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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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