We are a team of social innovators who are breaking the cycle of incarceration with technical education and training that champions students’ success after their release.
The U.S. prison population has increased more than 700% since the 1970s, with each incarcerated adult costing taxpayers nearly $70,000 each year.
At the same time, 85% of those released from incarceration return to prison. This is why almost $48B is spent each year on state and federal prisons.
We view this as an unacceptable loss of economic and human potential – one that can be corrected.
Since the 1970's, the prison population in the U.S. has increased by 700%
Annual cost to taxpayers per incarcerated person
Amount spent each year on state and federal prisons
The Last Mile technical education and training stops the cycle of incarceration. It also reduces recidivism, lowers the level of taxpayer money spent on incarceration, and produces exceptional employees.
At the classroom level, our work involves using the most advanced online training and education techniques, professional instructors, and results-driven management to produce engineers, developers, and many other workforce-ready professionals. Our current curriculum includes 2 main areas of training: Web Development and Audio/Video Production.
At the organizational level, our work involves partnerships with state government Corrections officials, corporations, funding sources, community groups, and public figures who have joined our cause.
Together we have created an incarceration-to-work program that has become a model in 7 states.
TLM is in 19 classrooms in 7 state
TLM student participants
Returned citizens who have successfully rejoined society
Employment rate for TLM returned citizens
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 that he began to nurture the idea of creating a Technology Accelerator program inside the prison. He wanted to unlock the human and economic potential he saw in San Quentin.
The Mission: Reform the criminal justice system
Chris’s wife and business partner, Beverly Parenti, agreed to immerse herself in the issues surrounding incarceration in America and the two of them began to develop solutions to help resolve this daunting problem.
The success they experienced in training justice-impacted individuals at San Quentin evolved into The Last Mile, whose name reflects the mission of going the distance to empower incarcerated people to excel following their release.
Addressing the epidemic of incarceration
TLM has catalyzed a groundswell of support for criminal justice reform across America.
By demonstrating that a cooperative, non-partisan effort can curb the problem of mass incarceration, we have mobilized many partners.
Together, we are reducing the amount of tax dollars spent on prison, and freeing those resources to go to work where they can do more good. In education, for instance.
Over time, with an expanding menu of education and career training options, we will be a driving force in reversing the cycle of incarceration. It is a goal we pursue for the success of our alumni, and our partners.
Read Chris Redlitz’s Article: I’ve Spent 500 Days in Prison, and Never Committed a Crime