Prisoners are getting job training so they can prepare to enter the field of tech upon their release, thanks to prison rehabilitation program, The Last Mile.
The Last Mile — which is based in San Quentin, California — is bridging the gap between tech and criminal offenders to teach them how to code so they can easily find employment once they get out of prison.
“At The Last Mile, we are using technology to try and solve mass incarceration,” software engineer Jason Jones said to The Denver Channel. “You are talking about disrupting the status quo of people not normally getting access and opportunity. Not only are we driving down the recidivism rate where people get out and don’t come back no more, but we also have the ability to go back in the community and stop people from going into prison in the first place.”
Jones — a product of the program who now teaches computer coding to prisoners through remote communication — helps these people become reformed citizens well-equipped to offer their newly-acquired skills to companies such as Slack, Facebook, and Google upon their release.
The Last Mile was founded by Chris Redlitz and his wife Beverly Parenti nearly ten years ago, and has since helped hundreds of incarcerated people who have entered the program transform their lives for the better.
“What The Last Mile has shown is that a change is possible,” Parenti told The Denver Channel.
Moreover, The Last Mile aims to not only help prisoners change their lives, but also help prisons reduce the costs of housing these incarcerated people.
According to The Denver Channel, the average cost to house a prisoner in California is about $75,000 a year, but only costs around $5,000 for a prisoner to go through The Last Mile’s program, saving millions in taxes.
Now that the program is more established, The Last Mile has garnered financial support from corporate partnerships and state funding.
Since it was first founded, The Last Mile — which began in a single prison in California — has now expanded to five different states as the program continues to see upward growth.
For more information about The Last Mile, visit its website.