Justice Through Code is a free coding program for those impacted by the criminal justice system – TechCrunch

People who spend time in jail or jail often face obstacles in accessing stable jobs, housing and financial services. These types of obstacles are a major driver of recurrence for maximal 600,000 people who are released from prison every year. Between 2005 and 2014, an estimated 68% of those released in 2005 were re-arrested within three years. Within nine years, 83% of those released in 2005 were resuscitated, According to the US Department of Justice, Department of Justice.

Justice through code, A semester-long coding and interpersonal skill that occurs at Columbia University, aims to provide an alternative route for people when they reintroduce society.

Throughout the semester, students learn the basics of Python and other computer science. They also receive career coaching, public speaking training, and learn conversational skills and write a resume. Once students completed the event, Justice Through Code, which held its first cohort last year with more than 30 students, put them in contact with their colleagues for paid internships and jobs.

Justice Code in Coden Adchen McDonald stated that of the students at the first cohort who were willing to get a job or internship after the program, more than 80% were placed in related roles within six months. Antwan Bolden (pictured above) is one of the graduates who received an internship after the program. Bolden has been spending full time in Columbia in the school’s IT department since December.

“It was amazing that within a year of me coming across that flyer [for Justice Through Code] On Facebook, I’m actually working an internship at Columbia, “Bolden told TechCrunch. “And it’s just tremendous. I mean, it’s nonstop learning every single day. “

Prior to this, Bolden spent time at Emergent Works, Where he helped create a non-police alternative to 911.

“It gave me the first opportunity to use the principle of working in the program, which is what I said,” Bolden said.

Justice Through Code works with a handful of technical partners to support its program and its students. For example, Amazon Web Services offers laptops to students who need them, while Google’s technical experts talk to students on their experiences in Slack and Kaursera technology.

AWS is yet to recruit people from the program, but AWS senior manager corporate reputation Sophia Mata-Leclerle says the company is excited to provide graduates with the opportunity.

“It is certainly our intention to appoint individuals from this program,” Mata-Leclerc told TechCrunch.

Justice through code is now Accepting applications For his third cohort, Joe Macdonald says he expects a class size of up to 60 people. Although the Justice Through Code does not require applicants to have any prior coding experience, the program wants participants to have ease of use of computers. The application process also tries to determine how well someone can be equipped to deal with the frustrations that come with learning to code.

“So much code for learning is happening in a kind of situation where you don’t know everything,” McDonald said. “And it can be very disappointing. And so I think about how people work through problems [is beneficial]. We encounter couple argument problems in interviews, and it’s not really a matter of whether anyone has the answers, but we actually have questions in pairs. So if a person struggles with a question, we will know in detail how to solve it and then see that their process applies the same question of logic to the subsequent question that uses the same principle. . So … how people are responding in a learning environment, as well as a variety of curiosities about the industry and just a real drive to succeed if they are chosen to participate in the program. “

The Justice Through Code is not the only program that serves those affected by the criminal justice system. The Last Mile teaches people business and coding skills, while inconsistent, and has similarly partnered with tech companies to help citizens find jobs.

Macdonald, who himself spends time in prison, says he hopes the Justice Through Code can help shift the “negative stereotype taken previously as having no future beyond the minimum wage job”.