Tech program helps people released from prison learn computer skills

The net was nevertheless in its infancy when John F. Coburn went to jail in 1991.

Online video cassette recorders or VCRs ended up still well-known. CDs ended up just beginning to change cassette tapes and films have been even now rented at brick-and-mortar stores like Blockbuster.

A whole lot adjusted in the 32 decades Coburn invested in different Wisconsin point out prisons. Produced this May, Coburn arrived back to a globe vastly distinctive from when he still left. Video streaming products and services changed Blockbuster. And with a number of clicks on a keyboard persons can now just take shots, view a motion picture, obtain clothes, and even a car or truck — all on a smartphone.

That quickly-paced transform of technology numerous appear to expect overwhelmed Coburn.

“When I received my cellphone, I did not know what to do” Coburn, 57, said with a chuckle. “I did not even know how to flip it on.”

When a good friend instructed Coburn about a system that helps returning citizens study primary desktops and web capabilities, he swiftly signed up.

“I just want to turn out to be productive in utilizing my notebook and mobile phone, due to the fact the smartphone is in essence utilised for every little thing,” Coburn mentioned.

Advances in technology have left behind a lot of returning citizens, like Coburn, who’ve served extensive stints in jail.

Discovering how to use the internet — or even standard computer system abilities — is vital to successfully reintegrating into a culture and a operate natural environment that has become more tech-pushed.

Without having it, the prospects of recidivism increase people a short while ago introduced from prison can have a hard time locating employment, reconnecting with household or even filling out a task application.

COO of The Way Out and Executive Director of My Way Out Ruben Gaona, from left, (yellow) helps Frank Penigar Jr., while Chief Support Partner Kim Malone helps Franklin Coleman take a picture during the program which helps bridge the tech gap for returning citizens hosted by The Way Out and Milky Way Tech Hub at BMO Harris Bank Conference Center in Milwaukee.  Coleman served 23 years and four months in federal prison and was released two months in April.

The Bridging the Tech Gap for Returning Citizens system teaches basic laptop skills and how to set up electronic mail, secure individual knowledge, use social media and navigate smartphones.

Ruben Gaona and Eli Rivera made the method with the help of Nadiyah Johnson of the Milky Way Tech Hub to build a pc literacy curriculum for people who have been incarcerated. Gaona and Rivera co-founded The Way Out, a justice and technologies corporation supporting returning citizens with employment guidance and technologies schooling.