Harvard professor says he gets thank-you notes from prisoners, some of which are secretly using smartphones to take his free computer-science class

Harvard professor says he gets thank-you notes from prisoners, some of which are secretly using smartphones to take his free computer-science class

#Harvard #professor #thankyou #notes #prisoners #secretly #smartphones #free #computerscience #class

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I knew of a guy in federal prison who was teaching himself coding. He would hand write his code and mail it to someone on the outside who would then run the code. I sometimes still think about how incredibly difficult and frustrating that process would be. Even just writing a college paper on a typewriter (which costs you money) and being unable to fix an error without retyping everything after that error would be enough for me to quit.

Remember, most people get out of prison. They will be in your community and neighborhood one day. Education has far and away the biggest impact on future criminality. We need to do better than sneaking college classes.


Shouldn’t we allow prisoners to take all the classes they want? How the fuck else do we expect them to stay out of prison


Con Academy.


This sounds like the start to a really heartwarming against-all-odds biopic or the foundation story for a new Batman villain.


CS50 is an amazing experience. I did it the second year it was offered in 2013 & the edx program was great back then! Try it if you can.


Respect to anyone who gets through CS50. It’s a bear of a course. I had been programming for 10 years before taking it and still spent 40 hours a week on some problem sets. At the time the Q guide had it as the second hardest course at Harvard —second only to organic chemistry. David Malan is an absolutely amazing teacher but anyone who finishes the class deserves major props. I can’t imagine doing the whole thing from a smart phone and in prison.


Some of whom!


Very dumb to deny them an education, they should find a legal way to have them take the class.


Way to narc


David Malan’s course is really good. He’s an amazing teacher.

His course is free on EdX if you wanna check it out.


Read the headlines and immediately know it’s about Professor Malan. His classes are awesome.


The more educated the population, the less likely they are to commit crimes as they have more skills and even specialized skills that society needs and pays for, with education comes economic empowerment.


They have to take classes secretly because the USA prison system is for-profit, not a rehabilitation system as it should be.

And our tax dollars go towards housing and caring for them, whereas, if they had been rehabilitated, they would be at home paying for their own needs. Whoever makes the profit is using *our* money to keep their involuntary workforce (so, their slaves) housed and fed.

Edit: some experts have crunched the numbers and said it would be *cheaper* to provide non-violent and/or first-time offenders with therapy, GEDs, college classes, and job training, with the hope that they won’t re-offend, compared to the money we spend on feeding and housing repeat offenders on their second or third stint.


It’s really fucked that some want to learn and we make it so hard to actually rehabilitate them


Contraband Education


I hate that they have to sneak around to get education. It should be available to them. An educated society is better for us all. I have a lot of respect for David Milan as well.


A big part of rehabilitation, and to prevent recidivism, is presenting educational and career opportunities. I like this story.


Learning is freeing


I’ve always wondered how they charge their phones in prison. I doubt they’d have access to electrical sockets.


Behrouz Boochani wrote a whole book on a mobile phone smuggled into prison on Manus Island where he had been sent by the Australian government: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Friend_But_the_Mountains

The book won Australia’s highest literary prize in 2019.


I agree with their sentiment. Coincidentally started the course last weekend too and David Malan is an extremely good lecturer, and the teams content is extremely good, both probably one of, if not the best, lecturers/content Ive seen.


It could only be David Malan, he’s an incredible lecturer. If you want to learn computer science his courses are an excellent start.


This professor has done more to rehabilitate prisoners than most prisons.


People trying to better their life have gratitude for someone giving them resources. Why is this news? it should be the norm.


Just proves that education is the answer to repeat offenders


Plot twist of the Hollywood version: at the end they hack the security server to open all the doors of the prison at the same time.


Prison in the US about penalization, and that includes keeping them down and deprived of the tools to better themselves.

In other modern countries it’s about reform and education.

Guess which works better for society?


Snitches get stitches


How? My phone battery dies at the end of each day. Are they using a Nokia’s from the 90’s and swapping batteries that last a couple of weeks?


I got like maybe 3 weeks in before quitting cuz that shit was hard and I realized maybe CS ain’t for me


There is an entire class for intro to data science on GitHub. Amazing source.


Moriarty of 21st century recruiting prisoners


Dang r/technology, I came her bracing for the worst responses and just walked into a smart, relatively nuanced convo. Bravo.

(I work in a related field, not just a judgy a-hole.)


*Business Insider* should have said “some of whom” rather than “some of which.”

I don’t think we should dehumanize people just because they are incarcerated.


Much like myself.😐😕🤷‍♂️
The Smart phone saved my life; quite honestly.
It’s been the most impactful event (if ‘it’ could be summed up as a single in{stantiation}).


Knowledge is power. With that said,I’m off to find free Harvard classes.


This feels like an excellent example of why conservatives are so afraid of free tuition and dropping putrid tuition fees.

The last thing these multigenerational systems of inequity need are people gaining even a modicum of self reliance a disconnect from the standard, disenfranchisement machine and even a faint chance at being in control of their own futures.


This “news” is about how people are expressing gratitude for being given something to better their life. This should not be news. It should be totally normal for peope to get access to the tools for a better life.

This being “news” sickens me.


Rehabilitation needs to be the greater focus of our (USA) justice and prison system. Turning over a new leaf should be the goal.


Met Malan back in 2014 after the LaunchCode organization first started. Super nice guy and enjoyed his course!


No, not education! Anything but that! They fear the educated and this adds to that point.


Anyone know which classes are free?


I assumed the professor would be David Malan. Great teacher, great course.


Forget the criminals — how do I sign up for this free class?


I know someone who just got a 30 year sentence from the feds for cocaine trafficking. They have prison-issued internet-connected tablets. He’s on Facebook, openly. He’s a second time felony distro offender too.


David Malan W, CS50 W

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