Prisons are often not the most technology-savvy places. Despite talk that offenders could one day be given laptops in Britain’s so-called “cushiest” prison, they are, for the most part, cut off from the outside world. But that could be about to change with prisons set to become hotbeds for the next generation of coders.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport today is announcing a £100,000 award for a scheme which aims to teach over 1,000 prisoners how to code.
Digital Minister Margot James said the Code4000 project will equip offenders with “coding skills to help them into life-changing work” and aims to “stop the cycle of reoffending”.
“This project has changed my life,” says Josh, who took part in the trial of the scheme at HMP Humber. “In a time of uncertainty and stress I was handed a lifeline. I have never been so sure before now of what I wanted from life and how I was going to achieve it. I am not even worried about employment on release anymore. I’m going to smash it.”
Figures released last year by the Government show that less than a fifth of people are in steady work a year after leaving prison, with some employers still reluctant to hire those with convictions.