil is not lack of morality, only a different standard.

Re:Teaching Software Development (1)

tragedy (27079) | about 6 months ago | (#45312417)

Ok, and I said that the GGP's definition of morality left a lot to be desired. So did the Nazi's. As a matter of fact, in this particular area, the GGP's system of morality seems to align quite well with the Nazi one.

Re:Teaching Software Development (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 6 months ago | (#45320141)

No, you dumbshit. They are in prison to REHABILITATE them, not to separate "them" from "us".

Not to mention your proposal would violate state, federal, and international laws.

Re:Teaching Software Development (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305643)

And maybe during that process, help enlighten other curious inmates as to how the system and programming works.

And five years from now, Google and Microsoft and Facebook will be whining how there simply aren't enough prisoners to meet IT demands.

Sorry, but I'll stick with the H1Bs.

Re:Teaching Software Development (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 6 months ago | (#45305987)

I'm not sure whether to laugh of to start arranging alibis.

Re:Teaching Software Development (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#45307437)

I'm not sure whether to laugh of to start arranging alibis.

What good will your alibi do you when your job is replaced by a $2.30/hour 'work experience' inmate and you are arrested for "vagrancy"?

The postbellum confederacy had this system down to a science; but there is no reason that it wouldn't work elsewhere...

Re:Teaching Software Development (1)

PrimeNumber (136578) | about 6 months ago | (#45307807)

Odd you should mention that, but that is what I really think the cuts to welfare are intended to do. More reasons to place more people in prison.

Re:Teaching Software Development (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#45308929)

What good will your alibi do you when your job is replaced by a $2.30/hour 'work experience' inmate and you are arrested for "vagrancy"?

It will get you a job for $2.30 an hour apparently, which is fine since housing and food costs are free.

Re:Teaching Software Development (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 6 months ago | (#45305693)

Awesome idea, with but one flaw... ...who is going to hire a ex-convict, especially in a role that most corporations consider to be sensitive? It could certainly spur entrepreneurial ideas, yes, but the vast majority likely won't be able to use the skills.

Kinda sucks IMHO, because many prisoners are in there because they had no real opportunity before they got arrested... but it is what it is, and no one is going to hire an ex-con to write code. Hell, they rarely get hired to do skilled blue-collar labor as it is.

Re:Teaching Software Development (3, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45306107)

There's approximately ten billion* startups being launched every day, and each startup benefits from a couple decent coders. The individual startups might not all be viable in the long term, but if anyone is going to be willing to jump from opportunity to opportunity, I'd think it would be an ex-con.

*May include other galactic civilizations

Re:Teaching Software Development (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#45306715)

who is going to hire a ex-convict?

How would they know if the applicant was an ex-convict? Some employers do background checks, but most do not. Few even bother to cross check information on the resume. If someone is willing to rob a bank, they probably would have few compunctions about lying on a resume.

There was an article [economist.com] in the Economist Magazine a few months ago, that said people with criminal records performed better in some jobs: firms routinely cull job candidates with a criminal record. Yet the data suggest that for certain jobs there is no correlation with work performance. Indeed, for customer-support calls, people with a criminal background actually perform a bit better.

Re:Teaching Software Development (1)

belmolis (702863) | about 6 months ago | (#45308999)

Spending a few years in prison tends to leave an awkward gap in your employment history.

Re:Teaching Software Development (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#45309153)

Spending a few years in prison tends to leave an awkward gap in your employment history.

Which is easily fixed using a sophisticated technique called "making stuff up".

Re:Teaching Software Development (2)

kermidge (2221646) | about 6 months ago | (#45309193)

In my state it's illegal to ask if one is a felon on a job application.* Further, if the company later finds out and fires you, that's illegal as well. Guess how many companies have been prosecuted, let alone indicted. Zero.

*I don't remember how it's phrased or dealt with, but there is a requirement for disclosure if your felony is directly related to the position being applied for, i.e., one convicted of fraud or embezzlement applying to be a bank teller. (My approach was for some place that had an HR chain, tell 'em squat. When talking with an owner or a real manager, I'd tell 'em straight up, "Btw, FWIW, I have a felony conviction; if it might be a problem for you down the road I thought you should know." Most appreciated it, a few slammed the door, most, if it might be of concern, discussed it with me.)

A reason for ex-cons being better at, say, customer support is that being in prison tends to develop and hone inter-personal skills. I'm not talking about "go along to get along" crap, but the reality of communicating effectively with people with wide diversity in personal background, culture, and intelligence, and their own varying grasp of those skills. (I've also met some fine people behind bars - there's quite the variance of sharp, intelligent, well-read, even wise. In my locale it was also a place to try picking up a bit of Spanish. At some point, "If you don't mind, what was your hometown like?" opened doors - and people.)

If all somebody knows of prison, police, and the justice system comes from television, then they know little to nothing of the reality of it.

And you're right. Finding an employer who'll knowingly hire an ex-con is non-trivial in the extreme. Back when, only places I found in a city of 50k and lots of manufacturing and its infrastructure were a bar owner I knew from before and the porn shop. Only things they cared about were if I did the work and was honest.

Re:Teaching Software Development (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45307783)

Bingo. In the IT field, companies I've found don't give a flying fuck about your -conviction- record. They check your NCIC -arrest- record. I asked a HR droid about this, and their answer was:

"You can buy off a conviction, but if you ever had handcuffs put on, put in a patrol car, and was booked, you are guilty of -something-, thus a criminal. No cop wants to bother with arrest paperwork unless they have a real reason."

I have worked at places where a perfectly good candidates, even ones far better than me, are not hired because they were arrested and charges dropped. That stupid arrest and night in the drunk tank before having charges dropped might mean a scarlet letter for life.

Teaching Information Leakage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45311261)

Awesome idea, with but one flaw... ...who is going to hire a ex-convict, especially in a role that most corporations consider to be sensitive?

Companies hire "information wants to be free (Arrrrr!)" and "down with patents/copyright" people all the time. Just ask the NSA.

Re:Teaching Software Development (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#45307417)

Since the code needs to be audited anyways, it'd be a great chance for an instructor to introduce code reviews and/or pull requests. And maybe during that process, help enlighten other curious inmates as to how the system and programming works.

-- Jim Your website could be better. Getting weekly feedback [weeklyfeedback.com] is a good starting point.

Plus, when compared to SAIC or other obligate parasites of the state, a few rapists and murders are probably refreshingly honest and easy to deal with.

Re: Teaching Software Development (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45307687)

Great another way to crap on devs... Won't be long, Microsoft will be sponsoring the free labor!

so now codeing will pay $0.13 HR + lockup costs (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#45308019)

so now codeing will pay $0.13 HR + lockup costs.

But may be better then HB1

ERP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305305)

So.... the prison business in Oklahoma needs an ERP. Wait. Oklahoma. Of course it wasn't obvious to them!

Re:ERP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305631)

So.... the prison business in Oklahoma needs an ERP. Wait. Oklahoma. Of course it wasn't obvious to them!

Oracle, SAP and who knows maybe even CGI will sue because this wasn't put out for bid. Either that or state legislators, and members of Congress from Oklahoma, won't be getting their bri ... um, donations next time around.

Inmates writing code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305369)

Sounds like the plot of The Shawshank Redemption 2: Electric Bugaboo

Food in prison is a commodity. It’s currency (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 6 months ago | (#45305407)

How can food in prison be a commodity? Are the prisoners not fed enough?

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | about 6 months ago | (#45305453)

It's not supposed to be a currency: prisoners are all supposed to be fed the same thing and are not allowed to swap or trade items.

I don't know where this choice of "popular" comes from: if you don't want to eat something, it gets discarded after being served to you.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305789)

Yeah, doesn't work that way inside.

There are definitely popular food items that are used as currency and if you don't eat all your own food it's likely either someone else will (or you'll be reprimanded), and that dude who eats your leftovers is just going to get that much bigger and stronger because of it. Ever wonder how those guys get so ripped in prison? It's not because of the engineered 3000 calorie a day diet. They steal food, coerce food from other inmates and trade things for extra food.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305877)

Most people get fat in prison, not ripped. You're fed a low-quality, high-fat diet, and exercise is strictly limited. It's not like they keep a gym stocked with freeweights ready to be used to smash a guard's face in.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (1)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#45308743)

Most people get fat in prison, not ripped.

True. But not the smarter, motivated prisoners. I'm sure they can find some fatso who will trade protein for extra cupcakes.

Google 'Prison Workout Book'. There are a lot of books out on how to get/stay in shape without gym equipment.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305457)

Do I get paid enough? Ask me when the bills are coming in. There is enough for my basic needs and enough for my wants. The same goes for food.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (4, Insightful)

Shoten (260439) | about 6 months ago | (#45305483)

How can food in prison be a commodity? Are the prisoners not fed enough?

Is this a real question?

In prison, real currency is not allowed. However, humans are inherently commercial creatures, and consequently a system of barter results in the absence of any kind of hard currency upon which to base trade. What is needed is something with intrinsic value but which is also universally valued by most (if not all) of a population. Food is perfect for this: let's say you want something from another inmate. You may pass on eating a meal, instead giving it to the other guy in exchange for the thing you want. But, if you can go through the line twice, you can have your cake and eat it too.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (3, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 6 months ago | (#45305747)

What is needed is something with intrinsic value but which is also universally valued by most (if not all) of a population. Food is perfect for this: let's say you want something from another inmate.

Nota Bene: Food in prison can also be considered a raw material - bread for instance can be turned into alcohol with the right know-how, or fruits fermented for the same purpose.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 6 months ago | (#45313413)

Yes it is a real question.

You may pass on eating a meal, instead giving it to the other guy in exchange for the thing you want.

If the other guy has sufficient food available, he will not want your meal. Prisoners going hungry seems cruel to me.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (1)

Shoten (260439) | about 6 months ago | (#45317789)

Yes it is a real question.

Okay, then...let's break this down...

You may pass on eating a meal, instead giving it to the other guy in exchange for the thing you want.

If the other guy has sufficient food available, he will not want your meal.

Exhibit A: epidemic obesity. All kinds of people obviously want more food than they need.

Exhibit B: how many people eat to deal with depression and stress...and while I've never been to prison, I don't think it's a very happy place with lots of things you can indulge in.

Exhibit C: as stated above, many components of a meal can be used to make things like fermented alcoholic beverages. So it's not always food, per se, that is being traded but rather the precursors of other things which are also desirable.

And you assume that every single prisoner has the exact same caloric needs...whether they're a skinny old guy or an 18-year-old who is hitting the weights every chance they get. I find it profoundly impossible for that to be true.

Prisoners going hungry seems cruel to me.

You do know what a prison IS, don't you? Seriously?

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 6 months ago | (#45318159)

And you assume that every single prisoner has the exact same caloric needs...whether they're a skinny old guy or an 18-year-old who is hitting the weights every chance they get. I find it profoundly impossible for that to be true.

No, I assume the prisoners get to choose the amount, or get sufficient that it is enough for everyone. The latter will obviously mean a lot is wasted.

You do know what a prison IS, don't you? Seriously?

It is a place where people lose their freedom in order to punish and rehabilitate them.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 6 months ago | (#45305549)

How can food in prison be a commodity? Are the prisoners not fed enough?

Didn't you see that Clint Eastwood Alcatraz movie? How did Al Capone get paid off for a case dime? Dessert, every day for a couple of weeks IIRC.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#45305699)

Got it in one.

The prison system hopes to convince inmates to integrate harmoniously with society once they are let out by teaching them that society is a heartless bastard and their sworn enemy. Then it creates the necessary conditions for a thriving black market so they won't go into the drug trade.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 months ago | (#45305799)

Apparently not. If everyone can have as much food as they like, the demand does not exceed the supply, and food would be valueless as a currency.
With prisons being run by private companies, I can see an incentive to give the prisoners less to increase the profits.
Or to use it as an (illegal) carrot/stick to get prisoners to behave.

But there is a real problem lurking in having prisoners write logistics software - if prisoners or their capos control the food supply, they can create a shortage, which would boost the value of food as a currency.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#45306799)

If everyone can have as much food as they like, the demand does not exceed the supply, and food would be valueless as a currency.

Not true. Last time I was in jail (Santa Clara County Jail), we could have as much bread and peanut butter as we wanted. Everything else was limited. So nobody went hungry, but the good stuff (meat/desserts) was still used as currency.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 months ago | (#45308475)

Not true. Last time I was in jail (Santa Clara County Jail), we could have as much bread and peanut butter as we wanted. Everything else was limited. So nobody went hungry, but the good stuff (meat/desserts) was still used as currency.

In other words, they couldn't have as much as they wanted of meat and desserts - there was an artificial scarcity with the demand higher than the supply. I.e. just what I said earlier.

If prisoners never get served anything that there isn't enough of, food is useless as a currency. If you cannot serve enough [insert item] to satisfy everyone, then serve something else which you can provide enough of. If you do, there will be no food bartering. If you don't, you're introducing an artificial scarcity and encouraging trading and exploitation, where the strong exploit the weak.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (4, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#45309101)

trading and exploitation, where the strong exploit the weak.

Trading does not imply exploitation. In fact, it implies the opposite: two willing traders. I am a vegetarian, so I when I was in jail, I was happy to trade away the meat, but not the dessert (I love sweet stuff). Several other inmates offered to do my toilet cleaning duty in exchange for the meat. I declined, because I don't actually mind cleaning toilets (as long as I can take a shower when I am done). So I mostly exchanged food for votes on the TV channel. I built up enough votes to watch the PBS Newshour every Friday (when Brooks and Shields do the analysis of the week's news). Sometimes I even had enough votes to watch Gwen Ifill on Washington Week. It was in a county jail, not a "real" prison, and Santa Clara is not a typical county, but I never saw "the strong exploit the weak". Mostly they were a great bunch of guys, and we all cooperated to keep the area clean and running smooth. It was also a great way to improve my conversational Spanish. The food trading was an open and fair process. Nobody was coerced, and nobody ever went hungry.

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about 6 months ago | (#45307107)

With prisons being run by private companies, I can see an incentive to give the prisoners less to increase the profits.

That's a valid concern, although it should be noted in this case that the prison in the story is one of the public ones. (Oklahoma does have some privately-run prisons, but this isn't one of them.)

Re:Food in prison is a commodity. It’s curre (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 6 months ago | (#45309703)

How can food in prison be a commodity? Are the prisoners not fed enough?

Of course they are. It's easy to make sure they're fed enough since we know all humans require the exact same number of calories a day.

Just like how prisoners are able to safely serve out their sentence (to be separated from society and freedom for a specified amount of time) and aren't subjected to things that aren't part of their punishment (like physical violence and sexual assault by other inmates).

Basic Opperations... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305409)

They should already know all of these things through the most basic operations procedures. Oh, but why am I not surprised? Obviously you dont dare hire someone with an MBA to be the COO on a public project because they cant possibly be worth their salary. "Government should be run like a business" except when it comes to actually running it like a business with professional managers.

K. I'll take my down-mods now for suggesting that professionals be involved in management.

Auditing (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 6 months ago | (#45305475)

If you have inmates writing code, there has to be a continual auditing process. Food in prison is a commodity. It’s currency.

I see a new idea for the Underhanded C Contest.

(Also, you just know those prisons won't have proper physical separation between security infrastructure and logistics.)

popularity? (-1, Troll)

Xicor (2738029) | about 6 months ago | (#45305543)

wow, we really need to get our government to figure out the prison system. there shouldnt be "popular" food. they should all be served the same glop day by day with no variety so they learn to not misbehave.

Re:popularity? (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | about 6 months ago | (#45305647)

Right, because prison's such a nice place, on account of all the delicious food.

Re:popularity? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#45305801)

Or, they could simply cook their food to increase their self-reliance. As a bonus, it's of no use for the self-sufficient prisoner to grumble about the cook!

Re:popularity? (1)

Xicor (2738029) | about 6 months ago | (#45306273)

there are people who go to prison on purpose for shelter, food, tv, air conditioning, healthcare and clothing. think of all the tax dollars we are wasting on their gourmet food.

Re:popularity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305723)

they should all be served the same glop day by day with no variety so they learn to not misbehave.

Ahhh, the old "floggings will continue until morale improves" gambit.
How can I subscribe to your newsletter?

Re:popularity? (4, Insightful)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 6 months ago | (#45305725)

Maybe you should talk to a therapist until this sick desire to hurt people goes away.

Re:popularity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45306335)

It is certainly symptomatic of a callous, mean spirited and probably sick individual. But it is also the mindset of many, many Americans. And one of the reasons why we have such a huge prison population.

Re:popularity? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 6 months ago | (#45305777)

there shouldnt be "popular" food. they should all be served the same glop day by day with no variety so they learn to not misbehave.

Problem is, humans require at least some variety of foods in order to achieve basic nutrition. Prisons did try serving something all-inclusive [wikipedia.org] , but apparently it's only used as punishment nowadays, and IIRC some states have banned its use.

Re:popularity? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#45305895)

there shouldnt be "popular" food. they should all be served the same glop day by day with no variety so they learn to not misbehave.

Why do you like prison riots? People who actually deal with this, like wardens, say that decent food is a good way to keep the peace. Punishment? Getting locked up behind steel and concrete is punishment even if you get half decent food.

Re:popularity? (1)

eyenot (102141) | about 6 months ago | (#45306213)

More importantly, they should be served the same *nutritious* glop day by day, to ensure that they don't die in custody of cruel and unusual treatment such as malnutrition.

I am 10,000% certain that nearly every food that is "popular" with institutional crowds is far from healthy.

Rehab (3, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#45305577)

At least they're learning a skill that will be useful after they get out of prison. No wait ... that was before they shipped all the jobs offshore. I'll bet being a car thief pays better than flipping burgers, so maybe these guys ought to teach economics.

Re:Rehab (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#45306019)

At least they're learning a skill that will be useful after they get out of prison.

It's only a matter of time before some prison starts running its own MBA program.

They should use ReiserFS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305599)

ReiserFS would be perfect for this!

HA HA HA IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305671)

I'VE BEEN IN A COMA SINCE 2004
>Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like 0GG.

Re:HA HA HA IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 6 months ago | (#45306351)

Don't tell me you're Hans Reiser's wife, who framed him for her (faked) death and taunts him in prison by sending him print outs of the NTFS codebase?

Could it be?

This isn't new stuff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305649)

A while back, a contractor was trying to pitch to the private corrections industry another mechanism, ironically named PRISM. It had fiber optic bracelets clapped on the prisoners and was supposed to monitor them at all times, including if two prisoners flagged as enemies were near each other, it would notify the COs, would sound an alarm if a prisoner was too near the perimeter, would sound an alarm if the bracelet was cut (which was going to be an automatic year in solitary), and so on.

Said system never materialized, or had much interest.

Maybe the internal prison developed stuff might be better, but this was already pitched.

Re:This isn't new stuff... (1)

Cederic (9623) | about 6 months ago | (#45308241)

Hmm. If instead of sounding an alarm it exploded, ideally decapitating the prisoner, we could make an Arnold Schwarzegger movie that includes it as a plot element.

oh, wait..

Re:This isn't new stuff... (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 6 months ago | (#45320221)

There was a series of movies called "Fortress" that covered it too. Except that was just a ball that sat in the intestine... and exploded if you annoyed anyone. Like the building's idiotic AI that couldn't apparently keep track of who had already been killed.

:%s/rice/heroin/g (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305717)

Just saying, maybe you'd have to continually audit the code.

Alcatraz movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305769)

I was just thinking, tracking shipments in and out. Were they trying to spy on the escape routes and got caught? "Uhhh, we were trying to help food lines be more efficient, yeah, efficient food lines, that's the ticket..."

Dear warden: (1)

pla (258480) | about 6 months ago | (#45305873)

If you have inmates writing code, there has to be a continual auditing process. Food in prison is a commodity. It’s currency.

Dear Warden:

These inmates have done your job better than you have. They have saved me, the taxpayer, your boss, money.

If these guys can streamline your own systems, I really don't give the least damn if they can live like kings (to the greatest extent possible while locked in a government cage). Fucking let them!.

Re:Dear warden: (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | about 6 months ago | (#45309005)

If you have inmates writing code, there has to be a continual auditing process. Food in prison is a commodity. It’s currency. Dear Warden: These inmates have done your job better than you have. They have saved me, the taxpayer, your boss, money. If these guys can streamline your own systems, I really don't give the least damn if they can live like kings (to the greatest extent possible while locked in a government cage). Fucking let them!.

Much as it might irritate you, you are no more the Warden's boss than you are the boss of the McDonald's employee who only gave you 1 sauce packet with your 20 piece "chicken" nuggets. You are a consumer, you are the indirect source of their income, and you are ultimately supposed to be served by both these things, but you are not the boss.

They found an error in the SQL Code... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45305887)

DROP SOAP;

Jail Break? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45306223)

I hear the software runs on an iPhone - but only if Jail Broken...

Same thing happens in other state prisons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45306333)

here in california, the furniture factory at ASP uses a combination of state provided software as well as an inmate written order processing and part requesting software.. the education department also has inmate written software that tracks materials, class progress and achievement. all written using microsoft access 2003, as anything better than that is not allowed.

the state should take advantage of the the technical talent that finds its way into the system. free software development ftw!

everything in prison is money though. not just food.

Food to buy? how about farming the land? (2)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 6 months ago | (#45306769)

Food to buy? how about farming the land? Raise cattle,pigs,chickens,eggs. grow as much of there own food as humanly possible with the avable land. Make Mushroom houses for the lifers to work at. One Prison in PA, Gratersfort had hundreds of acres surrounding it. Put them to work save money for us. Would make time go faster also.

Re:Food to buy? how about farming the land? (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 6 months ago | (#45306807)

Don't know why you were downmodded. Prison farming works very well in South Carolina.

http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20100727/PC1602/307279946 [postandcourier.com]

Re:Food to buy? how about farming the land? (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 6 months ago | (#45308017)

This site is a joke heres where i got modded troll which one i made a mistake thats not being a troll which i also said i made a mistake second one who the fuck knows why the only way to get good mod poing is to make bad jokes.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4388217&cid=45271995 [slashdot.org] http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4365301&cid=45202781 [slashdot.org] http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4356513&cid=45181897 [slashdot.org]
I think downmodders should have there names in the open to weedf out the cowards

Were they BLACK inmates? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45307075)

Thought not.

Did they check for.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45307829)

Backdoors!
(ducks)

Cruel & Unusual (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about 6 months ago | (#45308587)

While code audits are necessary, code audits by OK bureaucrats is clearly a violation of the 8th amendment.

Personally (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 6 months ago | (#45308763)

Personally I'd have no trouble with hiring someone who'd been incarcerated for something I don't think should be a crime, like possession or growing of cannabis.

A breath of sanity... (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 6 months ago | (#45308847)

Thank god this state is like this. I am in VA. Let us just say that I -was- in prison for a 'short' while. I am not a good coder. I am a hardware and network geek. I had a friend inside who wrote an application to track offender good time, housing, release dates etc. It spread from that prison to others (he worked in a computer class, and it was passed off as being written by the instructor). Later, someone found out it was inmate written, they gave him 'institutional' charges related to computer fraud - no real legal system charges -, transferred him to another prison and revoked -any- use of a computer for a job.

The system continued to be used by various prisons in the state (not all but most of them). Then the decree came on high that the state IT management corp (headed by northropp grumman) would write a new system. Guess what? It still contains code written by him.

We have both since been released, and guess what. It is hard to get a job. So I started my own web design (mostly template wordpress and drupal), and pc repair/consulting business. It has been slowly and hard, but now I am contracting to one of the bigger (but still small) repair firms in town and I am doing okay.

My friend is in a different part of the state and doing pretty well too. We are both lucky that even without internet access, we had and for a while at least, maintained jobs as classroom aides or other computer related jobs and were able to keep our brains relatively up to date with that and trade magazines/books for the decade +/- we were incarcerated.

As we become more and more connected, this becomes less possible. How can you teach an inmate office or photoshop when it requires a live internet connection? Or basic internet literacy for that matter? When an inmate has been inside for 10-25 years and has no clue how to even turn on a PC or tablet, much less send an email, how is he even supposed to apply for more than a day labor or dishwashing position upon his release?

For many it is easier to mooch, steal, or deal than reintegrate, and the educational prospects inside prison are severely hobbled for many reasons. Sure, most of the people who are there did some bad things, some terrible. Some change, some do not. If a person has the true desire to better himself and does not have or is denied the resources, then it is not much better than modern day slavery, and when you look at 'prison industry' it pretty much is.

Now the question is, who is surprised that there is an ex-con on /. ? I was here before too, but under a different name.

Re:A breath of sanity... (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about 6 months ago | (#45309087)

I am personally fine with inmates being "disconnected" from current technology. There will always be books and other media from which one can learn. You don't need to know about tablets and smart phones to get out and get a decent job, skills in IT/CS are inherently transferable and most of the bleeding edge stuff is vastly inferior to the stuff with a few generations (tech generations, not human) of maturity.

Also, I frankly think there is nothing wrong with ex-cons having to work their way up from the bottom when they reintegrate into society. I think a lot of social ills specifically stem from so many not ever having to wash dishes, bus tables, serve others, dig ditches, etc. Manual labor is very good for teaching work ethic and social skills. You can't learn how to socialize in an office, if anything too many office jobs promote new strange forms of anti-social behavior.

I do agree that all software should be sold in non-internet connected versions at the same price, availability, and functional level. On the other hand, why are you whining about Photoshop. Plenty of FOSS and offline commercial packages will teach you the same skills. For someone who has spent a good amount of time behind bars, you're awfully entitled (I wonder how much that attitude figured into your original incarceration).

Re:A breath of sanity... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 6 months ago | (#45310307)

I mentioned photoshop as it is quickly becoming cloud based and there are graphic design clases 'on the inside' that will be affected. If you think you can go to a company with only GIMP and Inkscape experience and get a job, even without a felony strike, you need to open your eyes.

That aside, this should tell you a bit about 'education' in the correctional system.

http://www.educationviews.org/the-virginia-department-of-juvenile-justice-division-of-education-where-crime-pays-and-integrity-is-a-crime/ [educationviews.org]

Re:A breath of sanity... (1)

rollingcalf (605357) | about 6 months ago | (#45310403)

"Also, I frankly think there is nothing wrong with ex-cons having to work their way up from the bottom when they reintegrate into society."

In theory that sounds fine, but in practice it is a problem because the less they earn from law-abiding jobs is the more they'll be inclined to return to crime. If they have the skills for a $30/hour job, the rest of us are better off if they can get that $30/job, as they'll be more likely to stay out of trouble than if they had a minimum wage job.

" On the other hand, why are you whining about Photoshop. Plenty of FOSS and offline commercial packages will teach you the same skills. For someone who has spent a good amount of time behind bars, you're awfully entitled (I wonder how much that attitude figured into your original incarceration)."

Employers want experience using Photoshop, not the FOSS equivalents which aren't similar enough to convince employers that the skills are readily transferable.

Re:A breath of sanity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45309123)

It shouldn't be surprising at all that felons are on /. The idea that felons/ex-cons are stupid, etc, is a stereotype that really needs to go away, especially with the encroaching police state.

Inspect the source! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 6 months ago | (#45310737)

This sounds like an awesome way to give yourself a monopoly on illicit access to these items, imagine all the cheat codes you could plant in the software.

I'd imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45322933)

If I were a prisoner, I'd be a little more concerned with gangs, rape, or both at once. Whether someone went through a line twice or not for extra pudding....meh.

That being said, it's great to see humans being productive even while behind bars.

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