MC Hammer helps launch coding program for female inmates in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The governor had some extra help Thursday to open The Last Mile program at the Indiana Women’s Prison from a three-time Grammy winner and pop culture icon, MC Hammer.

The Oakland native is in town to celebrate the beginning of the program, in which Gov. Holcomb challenged the Indiana Department of Corrections to train and graduate 1,000 or more offenders each year into high-demand occupations by 2020.

The program will provide software engineering skills that might lead to potential jobs in the technology sector, such as web developers and designers,  to female offenders.

“When you get properly trained and then you also learn to adapt to culture, the culture in tech, there’s a strong chance that you won’t return to being a person who’s incarcerated,” Hammer said.

D’Antonette Burns has been incarcerated for ten years. Burns said when the program was announced she was excited to learn how to code.

“Anything that can help better myself,  I’m willing to try it,” Burns said.

Indiana is the second state to implement the The Last Mile program. Currently, 37 percent of Indiana’s convicted criminals end up re-offending.

The goal is that the coding program will gear people toward solid jobs so they do not end up back behind bars.