When this story came on our local news this morning, I was overjoyed.
As a former Rehab Nurse, in California, it has always been my hope that one day those who are incarcerated, would be taught a skill that would not only keep them from repeating the crimes that put them there in the first place, but one that would actually make them highly employable, sought after workers.
One of the most distressing things about crime, is that if you actually listen to the stories that we are inundated with daily about them, is that these people, are for the most part, nearly all repeat offenders.
One such story here yesterday was about a bank robber who had just been released from prison and immediately robbed a bank.
So, he was caught and is now awaiting trial, then it will most likely be, right back to jail for him.
But this new plan in California is happening in one of the most intimidating places where one could ever be incarcerated, San Quentin Prison, and it is for lack of a better word, a God send.
The idea of teaching prisoners about computers and code writing, was the brain child of a group called The Last Mile, who believe, as do many, that incarceration without reform, is useless and serves no purpose.
These very carefully chosen prisoners are not only learning a new skill that can stop this vicious cycle, but they may also be beginning a completely new life.
Once they have a highly sought after skill, they will probably not ever want, or need, to commit a crime again.
And isn’t that what prison should be about, for those who have not committed deadly or heinous crimes?
I hope that this new plan in California spreads like wild-fire across the country, even the world.
The primary reason that most discharged prisoners get out and then commit the same type of crime, is that many, if not most of them have few, or no employable skills and even less education.
This new plan in California, just could be the most important thing to ever happen in the criminal justice and prison systems, which many believe are in dire need of an overhaul.
Just imagine, prisoners serve their time, learn a desirable skill, get out and never return.
Do you have any idea the enormous cost of keeping people behind bars for years and years?
It is presently in California, more than six times the amount of money that is spent on the education of children.
For me, that is completely unconscionable and unacceptable.
Now, think of all of the benefits in this education for prisoners scenario.
So cheers to my former home state of California, which is, as usual, leading the way once again, by teaching code to convicts!
Places to learn more: