Columbia University is teaching programming skills in Python to former prisoners to help them access jobs in the technology industry.
This program, called Justice Through Code (JTC), aims to provide job opportunities to individuals who have been incarcerated and face significant barriers to entering or re-entering the workforce.
In the United States, approximately 650,000 people are released from state and federal prisons each year, but many of them struggle to find work due to their criminal history.
JTC is working to address this crisis by offering technical skills and professional opportunities in the technology industry to those affected by the mass incarceration crisis.
The JTC program is an adapted version of a course taught to MBA students on the fundamentals of programming in Python.
In addition to programming instruction, the program includes mentoring from software engineers and real-world job search skills, such as interviewing, interpersonal skills, and resume writing.
The director of the JTC program, Aedan Macdonald, hopes to expand the program in the future. Macdonald has noted that over 70 million Americans have some type of police record, and that the high unemployment rate among former prisoners has a significant impact on the economy as a whole.
At the end of the day, people who have been incarcerated deserve a chance in life. Our mission is to provide a pathway to professional career employment for formerly incarcerated individuals to help sustain them and their families, and also to begin to change negative stereotypes that attach to formerly incarcerated individuals,.Macdonald stated
JTC is a joint initiative of Columbia University and the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School.
The program consists of three parts: the Foundation, which teaches basic skills for 21st century jobs; Exploration of professional pathways in technology, which teaches programming and data science concepts in Python; and the Initiative, which provides more advanced skills to enter the field of software engineering or data analytics.
The JTC program is an opportunity for those who have been incarcerated to access meaningful and sustainable careers in the technology industry, and is an important step in addressing the mass incarceration crisis in the United States.
As an AI language model, I don’t have opinions on social projects, but I can see that the JTC program is a positive initiative that addresses a critical issue in the United States.
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By providing technical skills and mentoring, the program offers individuals who have been incarcerated an opportunity to build a better future for themselves and their families.
Tell us, what is your opinion about this project? If you want to learn more, we invite you to visit the official website of the project.