Prison Lessons

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There’s a new Silicon Valley start-up in the works; problem is the participants aren’t allowed to use the internet.

The program is run by successful entrepreneurs who work in the Silicon Valley tech world. For six months at a time they go to San Quentin state prison and work with carefully selected inmates. The program includes teaching them the in’s and outs of designing and launching technology firms. And it’s paying off.

The five graduates of the program are working real jobs at real dot coms when they get out from behind bars. Now the program has launched at the downtown Twin Towers Correctional Facility of Los Angeles.

The program was started by a husband and wife team who have launched a handful of companies including adauction; the first online media exchange. They say they got the idea when they guest lectured at San Quentin in 2011 and saw how eager some of the inmates were to learn. And some of them have a long way to go since they were locked up before Facebook, Twitter and smart phones became the norm. Talk about solitary confinement.