Prisoner Inc.

A while back I was reading Joel On Software. This is a favorite software site of mine. There was an interesting post by one of the readers there. The guy wanted to start a software business. However he was currently in prison. The poster stated that he was in a minimum security prison. And he said that programming helped him out. It was almost a spiritual exercise for the guy. Now he wondered whether there would be any problems starting up a business while he was in prison.

Many people commented on the post. I would like to talk about some of the comment high points. Multiple people advised the prisoner to not accept payments in somebody else’s name. There was also some concern whether it was legal to charge customers money while serving time in prison. Some advised the guy to partner with somebody outside of the prison. That might sound like a good idea. However it also comes across as potentially something sketchy.

One funny thing in the prisoner’s favor is that he has a lot of free time on his hands. Some posters advised the guy to attend some college business courses. Just like on the outside, you don’t have to start a company to start coding up a product. It is better to prepare first by improving your skill set. In general, a criminal record will not affect you business. Martha Stewart did fine while she was in prison.

A local problem to solve might be to improve the prison computer systems. Just stay away from any hacking activities LOL. Being in prison and starting a company might get you some goodwill as well. People like a good turn around story. That could count for some positive PR. Somebody advised the prisoner to go by the handle Convict Coder. Nice.

Good luck prisoner guy. I always like to see people starting their own businesses regardless of their background. Of course I advise you to stay on the up and up.