Medina was a former drug dealer, then a guest of first lady Laura Bush at the 2004 State of the Union address, and is widely seen in this community as a role model for inmates transitioning to becoming law-abiding citizens. He says the digital economy has put fresh pressures on worthy, reformed inmates who struggle to find the means to master the education needed to stay competitive.
"Complex high-tech skills are hard to teach, even to prisoners with a lot of time on their hands," Medina said.
And shockingly, what this all means, friends, is that a grim -- but lucrative -- upside lurks around the Drahcir Parsons of the world. The large private prison operators are going to make out like bandits.
Big money behind bars
It's no investing secret that the business of selling into America's love affair with law and order has peaked. Yes, the U.S. is the global leader in incarceration, with more than 2.2 million people behind bars. That's a 500% jump over the past 30 years, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Sentencing Project. But for reasons nobody can exactly explain, jail populations have peaked and private prison operators such as the Corrections Corporation are beginning to feel the pinch as governments cut back prison funding.