White House official Valerie Jarrett speaks to one of the participants in Code.7370 in September 2016.

As part of its $237 million budget for 2017-18, The California Prison Industry Board has approved that the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) expand technology programs at two additional institutions, Pelican Bay State Prison and Ventura Youth Correctional Facility.

Building on the success of the Code.7370, Computer Coding program at San Quentin State Prison, and the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) program at Folsom Women’s Facility, the expansion will enable even more offenders to learn high-tech skills that will help them secure stable employment upon release.

“Expanding innovative technology programs equips offenders for real-world success when they return to their communities,” said Prison Industry Board Chair and CDCR Secretary, Scott Kernan. “Our goal is to provide offenders the job skills they need so they can become productive members of society and never return to prison.”

On June 29, 2017, The Prison Industry Board approved the expansion of both the successful Code.7370 and CAD programs that includes almost $12 million to increase the number of CALPIA Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, which have some of the lowest recidivism rates in the State.

In partnership CDCR and nonprofit The Last Mile, CALPIA will expand Code.7370 to both Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) in the recently converted Security Housing Unit, and Ventura Youth Correctional Facility. The programs will mirror the successful program at San Quentin State Prison operating since November 2014.

“Code.7370 and The Last Mile change lives through technology,” said Chris Redlitz, The Last Mile Co-Founder. “Since this program started we have had an impressive track record, a 100 percent success rate, meaning not one individual has returned to prison who has graduated from San Quentin’s Code.7370 program.”

Code.7370 provides basic computer skills, coding instruction, website and application design. The curriculum uses technology to securely simulate a live coding environment without Internet access. The program teaches HTML, CSS Python and JavaScript. Code.7370 offers three levels of coding certifications to ensure that offenders continue to progress and hone their coding skills.

The CAD program, which started in March 2014 in Folsom, will soon be available at PBSP.  It was the first of its kind in the country, being the only authorized Autodesk Training Center housed in a prison. Offenders learn CAD produced by software company Autodesk in order to design products in the manufacturing and engineering fields. The certifications they earn assist them in obtaining jobs in the Architectural, Mechanical or Engineering fields when they return to their communities.