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Coding Classes Help Inmates Prepare for Productive Life Outside Prison


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An inmate describes his team's progress on developing an NFL Fantasy Football website.

The Last Mile corrections educational nonprofit is teaching inmates at Michigan's Parnall Correctional Facility the basics of front-end Web design.

Credit: Lon Horwedel/The Detroit News

About 20 inmates at Michigan's Parnall Correctional Facility have been learning the basics of front-end Web design for the last two months through a program provided by The Last Mile corrections educational nonprofit.

Last Mile co-founder Chris Redlitz said training required construction of a self-contained “fake Internet” based on cloud technology, which allows trainees to access and review lessons remotely, then apply their knowledge.

Redlitz said applicants must have a "desire" to learn, as well as a clean disciplinary record, to take part; convicted cybercriminals are not accepted, for security reasons.

The Last Mile currently operates in five states, with about 250 participating inmates; its graduates (some of whom now earn six-figure salaries) number in the hundreds.

From The Detroit News
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