- To address the need for computer technology in California’s K-12 public schools, the California Department of Corrections began the Computer Refurbishing Program in 1994.
- For the past three years, the Department of Corrections has partnered with Technology Training Foundation of America, a statewide non-profit organization, to bridge the digital divide by providing high-quality computers and peripherals free of charge to California schoolchildren.
- The donated computers are refurbished through the Department of Corrections’ Computer Refurbishing Program. In the program, state prison inmates are provided hands-on training, giving them useful skills that will help prepare them for a future outside prison and an opportunity to give back to their communities. The program also saves schools and taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
- The 1,500 computers given on November 20, 2002 to the Sacramento City Unified School District, the Robla School District and the Grant Joint Union High School District, were refurbished by inmates at California State Prison, Solano, in Vacaville; Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown and Correctional Training Facility in Soledad. Nissan North America, Raley’s supermarkets and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control donated the retired computers for this project.
- Nine prisons have a Computer Refurbishing Program. In the first year of the Department of Corrections’ program, 2,000 refurbished computers made their way to California classrooms. To date, more than 88,000 computers have been given away to public schools statewide at no cost to the recipients through the department’s computer donation partnerships.
- Donations of retired computers come from major corporations, companies, state agencies and individuals helping to level the technological playing field for California schoolchildren.
- All of the unusable parts and equipment are disposed of through the Atwater Federal Penitentiary’s UNICOR Recycling Program. Nothing is sent to landfills as waste. Without this resource, the Computer Refurbishing Program would not be possible.
- The Department of Corrections’ Computer Refurbishing Program offers the most affordable solution to the technology needs of California public schools.
THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS’ COMPUTER REFURBISHING PROGRAM