When Rochell Crowder last held an office job, computers were not common. Now Crowder, 57, is one of 16 men in the D.C. jail who have completed a 12-week computer science course taught by PhD candidates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Brave Behind Bars, taught twice a week over Zoom, also was offered to women incarcerated in Maine. The program, which started with a pilot last summer in New England, teaches basic coding languages and is meant as a steppingstone for people who may have had little access to technology and are emerging from jail into a world that needs digital savvy. About 18 teaching assistants facilitated breakout rooms and office hours twice a week. Representatives from Microsoft, Howard University and Georgetown University attended the graduation ceremony.

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