The Daunting Problem

The U.S. makes up

25%

of the world’s incarcerated population, but only 5% of the total world population.

There has been a

700%

increase to our prison population since the 1970s.

Annually, Nearly

$48B

is spent on prisons for state and federal institutions.

Over

55%

is the rate of recidivism.

Our Solution

We are in

12

facilities, located in California, Indiana, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

We have served

460

students and counting since 2010.

We have

60

Returned Citizens who are all full time employed or in higher education.

Our Returned Citizens boast a

0%

recidivism rate.

Our Story

In 2010, Chris Redlitz entered San Quentin State Prison for the first time. Because of his background in venture capital, he was invited to speak to a group of men about business and entrepreneurship. He was so impressed by the men’s level of business knowledge and desire to learn, he began to nurture the idea of creating a Technology Accelerator inside the prison. His wife and business partner, Beverly Parenti, was not immediately enamored with the idea, but they agreed to immerse themselves into the issue of incarceration in America, and find a path to help resolve this daunting problem.

Chris Redlitz and TLM students looking at computer screen

Beverly agreed to join Chris on a journey to create The Last Mile (TLM). Since its inception The Last Mile has generated a groundswell of support for criminal justice across America. Never before have we experienced such a cooperative, non-partisan effort to curb the problem of mass incarceration. Imagine if we could break the cycle of incarceration and instead of spending tax dollars for prison, we could spend these tax dollars on higher education, and provide educational opportunities for youth in underserved communities. This would enable them to choose a different path than one of crime. With education and career training opportunities we could break the generational cycle of incarceration. There’s plenty of proof that the impact of one man’s incarceration is felt by families and communities for decades.

Beverly Parenti and formerly incarcerated TLM graduate

The Last Mile Timeline

October 23 2010

The Last Mile Starts

Chris Redlitz enters San Quentin and is inspired to ask his wife Beverly Parenti to join him in starting a program

December 18 2010

The Last Mile started a entrepreneurship programing inside San Quentin for the first time.

May 18 2012

The first six graduating TLM Students have their first Demo Day in front of 350+ business and tech C-Suite executives, entrepreneurs, government officials, and prominent news organizations.

November 20 2013

The Last Mile becomes a 501(c)3

August 20 2014

The Last Mile begins programming as Code.7370 at San Quentin in partnership with CalPIA.

October 13 2014

Mark Zuckerberg visits SQ

June 24 2015

Ironwood State Prison program launched.

October 5 2015

The Last Mile receives funding to open second facility.

January 4 2016

The Last Mile begins programming at the first women’s facility, Folsom Women’s Facility.

March 17 2016

Launch of TLM Works, a web development shop inside San Quentin, that operates as a Joint Venture with CalPIA.

September 8 2016

Valerie Jarrett visits SQ

February 18 2017

TLM Radio launches with SiriusXM

April 6 2018

The Last Mile expands for the first time outside of California in partnership with the State of Indiana at IWP.

May 25 2018

First Juvenile facility welcomes The Last Mile program at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility.

August 15 2018

Next Chapter, The Last Mile’s partnership with Slack, Kellogg Foundation, and FreeAmerica, announced.

December 4 2018

Google.org announces partnership with TLM Youth Facilities.

February 11 2019

The Last Mile opens a classroom in the Mabel Bassett Correctional Facility (Oklahoma), funded by the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative

TLM Team

  • Beverly Parenti

    Executive Director, Founder

  • Mary Cochran

    Expansion Manager

  • Alison Werning

    Expansion Manager

  • Simon Liu

    Software Engineer

  • Gaby Andrada

    Program Manager

  • Zach Moore

    Software Engineer

  • Hayley Benham-Archdeacon

    Accounts Manager

  • Mike Bowie

    Director of Engineering

  • Tulio Cardozo

    IT Manager

  • Darnell Hill

    Reentry Coordinator

  • Mike Christenson

    Software Engineer

  • Jack Cochran

    Director of Expansion

  • Jennifer Ellis

    Chief Operating Officer

  • Syd Heller

    TLM Works Manager

  • Lauren Larin

    Director of Product

  • Kenyatta Leal

    Business Manager, Reentry

  • William Murphy

    Software Engineer

  • Brooke Palizi

    Director of Marketing and Media

  • Dan Wheeler

    Special Projects

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    The Last Mile Jobs

Beverly Parenti

Executive Director, Founder

Beverly Parenti is a serial entrepreneur, specializing in the advancement of innovative technologies. Along with longtime business partner and husband, Chris Redlitz, she launched their nonprofit,The Last Mile (TLM) in 2010 at San Quentin State Prison. The goal of TLM is to provide education and training inside prison, resulting in gainful employment for returned citizen graduates, thereby reducing recidivism. TLM has become one of the most requested prison education programs in the United States. It is the first program to offer a computer programming curriculum that teaches men and women to become software engineers. All TLM “Returned Citizen Graduates” are prospering personally and professionally with 0% recidivism.

Mary Cochran

Expansion Manager

Mary Cochran is helping take The Last Mile program nationwide. Twenty years of digital marketing, traditional marketing, and public relations make her an expert at relationship building. Her years in strategic consulting bring an understanding of the start-up environment and business operations. Cochran has helped promote over 90 companies across a variety of industries, including high-tech, health and wellness and non-profit. Her broad background gives her the ability to create quick solutions to business issues. She graduated with a BS in Management from Pepperdine University. When not working and traveling, you may find her at the gym or on the golf course.

Alison Werning

Expansion Manager

Alison Werning is helping to expand The Last Mile program to states outside of California. Her background in sales and marketing help allow Werning to come up with creative content and great visual materials. Her years as an accessories designer give her graphic vision and the ability to translate ideas into branding and marketing solutions. She graduated with honors in product development at FIDM in Los Angeles and with a BS in merchandising from Colorado State. She loves raising and training her two black labs, spending time on the water and running the occasional half marathon.

Simon Liu

Software Engineer

Simon Y. Liu, TLM Graduate, Software Engineer, is experienced in website development technologies including WordPress, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, PYTHON, and has in-depth experience creating technology-based solutions that drive organizational goals and objectives. He works as a QA Engineer on team projects at TLM to create platforms that help teach prisoners to code. Through his personal experience as a graduate of TLM, Simon has successfully transitioned into a technology career as a formerly incarcerated person.

Gaby Andrada

Program Manager

Gaby Andrada is the Program Manager for The Last Mile, where she oversees program implementation and development, community partnerships, and grant management. Throughout her career, Gaby has developed an interest and passion for community-based progressive work, focusing on issues concerning criminal justice, equitable education, and women’s rights. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley where she studied Sociology and Media Studies.

Zach Moore

Software Engineer

Zachary Moore, a TLM Graduate and Software Engineer, experienced in full-stack website development technologies utilizing JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Pug, and Node, including experience with both MEAN and MERN stacks. Currently, he is working on a myriad of projects with TLM, including their Learning Management System, and both the TLM and TLM Works websites. As a formerly incarcerated person, valuing education, perseverance, and community, he has also worked with at-risk- and incarcerated youth, striving to exemplify the power of TLM’s mission to transform the lives of incarcerated persons through education in technology and business

Hayley Benham-Archdeacon

Accounts Manager

Hayley is the point person for TLM Works clients and tech companies who hire our team of incarcerated developers as a contracted outsource solution, beginning a path toward job placement upon release. Before TLM, Hayley worked as a Policy Advocate for a workforce development program serving unhoused individuals, where she forged relationships with elected officials, developed cultural competency materials dismantling the myths of homelessness, and worked closely with people who experienced incarceration. She holds Bachelors degrees in Political Science & Public Service from University of California, Davis.

Mike Bowie

Director of Engineering

Mike Bowie is the Director of Engineering, leading the long-term technology vision for The Last Mile. He is responsible for the architecture and implementation of the technology infrastructure, systems, and evolving programs. Mike has spent his career enabling people and businesses through technology driven solutions and is extremely passionate about designing innovative systems at TLM, to change lives through technology.

Prior to joining TLM, Mike established the IT organization for a healthcare business, growing the team and their platforms from those of a startup to a scalable operation. With over twenty years of technology experience, he has developed a number of engineering teams and worked in many distinct facets of the industry – from software development to hardware design. He has provided oversight and design guidance to a multitude of startups.

He has a soft spot for arcade game restoration, considers himself a “reformed” marathoner, and is currently attempting to re-training for obstacle racing.

Tulio Cardozo

IT Manager

Tulio K. Cardozo, TLM Works Technical Manager, is experienced in website development technologies including WordPress, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, cloud server infrastructure, web security, and in-depth experience creating technology-based solutions that drive organizational goals and objectives. He manages TLM Works projects, accounts, and cloud deployments. Before joining TLM, Tulio was a consultant/developer and led a team of web developers and designers. He has also worked as the development lead for Launch Podium, LLC., overseeing the development of client technology products, internal products, cloud security and infrastructure. Through his personal experience as a graduate of the TLM, Tulio has successfully transitioned into a technology career as a formerly incarcerated person.

Darnell Hill

Reentry Coordinator

TK

Mike Christenson

Software Engineer

Mike is a LMS Developer for The Last Mile. Mike is a recent graduate of General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive Program. Following his graduation he was hired on as an Instructional Assistant at General Assembly where he assisted the teachers and students alike in all capacities. He works in HTML, CSS JavaScript (ES6), MERN stack and RubyOn Rails technologies. Currently, he’s working on using Elm to build a single page app.
His focus is on prison reform and bringing code to those who may not be fortunate enough to receive education and training. In his free time, Mike enjoys (no surprise here) coding! Problem solving and discovering new technologies fosters his love for programming.

Jack Cochran

Director of Expansion

Jack is TLM’s Director of Expansion, working with states outside of California to implement the TLM program. Jack is a 30 year veteran of the athletic and healthcare industries, having held sales and marketing positions with several major brands including Reebok. He is an avid runner, completing 27 marathons, and works with the Beyond Limits running group, helping coach special needs athletes train to compete in 5k and 10k races. Jack is an active alumni of Ohio State University.

Jennifer Ellis

Chief Operating Officer

Jennifer Ellis is the Director of Operations at TLM. She is the former Chief People Officer at Hack Reactor, a software engineering coding bootcamp, where she led the company’s people operations through acquisition by a competitor, Galvanize.
Jennifer is an executive level advisor on people operations and employment legal matters for technology startups and organizations. She started and led people departments, diversity and inclusion efforts, and strategic planning pertaining to people operations within organizations.
Previously, Jennifer represented employers as an attorney in employment and business law for over 9 years. She served 7 years on the board of directors of Legal Aid of Marin where she provided representation to low income and senior residents in Marin County. Jennifer has also lectured on Business and Employment Law at the University of California, San Francisco.

Syd Heller

TLM Works Manager

Syd started his career has a full stack web developer in the public sector in 2012, after graduating from UCLA with a degree in Russian Language and Literature. As a result of his undergraduate work, as well as his participation in the Russian Language Flagship, Syd is passionate about acquisition and pedagogy of both spoken and coding languages. Syd first learned about in-prison programs after volunteering with the Prison Education Project in the Greater Los Angeles Area. It was an easy and organic decision for Syd to accept a position as the TLM Works Technical Manager, working predominantly with software engineers in San Quentin, where he currently comes to work each and every morning with a smile on his face.

Lauren Larin

Director of Product

Lauren is the Director of Product Development, focused on expanding robust learning opportunities to new facilities. She has over a decade of experience creating, evaluating, and scaling highly effective programs in nonprofit, workforce development, and higher education settings. She holds a PhD in Urban Studies from Portland State University, and a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley.

Kenyatta Leal

Business Manager, Reentry

Chrisfino Kenyatta Leal is a founding member and returned citizen of The Last Mile program at San Quentin. Upon his release in 2013, Kenyatta began a paid internship at RocketSpace and was subsequently promoted into Management and Sales positions with the San Francisco based technology campus. In 2018 Kenyatta joined The Last Mile full time as a Business Development Specialist. He also serves as an evangelist for The Last Mile and is a featured speaker at numerous conferences and corporate events.

William Murphy

Software Engineer

Bill is a Learning Management System (LMS) Developer for The Last Mile. He works with HTML, CSS, JavaScript (ES6), and MERN technologies. He is a strong advocate for the inclusion, employment, and promotion of the formerly incarcerated, women and people of color in all segments of society but especially in the technology sector. He is also a strong believer in continuing education. For his current weekend project, he’s using HTML5 Canvas to build a JavaScript version of the classic arcade game Space Invaders complete with a database. Bill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from California State University at Fresno.

Brooke Palizi

Director of Marketing and Media

Brooke is The Last Mile’s Director of Marketing and Media. She handles TLM’s marketing, communications, and public relations. Prior to joining TLM, she worked as a marketing and business strategy consultant with a wide range of clients including those in the food, services, finance, real estate, non-profit, and insurance industries. Her background includes more than fifteen years as a financial marketing professional with companies including Veronis Suhler Stevenson and CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital. She also serves on the Board and is the Director of Communications for the Sparkle Foundation, Inc. Brooke studied Communications at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dan Wheeler

Special Projects

Dan serves as Director of Engineering for Code.7370 and also teaches math at San Quentin through the Prison University Project. Dan jumped into the startup world in 2008 after studying physics and computer science at MIT, most recently doing security research at Dropbox before joining The Last Mile.

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The Last Mile Jobs

Click here to see our current open positions.

Classroom Facilitators

  • Claudia Elliott

    Pelican Bay State Prison

  • Jon Gripshover

    San Quentin State Prison

  • Jon Jefferies

    Pendleton Juvenile Correction Facility

  • Katie McMurray

    California Institution for Women

  • Quincy Williams

    Indiana Women's Prison

  • Shivinder Gogna

    California Institution for Women

Claudia Elliott

Pelican Bay State Prison

Claudia Elliott is Classroom Facilitator in the Code.7370 program at Pelican Bay State Prison. After retiring twice – from a career with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and as a newspaper editor and manager – she returned to work specifically because she was very excited about the work of The Last Mile and believes in the importance of developing offender rehabilitation programs. Claudia studied journalism at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Her background also includes work as a vocational instructor at an adult school and website content development. Her writing has been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, and on websites including Sitepoint, UX Mastery, and Young Upstarts.

Jon Gripshover

San Quentin State Prison

Jon became the first Code.7370 classroom facilitator in October 2014, now helping TLM train facilitators for many of The Last Mile expansion programs. With minimal coding experience to start, Jon learned to code alongside his first class. Several years later, Jon teaches independent and team-based learning to overcome coding challenges, relating the experience to life’s challenges — a more universal problem that students can use for building confidence and perseverance. He brings five years experience in mental health counseling to his work and has a BA in Creative Writing from Knox College.

Jon Jefferies

Pendleton Juvenile Correction Facility

Jon Jeffries is an instructor/ facilitator for The Last Mile in Indiana at Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility. Jeffries has a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Depauw University and attended ElevenFifty Academy for javaScript. He is excited to be a part of this program as he believes it can and does have a tremendously good impact not just on the individuals in the program but for the criminal justice system, the tech industry, and society as a whole. He and his wife live in Indiana where they raise their two children, dog, cat, and chickens. In his free time he enjoys the outdoors, reading, philosophizing, woodworking, and of course coding!

Katie McMurray

California Institution for Women

Katie, a Classroom Facilitator at California Institution for Women, is a teacher by trade, but a lifelong learner at heart. Drawn to providing opportunities for those in underserved communities, she taught middle school English for 4 years with Teach For America in The Bronx, NY before joining The Last Mile. She has experience working with NYU’s Prison Education Program and Google’s CodeNext.She is a graduate of University of Texas at Austin with Bachelors’ degrees in Urban Studies and Sociology, as well as Fordham University, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Teaching.

Quincy Williams

Indiana Women's Prison

Quincy Williams is an instructor at Indiana Women’s Prison. An Indiana native, he currently resides in Westfield with his wife, Heather. He brings two decades of team building and training experience with a passion for technology to The Last Mile. Educated in software engineering at Eleven Fifty Academy in Fishers, Indiana, Quincy strives to be integral in the architecture and development of systems to improve the dissemination and ease of access of knowledge to the benefit of culture and society. The Last Mile presents him with the opportunity to share that motivation with individuals who may otherwise be financially or culturally prevented from gaining the skills that will empower them.

Shivinder Gogna

California Institution for Women

Shiv is experienced in technologies including JavaScript, HTLM, CSS, Node, React, and creating technology-based solutions that drive organizational objectives. He teaches at the California Institution for Women. Before joining TLM, Shiv has served in the Marine Corps and then taught himself web development before joining a coding program. Through TLM Shiv has found a rewarding career by giving back to others and seeing them succeed.

TLM Board of Directors

  • Beverly Parenti

  • Chris Redlitz

  • John Hamm

  • MC Hammer

  • Sway Calloway

Beverly Parenti

Beverly Parenti is a serial entrepreneur, specializing in the advancement of innovative technologies. Along with longtime business partner and husband, Chris Redlitz, she launched their nonprofit,The Last Mile (TLM) in 2010 at San Quentin State Prison. The goal of TLM is to provide education and training inside prison, resulting in gainful employment for returned citizen graduates, thereby reducing recidivism. TLM has become one of the most requested prison education programs in the United States. It is the first program to offer a computer programming curriculum that teaches men and women to become software engineers. All TLM “Returned Citizen Graduates” are prospering personally and professionally with 0% recidivism.

Chris Redlitz

Chris Redlitz is the Managing Partner of Transmedia Capital, one of the best performing micro funds in Silicon Valley, focused on early stage digital media and commerce platforms. Chris has worked with many aspiring entrepreneurs through KickLabs, one of the country’s leading technology accelerators he co-founded in 2009. He received Ad Age’s prestigious i20 award for his contributions to the development of interactive marketing and advertising. Earlier in his career, Chris was part of Reebok’s explosive growth where he held positions in sales and marketing and also owned one of the first specialty sports retail chains in Southern California. For over twenty years, Chris was a distance runner completing marathons and ultra marathons. Today he is an avid cyclist and health advocate.

John Hamm

John Hamm has a diverse background as a technology CEO, a venture investor, and a leadership coach/advisor and Board member. Hamm has been an investor and Board member at Brocade (NASDAQ:BRCD), Ironport (acquired by Cisco), SiliconStor (acquired by LSI Logic), Documentum (acquired by EMC), Truveo (acquired by AOL), and Webify (acquired by IBM). From April, 2013 to August 2014, John was CEO of PonoMusic, a project founded by Neil Young, dedicated to restoring the quality of studio master music recordings for consumers who value audio/musical fidelity. John’s popular leadership book, “Unusually Excellent” (Wiley – Jossey Bass, 2010) is available in Kindle or hardback at Amazon.com. Hamm has been published in Fast Company, Business 2.0, Business Week, Fortune, Forbes, and The WSJ.

MC Hammer

A multi-award winner, M.C. Hammer is a rapper, dancer, entrepreneur, spokesman and occasional actor. He is considered a pioneer and innovator of pop rap by incorporating elements of freestyle music, and is the first hip hop artist to achieve diamond status for an album. Throughout his career, Hammer has managed his own recording business. As a result, he has created and produced his own acts including Oaktown’s 3.5.7, Common Unity, Special Generation, Analise, One Cause One Effect, and more.

Sway Calloway

Host of the top rated “Sway in the Morning” on SiriusXM. Already a vanguard radio personality, record producer and hip-hop artist, Sway joined the MTV News team in 2000 and has been front and center for some of music’s biggest moments. Sway is an integral part of MTV News’ annual live-event coverage of the MTV VMAs, Grammy pre-show and the EMAs. Sway also serves as an MTV Executive Producer and brings new programming ideas to the station. He also includes additional duties with MTV2 and host of the weekly MTV Radio syndication show that airs in over 50 plus cities across the country.
His work continues throughout the nation and community where he has been a part of various panels and discussions hosting and moderating on important issues like Hate Crimes, Racism and Education.

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