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

19

classrooms, located in California, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, and Oklahoma.

We have served

577

students and counting since 2010.

We have

70

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.

August 20 2014

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

June 24 2015

Ironwood State Prison program launched.

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.

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

March 25 2019

Putnamville Correctional Facility becomes the first men’s facility with TLM programming in Indiana

June 11 2019

Topeka Correctional Facility becomes the first women’s facility with TLM programming in Kansas

October 22 2019

Parnall Correctional Facility becomes the first men’s facility with TLM programming in Michigan

TLM Team

  • Beverly Parenti

    Executive Director, Founder

  • Alison Werning

    Marketing and Communications Manager

  • Andrea Henkel

    Director of Education

  • Carrie Murchison

    Academic Support Rep

  • Charlie Thao

    Academic Support Rep

  • Darnell Hill

    Reentry Coordinator

  • deven anthony portrait

    Deven Anthony

    IT Technician

  • Erin L. O’Connor

    Academic Support Rep

  • Erin Palumbo

    Operations Coordinator

  • Gaby Andrada

    Program Manager, Community Engagement

  • Hayley Benham-Archdeacon

    Workforce Re-Entry Manager

  • Jack Cochran

    Director of Expansion

  • Jason Charley-Jones

    Lead Remote Instructor

  • jennifer-ellis

    Jennifer Ellis

    Chief Operating Officer

  • Jesse Lofland

    Curriculum Director

  • Jevonie Rogers

    TA for Remote Instruction

  • Julia Schnoll

    Programs Manager

  • Kenyatta Leal

    Business Manager, Reentry

  • Marisa Carter

    CIW Facilitator

  • Mary Cochran

    Expansion Manager

  • Matthew Nelson

    SQSP Facilitator

  • Melissa Margain

    Reentry Manager

  • Mike Bowie

    Director of Engineering

  • Mike Christenson

    Software Engineer

  • Navid Yousefzai

    Web Development Manager

  • Sumit Lal

    Academic Support Rep

  • Syd Heller

    Director of Programs

  • Tirumari Jothi

    Lead Remote Instructor

  • Tulio Cardozo

    IT Manager

  • William Murphy

    Software Engineer

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.

Alison Werning

Marketing and Communications Manager

Alison Werning is excited to market and promote The Last Mile program. 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.

Andrea Henkel

Director of Education

Carrie Murchison

Academic Support Rep

Carrie is a returned citizen of the Last Mile program from Folsom Women’s Prison. Released in August 2019, she is now helping other participants as an Academic Support Representative. Carrie is focused on furthering her education and building upon her abilities as a full stack developer. She is currently proficient in HTML, CSS, Javascript, NodeJS, SQL, and mySql.

Charlie Thao

Academic Support Rep

Darnell Hill

Reentry Coordinator

Darnell Hill is a Re-entry Coordinator for The Last Mile and a Returned Citizen from the founding class of The Last Mile’s entrepreneurial program. Darnell was a peer mentor while in custody and volunteer ambassador as a Returned Citizen. He has over fifteen years of experience with in-custody and community re-entry case management, group facilitation, workshop coordination, and community engagement. Darnell has an AA degree in Communications with certifications in Cognitive Behavioral Thinking. Darnell is a passionate motivational speaker who believes opportunities are created once we align our passion with our purpose.

deven anthony portrait

Deven Anthony

IT Technician

My name is Deven Anthony. I started my interest in computer science after taking a coding course at my local community college, after that I dove head first into the world of computing. I started my career working as an IT Technician for a small construction company in Napa California, as well as contributing to multiple open source projects in my spare time. My other interest including filming, video production, and aviation.

Erin L. O’Connor

Academic Support Rep

Erin Palumbo

Operations Coordinator

Erin Palumbo is the Operations Coordinator at The Last Mile. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh where she studied social work. After moving to Australia to complete her education, Erin worked with youth involved in the juvenile justice system.  This experience led to an interest in education and rehabilitation programs for incarcerated individuals. 

Gaby Andrada

Program Manager, Community Engagement

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.

Hayley Benham-Archdeacon

Workforce Re-Entry Manager

Hayley is the point person for TLM Re-Entry, 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.

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.

Jason Charley-Jones

Lead Remote Instructor

Jason Charley-Jones, TLM graduate, Software Engineer and Lead Virtual Instructor for The Last Mile, is an experienced web developer and passionate about working with system impacted youth that come from disadvantaged backgrounds. He volunteers at McClymonds High School in West Oakland teaching computer coding. He is determined to create systemic change for those who share his lived experiences, and is hopeful that in doing so it will change the world. #createChange

jennifer-ellis

Jennifer Ellis

Chief Operating Officer

Jennifer Ellis is the Chief Operating Officer 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.

Jesse Lofland

Curriculum Director

Jesse is the Curriculum Director at The Last Mile. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer with five years of classroom teaching experience in the Bay Area and abroad, Jesse brings his pedagogic expertise to serve TLM’s diverse range of learners. He is a boot-camp graduate and has worked in coding instruction to help students and professionals of varying proficiencies bring their dreams to life by writing full-stack applications.

Collaborating closely with TLM’s curriculum developers to implement new lessons and the facilitator team to effectively deliver curriculum, Jesse leads TLM’s effort to provide all program participants the skills they need to find work and build projects outside of prison.

Jevonie Rogers

TA for Remote Instruction

Jevonie Rogers, TLM participant, Software Engineer and T.A for Virtual Instruction for The Last Mile, is a system impacted youth passionate about using tech to break through barriers and provide opportunities to youth and people residing in urban communities.

Julia Schnoll

Programs Manager

Julia Schnoll is the Programs Manager for The Last Mile. She graduated from the University of Oregon where she studied International Studies with an emphasis on Human Rights and Law. In her senior year, she participated in the Inside Out Exchange Program, a college course that brings together traditional university students and incarcerated students for a semester-long class at Oregon State Penitentiary. This experience sparked her interest in fostering educational programs for people entangled in the justice system.

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.

Marisa Carter

CIW Facilitator

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.

Matthew Nelson

SQSP Facilitator

Matthew is an educator, artist, and activist with over ten years of teaching experience in the U.S. and abroad. As an undergraduate at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR, he studied foreign languages, with a focus on Russian language and literature. His teaching career began in 2008 when he was a recipient of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Novosibirsk, Russia. From 2010-2017, he taught in a variety of educational programs for immigrant and refugee students in California, Georgia, and Maine. From 2017-2018, Matthew worked as an English Language Fellow with the U.S. Department of State in Nepal, where he taught university courses on teaching methodology and conducted teacher training workshops for English teachers.

Matthew’s introduction to coding came in 2017 when he discovered the live-coding music platform, Sonic Pi. Since that time, he has become passionate about creative coding, incorporating code into his own creative practice as a musician and visual artist. At TLM, Matthew draws on his background in education to share his passion for coding – as both a professional skill and a creative endeavor – with students.

When he is not teaching, you can find Matthew reading a book, twiddling synth knobs, or working on his latest web-audio project.

Melissa Margain

Reentry Manager

Melissa Margain is the Reentry Director at TLM. Before joining the team at TLM, Melissa served as the Lead Impact Coach for a Bay-area based non-profit serving justice-involved individuals by promoting economic mobility and reducing the rate of recidivism. With over ten years of creating instructional design strategies and coaching individuals to success, Melissa is an adaptable and transformational leader with a passion for social justice, equity, and inclusion. 

While serving in the United States Army, Melissa was responsible for building cross-functional training teams and managing international projects during Operation Iraqi Freedom/ Enduring Freedom. Melissa studied Cognitive Science at Ashford University and is certified through the National Institute of Corrections(NIC) as an Integrated cognitive behavioral change Facilitator.

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.

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.

Navid Yousefzai

Web Development Manager

Navid started his career as a linguist in the San Francisco Bay Area working with hospitals and courts. He speaks six different languages, allowing him the opportunity to work with Department of Defense, Army branch.

Navid’s passion for coding and technology comes from his last year in high school, developing a project that represented student progress over the course of 3 months.

He never stopped coding since then: coding became his primary hobby.

Navid’s first job as a full stack web developer was in 2010, working in a company called iBabel. He built the first of its kind platform to connect interpreters with people who needed this service-based, on location and language desired.

Currently he works as TLM development manager, managing a team of software engineers who are also completing their work from prison without internet access. Navid reviews, approves and validates their websites prior to releasing to the customer so that it may go live on the Internet.

Sumit Lal

Academic Support Rep

Sumit Lal, TLM graduate, Software Engineer, and Academic Support Representative is a person who seeks to be a little better each day both personally and professionally. He is dedicated to working with the community he once hurt to build meaningful relationships and a more positive environment for the youth. Along with his work with The Last Mile, he is a 3rd-degree black belt instructor and teaches Taekwondo to anyone trying to learn. His goal is to pursue a career in Software Engineering and help people coming from systems impacted communities enter the tech industry.

Syd Heller

Director of Programs

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.

Tirumari Jothi

Lead Remote Instructor

A quintessential nerd, he has always had a passion for learning new things and exploring everything he can. After earning a degree in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, he then decided to work in the performance and visual arts, eventually finding himself with a consistent career in these fields. But, curiosity took ahold of him again and he went to Hack Reactor to learn web and software development in a career-accelerator-type environment; an experience that he found very challenging and incredibly fulfilling. He has always had a passion for education and social justice, and finding this position with The Last Mile has provided him with the chance to directly contribute to working within a system that should and can be improved upon. He counts himself incredibly lucky for the opportunity to make a difference in whatever way he can, and he is grateful that he gets to do so with such inspiring and motivating individuals, on the inside and out.

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.

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.

Directors and Advisors

  • Beverly Parenti

  • Chris Redlitz

  • John Hamm

  • MC Hammer

  • Peter Stern

  • 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.

Peter Stern

Peter Stern has been a dedicated adviser to TLM, providing educational lectures inside San Quentin, hosting TLM team events, and providing mentorship to many TLM returned citizen graduates.

Peter Stern is the Head of US Investments for Alibaba. Peter was formerly a senior banker from the technology, media and telecoms M&A team at Credit Suisse in New York. Peter is a graduate of Northwestern University and received his MBA for Wharton.

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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