Justice Through Code is a free full stack web development intensive that provides opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals to begin to grow and develop into the technology leaders of tomorrow. It is jointly offered by Columbia University’s Center for Justice, and the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School.
Justice Through Code (JTC) works to solve the crisis of mass incarceration by offering life-changing access to career-track opportunities in the technology industry to people impacted by the mass incarceration crisis. JTC seeks to tackle mass incarceration by addressing two of the most significant contributors to recidivism: a lack of job training and the subsequently high rates of unemployment for the formerly incarcerated. In response to these challenges, JTC aims to equip participants with the requisite skills to embark on a sustainable career in the tech industry through a semester-long coding intensive that includes interpersonal skills training and networking opportunities. The goal is for JTC students to emerge as competitive applicants for jobs, internships, or future job/tech training.
We work with local and national partner organizations to identify students, provide resources, offer post-program educational opportunities, and job placement.
To learn more about funding and how you can support the program, email [email protected].
There are currently no upcoming events.
The technical curriculum, overseen by the program’s Academic Advisor, Mattan Griffel, who received the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence at Columbia Business School, provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and deploy full-stack web applications.
The interpersonal skills curriculum, overseen by Professors Daniel Ames and Sandra Matz of Columbia Business School and JTC partners, utilizes case studies, mock exercises, and lessons on topics like negotiations, communication, leadership, and conflict resolution to educate and prepare students to become leaders in tech
The JTC curriculum is composed of five elements:
- Teaching participants the fundamentals of computer science and programming, utilizing HTML, CSS, Python, and Django.
- Networking with various industry leaders who visit the classroom to familiarize participants with career options and facilitate connections with possible mentors
- Interpersonal skills training and support to assist participants in becoming competitive applicants to jobs, internships, or future job training in the tech industry.
- Placement of participants in internships or jobs throughout the NYC tech ecosystem.
- Post-graduation support and provision of multiple educational pathways, mentorship, and additional job training, should participants choose to pursue other careers paths in the tech industry.
Justice Through Code runs two cohorts annually with both starting at the beginning of the regular Columbia undergraduate academic calendar in September and January. The program is twenty-six weeks-long, meeting four nights weekly from 6:30 - 8:30 pm EST.
Participants are expected to spend 20 hours per week on coursework while in the program including at-home video lessons and coursework.
To apply to the Spring 2023 cohort please complete the Spring 2023 Interest Form.
Who are the target students? JTC participants demonstrate need through their shared history of incarceration or justice involvement. While participants are expected to have a base level of proficiency and a significant level of comfort navigating basic computer tasks for admission to the program, no prior programming experience is necessary. JTC works with partners to provide laptops for participants who do not own them, as laptops and/or home computers are required. As we return to in-person classes, remote attendance will be available for students residing outside of the NYC area.
Questions? Contact [email protected].
Donations, Sponsorship, and Hiring Our Graduates
Want to join us in our fight for equitable and sustainable careers for the formerly incarcerated? Want to help with our goal to reduce recidivism? Looking to hire one of our graduates for contract work or to work for your company?
If you're interested in supporting our students by donating to the program, please click on the link below.