SAN QUENTIN, CALIFORNIA (TNS): California inmates can earn cash making license plates for state residents. Soon they’ll be able to get paid for writing code. In a first for the country, prisoners at San Quentin State Prison are being considered for jobs as computer programmers. If everything goes as planned, they will work on projects for private businesses, all from inside the prison’s walls. Five private companies have expressed interest in hiring inmates as programmers and are being vetted, said Chuck Pattillo, general manager of the California Prison Industry Authority.