Inmates learn tech sector from Silicon Valley pros

Associated Press
In this Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 photo, Andrew Kaplan, right, a product marketing manager at Linkedin, leads a session of The Last Mile at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. The Last Mile program trains selected prisoners for eventual employment in a paid internship program within the Silicon Valley technology sector. Through twice-weekly sessions over a six-month period, the program provides information and practical experiences to increase knowledge and awareness about the role of social media, build skills in relevant areas for employment in the high-tech sector and foster confidence and a sense of hope that they can succeed as free men. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

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The budding entrepreneurs wear blue sweat pants labeled "prisoner" and huge, flapping blue shirts. Their doors are triple locked, and lunch is a stale peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Complicating matters, participants in this growing Silicon Valley startup incubator are barred from the Internet.

Nonetheless, the program, launched by successful tech entrepreneurs for inmates north of San Francisco in the decaying San Quentin State Prison, has expanded, and a new session began this month in the gritty, downtown Los Angeles Twin Towers Correctional Facility.

The reason they're growing is simple: Graduates, now trickling out of the penal system, are landing real jobs at real dot-coms. (AP)

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