ELOY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Arizona inmates are mastering a crucial tech skill to land a job in a booming industry once they’re released.

At CoreCivic’s Red Rock Correctional Center, inmates are speaking a new language that only the tech-savvy can understand. It’s called coding, and it didn’t translate for Anthony Bosek. “Zero about coding,” said Bosek. Same with Laramie Secody. “They say either you got it, or you don’t,” said Secody.

A program called Persevere teaches inmates HTML, CSS and JavaScript for six-hour days, five days a week for one year. The goal is to turn convicts into coders and graduate them with an industry-recognized certification so they’ll have new opportunities after they walk out of the prison.

Stephanie Morales is the regional director of the program. “We have a 100% job placement rate, so every single person who’s gone through our program is employed or has been employed in the technology field,” said Morales.

CoreCivic’s Greg Fizer believes the collaboration with the Department of Corrections and Persevere is a part of the solution to keep inmates from coming back into the prison. “Providing them these skills that they can go out into a job that they can enter into, I think it advances the cause for a successful re-entry,” said Fizer.

A successful re-entry could start today for 16 inmates as the first graduating class of Persevere’s program at CoreCivic’s Red Rock Correctional Center, including Secody, who will be released in January.

“As of today, I’m known as developer Laramie Secody,” said Secody. And Bosek next December. “We all made it these past 12 months, and whether you want to admit it or not, we are all better because of it,” said Bosek.


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