A Last Mile computer coding program introduced to female inmates at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Chino has proven very helpful. The computer skills acquisition program has proven to provide trained inmates with paid jobs after release from prison. It has also helped to keep released prisoners away from crimes and recidivism.
The Last Mile tag means the skills acquisition is designed for inmates on the last mile of their prison sentence. The objective of the program is to keep inmates from coming back to prison and to keep them gainfully employed after their release. One of the female inmates that have benefited from the program is 33-year-old Amariz Canasa.
Amariz Canasa Now Codes Websites She Could Not Do a Month Back
According to Canasa, she was not able to code any programs as at a month ago. But she is now well able to prove her skills with computer programming. The programming initiative is called Code 7370 The Last Mile.
Inmates at CIW are able to simulate a live coding environment without real internet access. Canasa said it has helped her to enhance her job marketability and given her something to look forward to when she is released next year.
Inmates Are Positioned To Become Software Engineers after Training and Release
The Last Mile program was first introduced in 2013 to men’s prison in San Quentin. It was later introduced to women’s prison in Folsom and then a second women prison in CIW, Chino. The program is now operational in six prisons across the US.
Before inmates are allowed to take part in the training program, they must have a GED diploma. They must equally pass written and logic tests and then interviewed before acceptance into the program.
Canasa was one of 24 inmates selected at CIW. The training classes are five times in a week, from 8 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. After 12 months of programming training, released inmates are positioned to become software engineers.
“Everyone who has gone through the coding program hasn’t come back,” said Charles Pattillo, an officer with the Prison Industry Board.