The Last Mile (prison rehabilitation program)
The Last Mile provides coding and technology training to the incarcerated population across the United States. The program, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, originated in 2010 at San Quentin State Prison, California, United States with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and works with the incarcerated population at men's, women's, and young adult correctional facilities to help them build relevant skills in technology and other areas so that they can more easily transition to productive employment once they are out of prison. Participation in the program is restricted to incarcerated people who have worked hard to improve themselves intellectually and emotionally. The program is now available in four states (California, Indiana, Kansas, and Oklahoma).
The program was founded in 2010 by Chris Redlitz and Beverly Parenti in partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
- October 23 2010: 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 programming inside San Quentin State Prison 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 California Prison Industry Authority.
- October 13 2014: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan 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 Indiana Women's Prison.
- 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 Center (Oklahoma), funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Locations of Program Classrooms
|Current Facilities||State||Year Launched||Serving|
|San Quentin State Prison||CA||2014||Men|
|Ironwood State Prison||CA||2015||Men|
|Folsom Women's Facility||CA||2017||Women|
|Pelican Bay State Prison||CA||2018||Men|
|Ventura Youth Correctional Facility||CA||2018||Young Adult|
|California Institute For Women||CA||2018||Women|
|Indiana Women’s Prison||IN||2018||Women|
|Pendleton Correctional Facility||IN||2018||Young Adult|
|O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility||CA||2019||Young Adult|
|Topeka Correctional Facility||KS||2019||Women|
|Mabel Bassett Correctional Center||OK||2019||Women|
|Putnamville Correctional Facility||IN||2019||Men|
The Last Mile started as a six month entrepreneurship program that provided the skills to create a business that would be demonstrated at an annual Demo Day. It later transitioned to become a program trained incarcerated people on various types of technology and digital communication as well as participate on Quora. Participants do not have direct online access, and their handwritten or typed answers are uploaded by program volunteers. Participants have reported on Quora that the program is highly beneficial to them, and their Quora answers in particular have received attention in a lot of media coverage of the program. The entrepreneurship program ended in 2015, folding certain aspects of the program into the new coding program.
In 2016, The Last Mile created the first-ever web development shop operating inside a US prison, The Last Mile Works. After participants complete one year of extensive training, they have the opportunity to apply to TLM Works, where they build real websites for private clients, earning a market wage, honing their skills, and enhancing their portfolio. To date, they have built websites and web applications for clients such as the Coalition for Public Safety, San Quentin News, and Dave's Killer Bread Foundation.
- "About". The Last Mile. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
- Constine, Josh (February 22, 2013). "San Quentin Prison Demo Day Gives Entrepreneurs Behind Bars A Second Chance". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 26, 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- "The Last Mile (training program)". Retrieved March 26, 2014.
- "How does The Last Mile help inmates at San Quentin?". Quora. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
- Madrigal, Alexis (March 20, 2012). "Bringing San Quentin to Social Media". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 26, 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Shih, Gerry (February 25, 2013). "Inmates go high-tech as startup mania hits San Quentin". Reuters. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
- Walters, Alexander (June 7, 2012). "San Quentin's Silicon Valley: From inmate to entrepreneur". Retrieved March 26, 2014.
- Devaney, Tim; Stein, Tom (July 16, 2012). "From Inmates to Entrepreneurs: The San Quentin Startup Accelerator. Prison inmates have all day, every day, to sit around and think. It could be the world's largest pool of untapped brain time. Chris Redlitz decided to put it to productive use. He founded the Last Mile startup accelerator program at San Quentin State Prison in California". ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
- "News". The Last Mile. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
- "Turning Prisoners into Entrepreneurs". Fox Business Network. March 6, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2014.