Good Jobs & Inclusive Entrepreneurship

The Last Mile

Reducing recidivism through in-prison tech education and post-incarceration mentorship

Team Lead

Beverly Parenti

Solution Pitch

The Problem

Despite having the world’s highest incarceration rate, America’s prison system has a five-year recidivism rate of 77 percent. This proven lack of effective rehabilitation makes incarceration a cyclical problem. Securing a well-paying job post-incarceration is incredibly challenging due to unjust stigma and a lack of opportunities for the incarcerated population to gain sought-after technical and digital skills.

The Solution

The Last Mile (TLM) provides scalable in-prison tech education and post-incarceration mentorship. TLM’s vocational training for high-demand jobs has proven to increase social mobility, open career pathways, and reduce recidivism. TLM leverages a custom-built remote instruction software, proprietary Learning Management System (LMS), and thoughtfully curated curriculum to teach: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, Node, Express, MongoDB, Mongoose, and React.

TLM students are taught remotely by an instructor in real time. Students complete coursework through the LMS, a sans internet platform created specifically for incarcerated students. The LMS adheres to correctional institutions’ security requirements while serving as a central location for instructors to interact with students, assign and grade coursework, and track student progress. After completing the program individuals are qualified to apply for employment as full stack programmers upon release from prison.

Stats 

The Last Mile has successfully served nearly 700 men, women, and young adults inside California, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Michigan correctional facilities; over 250 have since been released from prison.

Market Opportunity

Approximately 650,000 people are released from prison in the US annually. Those who graduate from The Last Mile’s program while incarcerated qualify for entry level web development positions. According to Indeed.com, the average annual salary for entry level web developers in the US is $56,261. On a grand scale, this suggests a $36 billion opportunity for returning citizens to earn a liveable wage and in turn, contribute to the economy. Further, according to a study by the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council (SPAC) the average cost of individual reconviction in Illinois is $151,662, with an estimated total cost of $13 billion in Illinois alone by 2023. Reducing recidivism nationwide would save billions of taxpayer dollars and contribute to breaking an unjust cycle of poverty and incarceration. 

Organization Highlights

  • Chan Zuckerberg highlighted TLM’s program in a prison in McLoud, Oklahoma on “CBS This Morning” 

  • Founder Chris Redlitz interviewed by Tyler Mathisen at CNBC’s @Work event

  • Featured in The Atlantic, Forbes, The Guardian, USA Today, Inc., and more

Partnership Goals

The Last Mile currently seeks:

  • New hiring  partners to expand apprenticeship program

  • Technology donations including laptop and smartphone donations

  • Resources for curriculum expansion 

  • Post-incarceration continued education opportunities 

Solver Team

Organization Type:
Non-Profit

Headquarters:
San Francisco, United States

Stage:
Growth

Working in:
United States

Employees:
21

Website:
http://thelastmile.org

Solution Team:

  • Larissa Bundziak Marketing Manager, The Last Mile
  • Precious Hicks Remote Instruction Coordinator, The Last Mile
  • Jason Jones Remote Instruction Manager, The Last Mile
  • Carrie Murchison Returned Citizen Advocate, The Last Mile
  • Beverly Parenti Executive Director, The Last Mile

 
 
    Back
to Top