Correctional colonies - a new forge of IT specialists?

    Regina Rzhevtseva, head of the press service of the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation for the Moscow Region, in an interview with Izvestia, shared plans to open four-month courses for prisoners at the Mozhaisk penal colony. These courses will include the profession of a programmer, photo editor, and graphic designer. Experts believe that such measures will help improve the situation with the employment of prisoners after release. Since places on these courses will be limited, their visit will be a kind of encouragement for the inhabitants of the colony.

    The Federal Penitentiary Service of the region has concluded a tripartite agreement with the Ministry of Education of the region, a charitable foundation that initiated this idea, Rzhevtseva said. - The overall goal of the new program is to educate the inmates of the colony on the specialties that are in demand on the market today, so that after they are released they will be easier to adapt to a new free life. Therefore, the FSIN also works closely with specialists from the Ministry of Labor and Employment, who regularly come to the colonies to talk about which specialties are most relevant. In accordance with their forecast, courses will be prepared in various specialties. A program has already been developed in the IT area. It is assumed that, by analogy, culinary courses and hairdresser-stylist courses will be held.

    In my opinion, the main problem may be the traditional reluctance of the employer to hire people who have a previous criminal record. The quality of the material that will be taught at such express courses is also questionable.
    When deciding on the organization of such training, they were guided by the results of a survey among prisoners. Nikolay Levshits, executive director of the “lend a hand” charity fund, which is involved in the implementation of the project together with the Federal Penitentiary Service, said:
    “We conducted a survey of children, in the framework of which we offered them 10–15 professions that are in demand on the market and asked them to choose no more than three,” said Levshits. - We proceeded from what skills will be useful to them in later life. This is most relevant for those who have a short term, because those who are sentenced to long sentences are simply forced to study in those specialties that are already in the colony, since they need to work in the production area. And then no one will ask if you want to be an auto mechanic or a motor-seamstress or not. A computer, the basics of programming - this is something that is interesting for young people and may be needed at any job. It is also worthwhile to understand that, in turn, a cook, a hairdresser are those specialties where they do not check criminal records for employment, for children this is more than relevant.

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    How useful will this initiative be?

    • 32.3% Good idea, people get a chance to acquire a profession in the future 634
    • 18.3% Bad idea, graduates of such courses will not need anyone 360
    • 49.2% This will not cause significant changes, the initiative was created "for show" 963

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