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San Quentin Inmates Learn Technology From Silicon Valley Pros

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the information-flows-both-ways dept.

Education 109

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The Washington Post reports that a rigorous, six-month training program launched by successful tech entrepreneurs for inmates in the decaying San Quentin State Prison is teaching carefully selected inmates the ins and outs of designing and launching technology firms, using local experts as volunteer instructors and the graduates, now trickling out of the penal system, are landing real jobs at real dot-coms. '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. During twice-a-week evening lessons, students — many locked up before smartphones or Google— practice tweeting, brainstorm new companies and discuss business books assigned as homework. Banned from the Internet to prevent networking with other criminals, they take notes on keyboard-like word processors or with pencil on paper. The program is still 'bootstrapping,' as its organizers say, with just 12 graduates in its first two years and now a few dozen in classes in San Quentin and Twin Towers. But the five graduates released so far are working in the tech sector. 'This program will go a long way to not only providing these guys with jobs, but it is my hope that they hire people like them who have changed their lives and are now ready to contribute to society, pay taxes, follow the law, support their families,' says former California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation director Matthew Cate who adds he made the right decision to approve the training course. 'All those things contribute to the economy.'"

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Mixed bag (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513579)

On one hand, we should be concentrating our resources on people who has not broken the law to the extent that we need to imprison them in order to protect society.

On the other hand, most of the people we put in prison are not a danger to society at all and have simply run afoul of our Jerusalem Jesuit Judicial system.

Re:Mixed bag (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 10 months ago | (#45513635)

On one hand, we should be concentrating our resources on people who has not broken the law to the extent that we need to imprison them in order to protect society.

On the other hand, most of the people we put in prison are not a danger to society at all and have simply run afoul of our Jerusalem Jesuit Judicial system.

They are a danger to the Jerusalem Jesuit society my good man.

Re:Mixed bag (2)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 10 months ago | (#45513807)

You should know how much incercaration cost to society...I'm not in the US and I can tell you the US pays a crapload of money for their prison. A small investment like this seems to be fair if you ask me. They choose their people who have more chance to graduate and in return, they pay taxes when they get out of prison, seems like a win-win situation to me

Re:Mixed bag (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45517395)

While this programme provides hope for inmates eventually released into society, I thought once a person had a felony conviction the person is basically unemployable at any decent job. Oh wait! I see what is going on here. Anyway, it is beneficial to society to get the former inmates into employed situations as quickly as possible after release to reduce the probability of recidivism. As for the Jerusalem Jesuit Judicial system all I can say is Jesus would be in favour of giving the truly reformed criminal a second chance in society. The bible thumping crowd are generally the most hypocritical whereas Jesus never forced his beliefs upon anyone.

Re:Mixed bag (2)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 10 months ago | (#45518991)

Nothing mixed about it.

You can complain all you want that convicts shouldn't be getting stuff for free on your tax dime (never mind that you're already paying for their room and board anyway), but set aside your righteous indignation and think pragmatically.

If you put a black mark on convicts perpetually, you're basically guaranteeing that they'll spiral into a life of crime. What other option do they have? And what good does that do society? You give them an education and opportunity, at least there's a *chance* for positive outcome.

Yes, it costs more. Boo fucking hoo, it's called an investment and like any other investment, it carries some risk. It can't possibly be worse than the current system of "fuck you for life."

This is a GOOD thing, should be expanded into other occupational sectors and ought to become the national standard.

Re:Mixed bag (1)

PNutts (199112) | about 10 months ago | (#45521219)

On one hand, we should be concentrating our resources on people who has not broken the law to the extent that we need to imprison them in order to protect society.

I think that's what we've been doing all along.

Are you a law abiding citizen... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513599)

... that wants a job? GO PAY FOR EDUCATION!... oh you are not law abiding... let me pay for all the needed so you can get the job.

This applies for most European countries aswell

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (2, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 10 months ago | (#45513627)

No need. There are plenty of lucrative job opportunities awaiting a released convict with outdated education.

Mugger, burgler, car thief, drug dealer, extortionist...

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45517355)

Banker, executive, financial analyst...

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (2, Insightful)

slashdime (818069) | about 10 months ago | (#45513669)

Were you not a child born into the world...

... naked, screaming, unknowing? To grow up into the adult you are now, did not YOUR PARENTS pay for your clothes, shelter, food, education, safety? Oh no, because you already had all that and you never needed help from anybody. And it's obvious everybody in jail also had those same advantages, they just chose to squander all that and it's not possible that they may have been backed into it at all.

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 10 months ago | (#45513711)

Are you a law abiding citizen that wants a job? GO PAY FOR EDUCATION!... oh you are not law abiding... let me pay for all the needed so you can get the job.

This applies for most European countries aswell

Everything except the non-criminals paying for it. Most tuition here is free, student loans typically come from cost of living. Granted you might say we're paying room and board, but as long as we intend to keep them prisoner we don't really have a choice about that. The greatest investment is really time and effort, if they're willing to spend their time in prison in a way that'll be productive when they get out that's great. I don't see how staring at the wall or pumping iron all day is going to help anyone, them or us.

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513735)

You're paying for this guy to not go back to robbing/murdering when he's out of jail. Would you rather we do that?

Let's also be fair, if a company hires someone who was in prison and took prison classes they literally had no other options on the hiring table.

Re: Are you a law abiding citizen... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#45515095)

"You're paying for this guy to not go back to robbing/murdering when he's out of jail. Would you rather we do that?"

Wait, the article made it look like they were learning to be CEOs... In which case...

Re: Are you a law abiding citizen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45517119)

Agreed. We're approaching this the wrong way. What we need to do is start executing these assholes on both sides of the fence. You want to be a selfish motherfucker ripping people off and give everyone the finger? Fine. You can make your new occupation pushing up daisies.

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 10 months ago | (#45513741)

Don't worry, between all the H1-B visas, prisoner labor, outsourcing, etc. there's really not a lot of point in going to college anyway if your a native law-abiding citizen.

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (2)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 10 months ago | (#45513859)

How long do people remain law-abiding when they can't get decent work and unemployment runs out? I do wonder about this sometimes.

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (2)

plover (150551) | about 10 months ago | (#45513763)

We're already paying a ton of money to keep these guys in jail - perhaps $4,000 per month. We know the rate of recidivism of an ordinary felon is about 60-70% in the first year out of prison. If you spent an additional $10,000 on an education for them, and this training serves to keep them out of jail for as little as six extra months before they commit another crime, it was money well invested as an overall cost savings. If they actually use this opportunity to turn their situation around and build a productive life for themselves, we're no longer paying to incarcerate them at all. So now they've taken someone who used to cost us $48,000 per year and turned him into a taxpayer who is contributing perhaps $10,000 per year.

Even if it only lowers the recidivism rate to only 50%, it was still a cheap investment that paid off.

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 10 months ago | (#45513845)

I'm not necessarily asking you to provide them, but to anyone else who wants to touch the subject of discussing recidivism rates: large-scale studies from reputable sources or we won't believe you. Aside from that, you're ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about 10 months ago | (#45514973)

The point of my post was not that recidivism rates are 60% or 80% or any specific value - making an estimate just helps to establish the threshold for cost savings. (If recidivism was zero, we wouldn't need this.) The point is that if this program reduces recidivism by any measurable amount then it is a net economic gain instead of some kind of "free government handouts for felons" as the OP was claiming.

And yes, I think we're far better off providing free educations to people before they become criminals. But because we live in the real world, that doesn't always happen. If we simply ignore the damaged parts of society, they won't heal themselves.

Re: Are you a law abiding citizen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45515035)

If I only had mod points, I'd blown them all on +5 for this. Sadly, the most vocal elements of society are the ones who can't see this. They're too busy locking their kids in a big metal box to protect them from reality.

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | about 10 months ago | (#45516809)

In a different context, in a different time, that might make some sense, but with the exponential increase in jobs offshoring (and for a beautiful and pithy example of this, read p. 139 of The Billionaire's Apprentic to capture the essence of Gupta and Diana Farrell at McKinsey & Company and McKinsey Global) and insourcing of foreign visa scab workers, the post is really both nebulous and arbitrary, in both the real and economic sense. It really will increase the crime, as criminals will break the law regardless of whatever level they exist --- you should have learned that by now, sonny!

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45523563)

hahah recividism reduces because they begin committing wonderful white collar crimes and figure out how to better cover their tracks. yayyy lets give a bunch of psychopaths the ability to open companies that defraud people but can easily be broken down and disappear without a trace or a whiff, i dont know but hey this is a good idea beacuse in my rich privileged silocon valley broad-band accessible neighborhood, most people are good. most people must be like this. more of this.

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513767)

... that wants a job? GO PAY FOR EDUCATION!... oh you are not law abiding... let me pay for all the needed so you can get the job.

This applies for most European countries aswell

Well if you live in the U.S., K-12 education is funded by taxes for everyone regardless if you are law abiding or not. Pretty much anyone can get a taxpayer subsidized loan for college as well.

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45516445)

How else will criminals graduate to white collar crime? I see an increase in ID theft and computer fraud in the future.

Re:Are you a law abiding citizen... (1)

the_arrow (171557) | about 10 months ago | (#45523711)

... that wants a job? GO PAY FOR EDUCATION!... oh you are not law abiding... let me pay for all the needed so you can get the job.

This applies for most European countries aswell

In Sweden all education is free, and up until a couple of years ago it was even free for foreign students.

1000s of genuine spiritual & physical allys dy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513605)

daily mostly infants. from 100% preventable starvation etc... still no one is responsible...

Sword has two edges (1, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#45513611)

These incarcerated felons will stand a much better chance of becoming productive members of society if they have job opportunities immediately upon release. These same extraordinary gentlemen are more likely by an order of magnitude to f*ck up than another applicant with no such resume.

Re: Sword has two edges (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 10 months ago | (#45513829)

These same extraordinary gentlemen are more likely by an order of magnitude to f*ck up than another applicant with no such resume.

There are basically 2 reactions for first-time offenders serving time:
1. Whoa, I really screwed up. I need to clean up my act, and do what "the man" is telling me to do - get a job, stay legit, get away from friends or family who were trying to pull me into fights, drugs, etc.
2. I'm a lost cause. Might as well have as much fun as I can before I get killed.

Any sane public official wants more of the first reaction than the second, and the fact is that the primary difference will be whether the ex-con can get a legitimate job after they're out. And I wouldn't be surprised if an ex-con who had the first reaction is actually more diligent and hardworking, because they are more motivated to stay clean. Some of the best coworkers I ever had were recovering alcoholics, and I'd expect similar sorts of reactions from some of those who have been in prison.

Oh, and if they were in for pot, I couldn't care less, provided it doesn't impede job performance.

Re: Sword has two edges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45515169)

There is a third:

3. He/she misses their smack/crack/meth, and as soon as they get out, they're getting some, be it going into a store and trying to boost stuff from a shelf, or getting with their homies, acquiring a Saturday Night Special, and jack some cars. No employer would be hiring this type because the cash register would be emptied in seconds flat for stuff that goes up the nose or in a vein.

Re: Sword has two edges (1)

leuk_he (194174) | about 10 months ago | (#45515913)

That really is case 2. not a case 3.

The problem is that a lot of people think the nr 1 poeple should dbe rehabilitated. As long it is not in their backyard......

Re: Sword has two edges (2)

geek (5680) | about 10 months ago | (#45516219)

Yes, lots of HR departments in the Silicon Valley advertising for ex-cons with tech skills. This is a great way to spend tax payer money. Let's double down and spend a few billion (in a State with serious financial issues no less) educating ex-cons that can't get security clearance and who are untouchable by HR.

Re: Sword has two edges (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 10 months ago | (#45519519)

Yes, lots of HR departments in the Silicon Valley advertising for ex-cons with tech skills. This is a great way to spend tax payer money. Let's double down and spend a few billion (in a State with serious financial issues no less) educating ex-cons that can't get security clearance and who are untouchable by HR.

What would you prefer we do then? Let prisons go on functioning as crime academies where the only thing the inmates learn is how to commit even more crime as soon as they're released?

Pay taxes? (1)

benwad (1979558) | about 10 months ago | (#45513617)

"it is my hope that they hire people like them who have changed their lives and are now ready to contribute to society, pay taxes, follow the law, support their families..." Maybe the companies themselves could use a bit of rehabilitation

Re:Pay taxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513661)

Well, Google needs a fall guy the next time it "accidentally" taps people's WiFi.

good but scary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513651)

Isn't it slightly scary? Remember what happened a century ago, when criminals invested in the movie industry? Now we have MAFIAA.

In few years internet might be economically dominated by criminals, not only from Russia or Nigeria, but also US home-grown.

Re:good but scary? (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 10 months ago | (#45513911)

A few years? I think you're ten years late on that front. The Internet is already dominated by people who are technically "criminals." Every eBay seller that imports from China without paying the customs fees is technically a criminal, yet there's no shortage of them. How else do you get a $8 with free shipping AC adapter for your laptop on there?

Re: good but scary? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#45515179)

Hey, the seller fills out the forms and pays the taxes, I have no control over that. except when you absolutely know ahead of time of course. I recently saw an eBay listing for a quadcopter which said something like "the customs form will be marked gift as the customer cannot bear the tax." so if you buy that, you are pretty clearly on the wrong side of the law.

Re:good but scary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45519301)

Remember what happened a century ago, when criminals invested in the movie industry?

You...you anti-semite!

The squeaky wheel ... (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 10 months ago | (#45513653)

It is well known that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, or as my grandma used to say, "the baby that cries gets milk".

There are millions of poor people who had enough sense not to commit crime who would do ten times more with similar help languish, every politician lectures them to pull themselves up by the boot strap while continuing to cut investment in social programs, every pundit talks about how "poor people don't have ambition" or "poor are the takers and the rich are the makers".

Wish there are charities dedicated to helping the working poor. The government spends billions of dollars in helping middle class people get to and from work in their cars, public transport, traffic management, highway etc etc. But helping an inner city poor person to get to work in the suburbs? Hardly any help. They all live just one blown tire, one alternator going on the blink, one fender bender away from being sucked into the vicious vortex of inability to get to work, inability to earn their way into the work force ...

And all these felons, with newly minted tech skills thrown into the internet where nothing could be regulated or enforced... What can go wrong?

Re:The squeaky wheel ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45515219)

I do think we should do more to help the poor in general... but I also think we should try to help prisoners. If we don't, they're far more likely to keep committing crimes because our system of revenge keeps them from getting any decent jobs. We should focus on rehabilitation and try to get them to become normal members of society after they leave prison, not revenge.

And all these felons, with newly minted tech skills thrown into the internet where nothing could be regulated or enforced... What can go wrong?

That attitude is part of the problem. It only ensures that people remain as criminals, because they have no opportunities.

Re:The squeaky wheel ... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 10 months ago | (#45515565)

Give prisoners all the opportunities to redeem themselves. Absolutely no problem. The issue is we are neglecting orders of magnitude more working poor who deserve our sympathy. And at least the same level of help to help themselves.

It should be fundamental right of any poor non criminal person to avail any facility or help given to a prisoner. Homeless people should have the right to walk into any prison and demand a place to sleep and a meal. Like that character in O' Henry's story who commits minor crime to get three to four months jail time in winters.

Re:The squeaky wheel ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45517151)

We all have the opportunities we make. Teaching these guys new skills does not guarantee they willl do the right thing with them. If they were of such low moral standard to pursue criminal activity in the first place education won't change that.

Re:The squeaky wheel ... (0)

sgt_doom (655561) | about 10 months ago | (#45516763)

Brilliant and logical and moral and ethical comments, 140!

And of course, if one wishes crime to increase, at all levels, this is the way! (And this has been proven again and again and again.)

In Washington state, specifically Seattle and the Puget Sound region, crime has increased in direct proportion to a specific action taken by two previous governors, Gary Locke, and Christine Gregroire, who both signed onto the interstate compact, brining 3 out of 4 parolees (ex-cons) to Seattle and outlying areas. The more people with criminal pasts (and they don't differentiate as to their crimes), the more likely crime will increase, which was their plan.

You always increase crime by increasing the population of criminals, what could be more logically concise? And since we now exist in a completely fraud-based society, with the super-criminals/psychopaths at the top, the criminals will have the advantage at all levels!

This is so exciting, my leg is tingling... (1)

mi (197448) | about 10 months ago | (#45513655)

San Quentin State Prison is teaching carefully selected inmates the ins and outs of designing and launching technology firms

No, I'm neither giving such firms any seed financing, nor buying their IPOs, when (and if) they ever go public. The probability of being swindled is just too high.

They are guaranteed paid internships if they can finish the rigorous training program

Maybe, the "careful selection" filters out only those, who got a few months in the lock-up for a bar-fight, or a marijuana smoke, or some other minor offense. But even though, people, who avoided the fight and the smoking altogether, seem more deserving.

Re:This is so exciting, my leg is tingling... (5, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 10 months ago | (#45513779)

Sure, law abiding people deserve better. They deserve education, healthcare, housing and food. The fact that prisons provide these free of charge to prisoners is irrelevant.

They also deserve lower crime rates, and hopefully schemes of this kind will mean these offenders are less likely to re-offend. It's going to depend on the numbers. It's an unfortunate reality that justice isn't necessarily fair for people who do the right thing.

Re:This is so exciting, my leg is tingling... (2)

alphatel (1450715) | about 10 months ago | (#45513837)

Sure, law abiding people deserve better. They deserve education, healthcare, housing and food. The fact that prisons provide these free of charge to prisoners is irrelevant.

They also deserve lower crime rates, and hopefully schemes of this kind will mean these offenders are less likely to re-offend. It's going to depend on the numbers. It's an unfortunate reality that justice isn't necessarily fair for people who do the right thing.

It seems that criminals who have been convicted of rape, burglary, or fraud are just the type of geek that Silicon Valley has been avoiding. It used to be cool 20 years ago and you could get away with it as long as you proved your pathological profile complimented your crafting genius. Now it just pisses the yuppie geeks off.

The curve must be monotonic. (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 10 months ago | (#45515003)

In optimization, you talk about the "curve must be monotonic", else you will converge to a false solution due to the "local minima" problem.

In the society, the curve with "standard of living" on y axis and effort by the individual on the x axis must be monotonic and increasing. You can mess with the slopes all you want. But if you make the curve non monotonic you will have hiccups.

Anyone not committing a crime must have a better standard of living than anyone who committed a crime.

Anyone working must have a higher standard of living, than anyone welfare.

Violate this principle, you would create incentives to commit crime, incentives to stay on welfare.

But, it is in the larger interest of the society to provide enough avenues and opportunities for people to help themselves. We need strong government incentives and investments for poorer people to see tangibly people working their way out of poverty.

Government must be seen like a private venture capital firm or a large mutual fund. It does not know who among the next generation is going to win who is going to struggle to make a living. But it will invest on everyone. Whoever wins, should return a portion of the winnings back to the government as dividend, you would call it tax. You might argue with the percentage and levels of dividend/taxation. But if you say, "all taxation is theft by the government" you would be a selfish ignorant unpatriotic unAmerican idiot. Government should invest the dividend back on the next generation of people.

The guideline should always be, "working poor doing better than welfare recipients, welfare recipients doing better than criminals".

Re:The curve must be monotonic. (1)

228e2 (934443) | about 10 months ago | (#45516659)

Everything you exactly described is already what we have in our current working society. The problem is the human variable and the innate ability to abuse any given system.

People want to implement controls, restrictions, checks and balances on things such as Welfare, Medicaid, Food stamps. But there will never be 100% compliance. There are always diminishing returns on systems with such a varying variable as the human. Even a mathematical model without the human element has diminishing returns. There will always be pockets in society content with living in squalor on what welfare checks will provide, but dont let TV talking points fool you, these people are minute when compared to the total population. Few people want to live on bread crumbs and even fewer enjoy a life of nothingness, but those people will always be a part of our society.

Re:The curve must be monotonic. (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 10 months ago | (#45517211)

No argument from me - people should be rewarded based on effort. I don't see that providing adequate resources to rehabilitation and appropriate welfare would be mutually exclusive.

Re:This is so exciting, my leg is tingling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45516589)

I would imagine that most people would take a job and a roof over their heads, and a higher crime rate, than a low crime rate and to be living on the streets or jobless. So I would imagine that many would take the training and "leg up" for themselves over convicted criminals any day, even if it meant a riskier street.

Re:This is so exciting, my leg is tingling... (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 10 months ago | (#45517249)

I would imagine that most people would take a job and a roof over their heads, and a higher crime rate, than a low crime rate and to be living on the streets or jobless. So I would imagine that many would take the training and "leg up" for themselves over convicted criminals any day, even if it meant a riskier street.

And why are these things mutually exclusive. As noted by others, the United States spends a lot of money incarcerating people. Spending money to reduce recidivism doesn't necessarily mean spending more overall. Even having an additional tax payer who isn't out nicking stuff is better than spending a few grand a week to keep them locked-up.

Re:This is so exciting, my leg is tingling... (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | about 10 months ago | (#45516821)

A criminal with an educated is simply a better educated criminal. When the super-rich criminals achieve such wealth, they hire PR firms to change their labels from robber barons to philanthropists --- but the reality stays the same!

Re:This is so exciting, my leg is tingling... (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | about 10 months ago | (#45516827)

Correction: that should read "A criminal with an education..."

Re:This is so exciting, my leg is tingling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45516637)

If it's a misdemeanor for weed possession or some stupid little bar fight, they wouldn't serve it in San Quentin, or in most states in ANYTHING with "Department of Corrections" over the door. A minor sentence for a minor crime usually gets served in a county jail. Someone in DOC is there because he screwed up hard: felonies and usually violent ones.

Basically nobody with a lifetime of clean living followed by one single bad episode is going to end up in a state prison like the "Q."

Re:This is so exciting, my leg is tingling... (1)

BrokenSoldier (737420) | about 10 months ago | (#45516859)

You really don' t know much about the current state of corrections and criminal arrest, do you? In Nebraska, the maximum security prison has 2 entire housing units full of check kiters and people with non-injury DUIs serving time alongside murderers and rapists.

how to piss off an alien/human hybrid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513657)

The 'beasts' share the same scent - how to piss off an alien/human hybrid

the hybrids carrying filthy spawn (like in the days of Noah) are easy to SNIFF out, literally, they all smell the same when you're in the proper state of mind.

some of them have eyes which appear to be bugging out of their face.

even if you can't detect the scent of the hybrids, or 'beasts', inhale deeply whenever the hybrids are close, don't express any emotion, just keep inhaling deeply and make your facial expression be that of deep contemplation.

when you do this, they know that you know what their true reality is - it's like the movie THEY LIVE where Nada sees the truth through the glasses and confronts them.

don't confront, just inhale deeply. maybe shake your head and laugh, mumble about stupid aliens but nothing deep.

once you hack you cannot go back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513667)

sans felons less dangerous than corepirate nazi beltway gunrunners & WMD on credit genociders?

extreme unction does not work spend more time here helping to free the innocent stem cells

Promising prisoners (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513691)

Maybe they will get some Cash.

H1B are now too expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513697)

Time to move on to the prison system.

"Practice tweeting"? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#45513719)

I didn't know you need a PhD for that, or that this would help with technology jobs.

On the other hand, the logic of the Twitter interface has always eluded me to such a degree that perhaps you do. If you can figure out that, a Millennium Prize can't be far away for you!

ex-con coding success stories coming in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513781)

'now i spy on my neighbors using advanced training from prison. they (my neighbors) are the dullest population ever, mostly hobbyist whiners.' no wonder we fly the coup.

Re:"Practice tweeting"? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45513785)

Practice tweeting

I'm in the shower ... Iron-man Stan has dropped the soap and asked me to pick it up ... AAAAAAAAA

Re:"Practice tweeting"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45514665)

#buttraped

Re:"Practice tweeting"? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 10 months ago | (#45519297)

These "tech" leaders have little to do with technology, but sometimes they have a lot to do with the dumbing down of technology. Advertising on the internet or promoting advertisement does not automatically create a "tech" company.

what could possibly go wrong (1)

NynexNinja (379583) | about 10 months ago | (#45513765)

The inmates doing time for theft and fraud related offences might just be the same ones who are stealing the computers at your office.

Re:what could possibly go wrong (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 10 months ago | (#45514231)

Why steal the hardware? That is nickel and dime. Now they can learn to steal on a whole new level and in more lucrative and less risky way.

silicon valley looking for cheaper IT workers (1)

AndroSyn (89960) | about 10 months ago | (#45513773)

I guess when H1B workers just weren't cheap fucking enough, no, they need to use prison labor now too? Oh and good luck on getting a job with a felony record paying anything more than minimum wage, but I guess that is the point.

Re: silicon valley looking for cheaper IT workers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45516093)

This is exactly what occurred to me as I was scrolling down, wondering what the game in this was.

Their strategy:
1. All you can eat H1B Indians (Cheap labor.)
2. Let's teach kids to code! (Flood the market with a "skill everyone has" to try to lower the supply cost.)
3. Teach prisoners to code, then when released, use that leverage to get them to work for pennies.

The tech sector really disgusts me.

Re:silicon valley looking for cheaper IT workers (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | about 10 months ago | (#45516885)

Good and bad points, Andro. Plenty of felons get jobs, just a few years back a friend of mine (around 2004 or 2005) applied to the TSA along with thousands of others on the same day at the same location, and he was rejected within 15 minutes of filling out the paperwork (the time stamp on the rejection email they sent him). Several years later he reads in the newspaper that the four convicted felons they had hired that day (among thousands who had applied) were being sent back to jail for pilfering luggage.

I recall reading awhile back how a level 3 sex offender was getting out of jail and within 3 days he had a job?

Evidently, some organizations prefer felons.

Re:silicon valley looking for cheaper IT workers (1)

BrokenSoldier (737420) | about 10 months ago | (#45516967)

Same thing happened to me when I discharged out of the Army in 2002. I applied to the TSA and was not hired. One of the guys hired that day raped a teenage girl a few months later and then killed her. He was a Marine, too. We had the same clearance and the same screening, and my scores were a little better than his. *shrug*

Re:silicon valley looking for cheaper IT workers (1)

AndroSyn (89960) | about 10 months ago | (#45517167)

Good and bad points, Andro. Plenty of felons get jobs

Oh I didn't say they couldn't get jobs, well paying ones? Doesn't sound like it. Ex-cons certainly are more willing to work for less pay. However when you have people underemployed or underpaid, recidivism certainly is a possible outcome. Your example of the luggage thieves, if they were getting paid better, they'd probably be a bit less likely to be stealing on the job. Pay people well enough. But don't take my word for it: http://news.illinois.edu/news/12/0730wagepremium_ClaraChen.html [illinois.edu]

Evidently, some organizations prefer felons.

Perhaps so, they might be willing to work for less pay, given their ex-convict status, makes them perhaps a slightly more desperate than average workforce.

I don't have any issues with giving people job skills at all, I just don't trust that the motives behind the people doing the training are 100% altruistic. They want a labor force that can be easily manipulated to work long hours for cheap. Ex-convicts fill that role nicely, as do H1B workers and new graduates.

What's the difference between an office with beds, a gym, a cafeteria(as seen as some sprawling corporate campuses) and a prison?

Wait, someone gives a shit about REINTEGRATION? (3, Insightful)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 10 months ago | (#45513815)

Because, y'know, America has always been "land of the outraged, home of the vengeance" since before I was a child. If you didn't want to be treated as a sub-human piece of filth, maybe you shouldn't have broken the law! Or so the paranoid helicopter moms who refuse to prepare their children to become adults continue to parrot on iVillage.com all the time. PROTIP: people who have a decent job, a home in decent repair, food on their plate, and some semblance of a social life with other law-abiding people are way less likely to break in and steal your Xbox for fencing than the guy who can't get a job because felony automatically equals "human trash forever" and there's really no other way to survive out there.

The truth is that "criminals" are still people. You have to treat them as such. Give someone good reasons not to break the law...you know, like all that stuff I just said. They won't be so inclined to break it. Or, to put it another way, the most dangerous person is the one that has nothing left to lose.

Re:Wait, someone gives a shit about REINTEGRATION? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45514099)

Sorry. Seems we forgot that it is our fault they are in jail to begin with. We forced their hand to commit the crime by not having a cradle to the grave system of government that tends to their every need.

Violent agreement (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45514159)

While I expected this barrage of "wait: you're gonna TEACH all those CRIMINALS things? What if they become SMARTER CRIMINALS?" or "what about the INNOCENT PEOPLE who don't get any help?" it's still an eerie feeling.

This is the intellectual elite? Sheesh.

If I had to single it out, I'd say this is the thing most wrong with USA society. It makes me sad.

Re:Wait, someone gives a shit about REINTEGRATION? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45514165)

It seems like a perfect match to me. People who would rather avoid honest work by comitting crimes side by side with tech nerds who wouldn't dare lower themselves by taking a real job in say, construction. Nerds who want to get paid to sit on their asses typing on a keyboard. Many nerds commit tech crimes, some get caught, some don't. Seems like a match made in heaven.

Re:Wait, someone gives a shit about REINTEGRATION? (0)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 10 months ago | (#45515255)

by taking a real job in say, construction.

That isn't a Real Job. All the Real Jobs involve digging giant holes in the ground using only a spoon.

Con-Air (1)

failedlogic (627314) | about 10 months ago | (#45513835)

I think they're going to remake Con-Air now. And Cyrus "the Virus" will be a grad of the program.

Why not grow IT drones in Axlotl tanks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45513857)

Why don't they just grow programmers and IT techs in Axlotl tanks? They want prisoners, school children, etc to all glut the market with disposable talent. So why not just grow your own? Why doesn't Gates, Zuckerberg, and the rest just create their own army of disposable clones? Put Darth Sidious in charge of the software development industry. Solve the cheap labor problem once and for all.

Re:Why not grow IT drones in Axlotl tanks? (1)

BrokenSoldier (737420) | about 10 months ago | (#45516787)

Who else better to spearhead the employment phase? They trained them, they can hire them. Thats the way that mentorship/apprenticeship is supposed to work.

Jesus Mismatched Christ (3)

paiute (550198) | about 10 months ago | (#45513951)

Bring in nerds to try and turn cons into high tech entrepreneurs? Why not bring in Itzhak Perlman to teach them all how to be first-chair violinists? These guys need anger management, substance abuse counseling, and a job. They don't need angel financing.

Re:Jesus Mismatched Christ (1)

L. J. Beauregard (111334) | about 10 months ago | (#45515301)

Bring in nerds to try and turn cons into high tech entrepreneurs? Why not bring in Itzhak Perlman to teach them all how to be first-chair violinists? These guys need anger management, substance abuse counseling, and a job. They don't need angel financing.

Earth calling paiute, come in paiute. This program is about getting them one of those three things.

Re:Jesus Mismatched Christ (1)

paiute (550198) | about 10 months ago | (#45515487)

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.

Yes, they need jobs, but on this planet, prisoners are not going to be "designing and launching technology firms". One in a million has the intelligence and skills to make that work. Don't you suspect that the initial touted success of the program might be due to these same local experts pulling strings to get the ex-cons a job so the local expert looks good? Do you think this is sustainable? Do you think that corporate America, which is paranoid about hiring ex-felons to wash floors, is going to hand them the keys to their IT department?

Re:Jesus Mismatched Christ (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | about 10 months ago | (#45516841)

Well stated, sir, and the post presupposes that the majority of poor people are criminals, not simply among the most exploited.

utter hypocrisy (3, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 10 months ago | (#45514199)

'This program will go a long way to not only providing these guys with jobs, but it is my hope that they hire people like them who have changed their lives and are now ready to contribute to society, pay taxes, follow the law, support their families,'

Why didn't the milktoast suburbanites of san jose (silicon valley) and surrounding cities do this earlier, say before any of these candidate hires were charged or convicted with a crime? We're forgetting this and many other communities in california were the same ones who decided 3 strikes was a great idea to curb crime. that building prison repositories for nonviolent drug offenders was an easy way to pocket some private prison cash and rid the streets of low income minorities who were supporting their families and paying their taxes as best they could, until you criminalized their very existence. The program fails to take into account the lack of unskilled employment for people who certainly arent going to qualify for a position at google, but perhaps they used to be a good welder or carpenter. the program exists largely as an exercise in the psychology of guilt. the job education also doesnt take into account what being an inmate means in California or other states. It means you emerge with your housing and apartment applications categorically denied because you served time. It also means those nice companies that taught you cobol on your worst days, wouldnt so much as talk to you on the street on your best. you are a branded felon. no matter how much Java you learned you're faced with a system that endorses and accepts the wholesale shunning of an entire class of people from the employment system.

Re:utter hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45523581)

prison industrial complex, hopefully if this thing takes off we can have programmers as cheap as indian ones we already pay them pennies on the dollar to make things for over priced commissary items

hell why not MOVE UP THE VALUE CHAIN. capitalism makes my dick hard

go go prison nation. untied we fall

Most of these responses are disgusting (1)

228e2 (934443) | about 10 months ago | (#45514603)

Goodness forbid we try to better ourselves by bettering our society. You guys have no problem letting these people rot in revolving door jails rather than letting them right their wrongs and contribute.

BUT DERP, GIVE NON CONVICTS A CHANCE!!

They have a chance! FFS, making one mistake should not doom you to a life of menial living. I swear being in such a capitalistic society creates some of the most selfish people.

Re:Most of these responses are disgusting (1)

geek (5680) | about 10 months ago | (#45516195)

So you want to spend millions or perhaps billions educating convicted felons to work jobs that HR will not hire them for because they are felons? You are a fucking idiot.

Re:Most of these responses are disgusting (2)

228e2 (934443) | about 10 months ago | (#45516397)

If the result ends in an economy saving money from less people in revolving door prisons and turning that into generating tax revenue, then why not? Where is the benefit of life imprisonment?

Also

So you want to spend millions or perhaps billions educating convicted felons to work jobs that HR will not hire them for because they are felons? You are a fucking idiot.

rofl?
Besides, the very same mentality you are displaying is why felons cant catch a break. Congrats to adding to the problem without offering any viable solution.

Re:Most of these responses are disgusting (0)

geek (5680) | about 10 months ago | (#45517501)

Tell ya what dumbass. Go find some ex-cons and give them the keys to your house. Let's see what happens.

Now ask the executives of Silicon Valley tech firms to give the keys to the companies infrastructure to a bunch of ex-cons.

Get the fuck out of fantasy land you ignorant sack of shit.

Re:Most of these responses are disgusting (1)

228e2 (934443) | about 10 months ago | (#45518087)

Yes, im clearly advocating doing that. Let me know when you've calmed down and we can continue to discuss this like adults.

Re:Most of these responses are disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45517621)

So you want to spend millions or perhaps billions educating convicted felons to work jobs that HR will not hire them for because they are felons? You are a fucking idiot.

Maybe those working in HR departments should be sent to prison pre-emptively given the horrendously poor hiring decisions they make daily on behalf of corporations. In my opinion a non-violent first-time offender should have their criminal record removed from the system and not used against them unless the person re-offends. A second chance seems a reasonable gesture towards the released convict allowing them an opportunity to choose a better path in life.

Typewriters ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45514611)

Honest technical question here. What exactly do the words

keyboard-like word processors

refer to ? typewriters ?

locked up before smartphones and google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45514919)

i guess these inmates are older than 30? just asking i guess most of the inmates are 40 or 50? just asking

Here's... Johnny! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45516119)

San Quentin, you've been livin' hell to me
You've blistered me since nineteen sixty three
I've seem 'em come and go and I've seen them die
And long ago I stopped askin' why

San Quentin, I hate every inch of you.
You've cut me and you scarred me thru an' thru.
And I'll walk out a wiser weaker man.
Mister Congressman you can't understand.

San Quentin, what good do you think you do?
Do you think I'll be different when you're through?
You bent my heart and mind and you warped my soul,
And your stone walls turn my blood a little cold.

San Quentin, may you rot and burn in hell.
May your walls fall and may I live to tell.
May all the world forget you ever stood.
And may all the world regret you did no good.

San Quentin, I hate every inch of you.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45516287)

What could possibly go wrong?

That's all we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45516345)

More "business men" opening tech firms intended to run the actual developers ragged for 5 years before selling out not-so-big-because-the-latest-tech-startup-boom-was-years-ago-already.

At least this proves that all business men are criminals. Why else would they choose criminals to make into new business men?

Felons get IT jobs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45517615)

Are they lying on their job applications ?
I was charged with a felony once and my applications go to the rejected pile.
I have a good job record/education.
Spanking a 12 year old boy for stealing should not end a career.
But being charged with a felony made a normally 4 month job search, 4+ years with no job in sight.

Currently trying to get government health care help,
I am having problems that are looking like I may have MS.
Need a MRI to tell.
Blood tests all ok.

Currently working 7 days a week running a marginal business, so I don't starve.

Smart, honest, hardworking, what kind of monster have I become ?

Great idea... but (1)

whitroth (9367) | about 10 months ago | (#45517707)

This is a great idea. And the results are *expected* to be:
      a) vastly lower recidivism
      b) people *paying* taxes, rather than us paying taxes to keep them incarcerated.*

* The US has had more people in jail since '04 than the Soviet Union did at its worst under Stalin. Enjoy paying taxes for that?

The questions are:
      a) is this the actual result, or do they wind up trying a new class of crime?
      b) one of the major factors that results in crime is... gosh, NOT BEING ABLE TO FIND A JOB.
      c) and now that they've done that, what about all the other prisons and jails in the country - say, two-three million people?
                      For example, there's the county jail in Brevard, Co, FL, where Cape Canaveral resides. Many of the women there
                        are in for prostitution, because find a job? They can't do simple math, know how to write a letter, get an
                        apartment, or open a checking account. (I have inside information on this, as you might guess.)
      d) what about the large number of regular criminals, who turned to crime because they were just too stupid to
                        be able to find a job?

And before any of you libertarians start up, telling people to leave where they're grown up, to move somewhere that they have *zero* contacts, resources, or support system is an idiotic idea - please leave that in your video games; that's not real world.option.

                          mark

Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45518933)

Kinda seems like hiring somebody straight out of rehab to tend bar. Maybe that's the idea, though; channel those criminal impulses into "socially useful" activities?

Sorry if that seems harsh. No offense, guys, but is there really *that* much difference between Sanford Wallace and what most search engines do these days?

A lot of people appear to be against this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45519311)

Would you rather have them learning to be a better criminal?

My understanding is that's the alternative education opportunity that prisons provide.

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