Google-Backed Coding Courses to Train Indiana Inmates

The Last Mile computer training course has seen successes at one of the state’s women’s prisons, but it will soon expand as part of an offering at the Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility, offering inmates valuable skills upon release.

by Dan Carden, The Times / December 6, 2018
Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset flickr/jasonfarrar

(TNS) — Hoosier youths convicted of what would be felony crimes if they were adults soon will have the opportunity to learn computer coding and other tech skills behind bars, so they're prepared to find high wage jobs upon release.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Tuesday that The Last Mile computer training program, employed for the past eight months at the Indiana Women's Prison, will be available next year to inmates at the all-male Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility — thanks to a charitable grant from Google.

"I am beyond thrilled to be growing this life-changing program," Holcomb said.

"Now with the help of Google.org, even more offenders will leave prison able to return to the workforce with the valuable skills world-class companies like Google are looking for."

In addition to expanding The Last Mile to Pendleton, the $2 million Google grant will fund the purchase of new computers, electronic devices and audio-visual equipment for students and instructors at the Indiana Women's Prison. Details

Google software engineers, user experience researchers and program managers also are volunteering to review The Last Mile's adult coding program and adapt it for young people, develop accessibility web development trainings and even create a virtual lecture series so Google employees can engage with incarcerated learners.

"Google.org is proud to stand by The Last Mile and Gov. Holcomb to share in this incredible moment,” says Justin Steele, Google.org head of Americas.

"Over the next two years, The Last Mile will educate and certify over 500 incarcerated youth, women and men across its prison classrooms. We are truly inspired by the individuals that have already completed The Last Mile's training and look forward to the program's expansion."

©2018 The Times (Munster, Ind.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.