San Quentin Inmates Get Trained For Silicon Valley Startups | NBC Bay Area

San Quentin Inmates Get Trained For Silicon Valley Startups

The Last Mile is preparing inmates for the world of tech



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    This is a place where a career in tech can begin.

    Before Kenyatta Leal took a job at a downtown San Francisco tech company, he landed an internship using the right connections.

    He made those connections while behind bars at San Quentin State Prison, where he'd been incarcerated since 1994.

    Leal took advantage of a program called The Last Mile, which trains inmates in state prison to take internships and then, hopefully, jobs at Silicon Valley tech startups, according to reports.

    Program cofounders Beverly Parenti and Chris Redlitz are confronted with a great tech divide in training inmates for tech jobs: Many have never seen or used a smartphone or the Internet, NYU Local reported.

    And they're also barred from using the Internet while in prison. 

    So, during their twice-a-week training sessions, inmates write blog posts by hand that are posted online by volunteers before pitching a business idea "backed by a social cause" to fellow inmates.

    It has worked so far for a few inmates, which is saying something: all they needed was the proper training.

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