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Fri Feb 8, 2013, 11:49 AM

What Itís Like to Experience New Technology After 25 Years in Jail

http://gizmodo.com/5974555/what-its-like-to-experience-new-technology-after-25-years-in-jail

When I went to prison, in 1987, Motorola manufactured the large, gray cellphone that I used. People referred to it as "the brick." It had the capacity to send or receive phone calls, but there wasn't any text messaging back then.

I also had a pager, but it could only transmit digits, as I recall. I had a personal computer manufactured by IBM with a DOS operating system that I didn't really understand and 40 megabytes of memory. I was told that was a big deal. I linked the computer to an Epson dot-matrix printer, and I remember the perforated paper fed through on a track system that easily derailed. It was a hassle.

Technology has changed considerably during the 25 years that I served. I read extensively during my term of incarceration, but reading about technology felt a bit like reading about typing. Regardless of how much I read, I wouldn't grasp the power of technology until I started using it. Forget the power, I don't even understand the language of technology. For example, I never understood what people meant when they spoke of a "browser." In fact, I just asked my wife to define a browser, and when she described it as a program that would allow me to access the Internet, I gave her a blank stare.

...

I served more than 25 years in prison, and I haven't yet been free for five full months, so maybe others can understand my ignorance on the subject of technology. I can accept that volumes of basic information are beyond my ability to comprehend right now, but with everything I have to learn, I don't know whether I'll ever grasp all that I need to know. I don't have any idea what a "server" is, and I don't know much about how to make my content available to the people who need it. Truthfully, technology isn't the only area that makes me feel as if I'm living in a time warp, but I'll post a different response for those areas of my ignorance.


Fascinating essay.

13 replies, 1332 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply What Itís Like to Experience New Technology After 25 Years in Jail (Original post)
Recursion Feb 2013 OP
gcomeau Feb 2013 #1
Recursion Feb 2013 #2
gcomeau Feb 2013 #4
Cooley Hurd Feb 2013 #6
Skink Feb 2013 #3
Cooley Hurd Feb 2013 #5
LineLineLineNew Reply ?
gcomeau Feb 2013 #7
Cooley Hurd Feb 2013 #8
gcomeau Feb 2013 #9
Cooley Hurd Feb 2013 #11
gcomeau Feb 2013 #12
Cooley Hurd Feb 2013 #13
oberliner Feb 2013 #10

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:06 PM

1. BS detector is going off

They have computers in prison. None of this passes the smell test.

Edit: dude got his masters and was working on his PhD in prison. We epect he never had access to a computer during this entire time?

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:16 PM

2. Depends on the prison and the security level

I don't know where he was or what he was in for.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:25 PM

4. According to Wikipedia

He started in maximum for drug trafficking, but worked his way to a minimum security fenceless by the time he was released. There is little reason to believe he did that and earned a Masters and got partway through a PhD without ever managing to get access to a computer along the way. He wasn't in for cyber crime, there would be zero reason to impose special restrictions preventing access to technology to him.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:27 PM

6. wiki doesn't know definitely about this.

I do.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:18 PM

3. Chinese prison.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:25 PM

5. actually, computers are verboten on every level in prison

My brothers were CO's and they will attest that inmates were never, under no circumstance, allowed near a computer.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:29 PM

7. ?

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20100727_11_A9_Inmate764515

HOMINY ó Aaron Tuhacek is the first person in his family to get a college degree, and he did so in prison.


Tuhacek, 36, received an associate degree in computer information systems from Tulsa Community College while an inmate at the Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy.

Tuhacek, who has been in prison for 19 years, admits that he started taking college courses out of sheer boredom.

"I've been locked up for a long time," he said. "Doing my normal incarceration stuff, it was no longer stimulating."

Then he started taking computer courses.

"I enjoy it," he said. "It gives me a challenge. With computers, you were always learning. There's always new problems to solve."

Now Tuhacek acts as technology support for the education building in the minimum-security wing at Conner, installing education software and maintaining the computer system's network.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:31 PM

8. that, I'm sure, was a special circumstance...

Not the rule in Gen Pop....

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:35 PM

9. Read the last sentence I quoted.

What does that tell you exactly? Do you think he's installing that software in an entire education building at the prison for... just the guards to use?

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 04:23 PM

11. Unless you work in a prison, you're not going to know this.

My brothers have worked in corrections from Max to Min - NOT A SINGLE inmate was EVER allowed to use a computer. Not one. It just does not happen.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:08 PM

12. Sigh...

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/20/us/inmate-rehabilitation-returns-as-prison-goal.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

Todd Ragsdale is serving a 10-year sentence for assault in the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, but he still considers himself lucky.

Mr. Ragsdale is in an advanced computer class
, building customized computers for state agencies, and says he expects eventually ''to walk out into the world with a real job,'' making more than $50,000 a year. It is something Mr. Ragsdale could not have dreamed of before he was sent to prison.


https://www.alamedacountysheriff.org/dc_inmateservices.php

Inmate Services Unit

...

COMPUTER Minimum Security and CDC State Inmates

Beginning word processing and keyboarding.
Basic tools designed to enhance job skills.

...

R.O.P. (Regional Occupational Programs) Santa Rita Jail - Only

Basic Computer Skills Course


http://www.state.me.us/newsletter/backissues/Jan99/inmate_technical_education.htm

Inmate Technical Education

The computer program at Maine State Prison in Thomaston has grown to eight computers available to qualified inmates. This fall we upgraded the prisonís computer equipment with four PC's and added a server and a video card as an instructional aid. The computers are networked within the classroom. There are no modems, or access to the Internet.


http://www.azcorrections.gov/prisons/Prisca_Prisons_Perryvil.aspx

Vocational education programs are available to inmates who qualify through Rio Salado Community College. The Department has a contract with Rio Salado Community College to provide a limited selection of vocational classes to inmates including computers classes.


http://gov.bexar.org/bcsheriff/div_jailsupport.html

Detention Division
Jail Support Services

...

Computer Skills Classes

There are two different types of courses offered to inmates who are interested in learning basic computer skills. Classes offer hands-on instruction, and are designed to help even the most computer illiterate. Classes are also designed to help improve job skills and life skills.

Courses include:

Computer Literacy Lectures: Understanding the history of computers, the functions of programming, and the major components.
Computer Software Application: Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Office Workgroup: Word (Word processing); Excel (Spreadsheets); PowerPoint (presentations); and Access database.




etc, etc, etc... how long would you like to keep going?

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:17 PM

13. Throwing up anectdotal bullshit from 2nd and 3rd party sources...

....does not change POLICY in the NYS Dept of Corrections.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 02:30 PM

10. Most people out of prison don't know what a "server" is either

That's his example?

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