Computer programming, Website Standards Compliance audits now available
By CALPIA staff
After conducting public hearings in October, and receiving no testimony in opposition, the Prison Industry Board authorized the expansion of the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) Digital Services Enterprise (DSE) at Folsom State Prison to include CALPIA’s San Quentin State Prison Program, Code.7370. The program opened this week and services are now available to all government agencies.
With support from CDCR, California Department of Technology, California Department of Rehabilitation and the State of California Chief Information Officer, the DSE expansion opens the door for more technology programs to be offered to offenders while providing needed services to California’s state agencies.
The DSE expansion allows CALPIA to offer a new service to California state agencies called the Accessibility Compliance Testing Service (ACTS). Pursuant to Assembly Bill 434, “State Web accessibility: standard and reports” (2017), effective July 1, 2019, all California state agency Chief Information Officers are required to certify that their agencies’ websites meet quality assurance guidelines and are compliant with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Offenders assigned to the expanded DSE at San Quentin State Prison will receive technology-based training in how to perform ACTS’s quality assurance review of websites and ensure the pages comply with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Compliance Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The offenders will then generate a summary remediation report if they identify any compliance issues. The offenders will be able to perform this work in a secured, non-internet accessible environment.
Prior to the Prison Industry Board’s approval of the DSE expansion, there had been only one DSE programming location at Folsom State Prison. There, offenders assist tax-supported agencies in services that include Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Braille transcription for the blind and visually impaired, and Closed Captioning for the deaf and hearing impaired.
DSE now includes San Quentin State Prison and its Code.7370 computer coding program, housed within the Darshan Singh Technology Training Center. Code.7370 was established at San Quentin in partnership with the San Francisco-based non-profit The Last Mile to train offenders in computer programming, coding, and graphic design.
To support CALPIA’s DSE expansion, The Last Mile expanded the Code.7370 offender training curriculum to include training ACTS services.
“This expansion to San Quentin allows for all kinds of technology-based rehabilitative opportunities for offenders, so they can work on various websites in a full-stack application shop,” said CALPIA’s General Manager Charles L. Pattillo. “The benefits to offenders will be invaluable, allowing them to gain marketable skills and opportunities for meaningful employment.”
“This is a model we can see expanded in all prisons across California and the country,” added Pattillo. “This tech program will help transform amateur programmers into professional, full-stack web developers or software engineers.”
The DSE program provides a bridge for offenders from the Code.7370 program to the Joint Venture Program, The Last Mile Works. In the Last Mile Works, offenders earn industry- comparable wages and become website developers and software engineers working on real client- driven projects while serving the remainder of their sentence.
“Offering more tech programming guarantees these men will have marketable job skills, a relevant portfolio and savings to help them with successful reentry,” said The Last Mile Co-Founder Chris Redlitz. “It’s a win-win opportunity for the state – websites will meet the accessibility standards, and there will be statewide cost savings in corrections through lowered recidivism.”