Washington, D.C. –The Coalition for Public Safety has partnered with The Last Mile Works (TLM Works), a tech startup operating out of California’s San Quentin State Prison, to make second chances a reality. The fruit of its partnership is a redesigned website developed by men incarcerated at San Quentin and a short video chronicling TLM Works’ venture with the Coalition.
Statistics show that two out of three people released from prison will return within three years, but this unique project is a collective effort to fight recidivism by equipping people with the tech and entrepreneurial skills needed to succeed in the startup economy. Individuals like Steve Lacerda, a successful graduate of The Last Mile who was formerly incarcerated at San Quentin, now walks free with a valuable skill set, which can use to reimagine and rechart his future and positively contribute to society.
Steven Hawkins, president of the Coalition for Public Safety, commented: “This redesign is not only providing the Coalition a chance to partner with emerging developers to transform the Coalition’s website, it is also giving those very same developers the chance to transform their lives. Thanks to an unlikely partnership between private sector investors and public sector agencies, the men incarcerated at San Quentin have the opportunity to develop a skill set that is in high demand across Silicon Valley and the rest of the country. In some cases, coding and entrepreneurship are opening incredible opportunities for people even before they are released from prison. As the largest national bipartisan justice reform organization, we’re fighting for second chances as a critical piece of our bipartisan commitment to justice reform. We urge anyone interested in bolstering second chances, investing in people, and transforming the justice system to visit our new website and sign up for more information.”
Launched in 2016, The Last Mile Works (TLM Works) is a software development company developed under the umbrella of parent organization The Last Mile (TLM). TLM was founded in 2010 by Chris Redlitz and his wife and business partner Beverly Parenti, venture capitalists from Silicon Valley. It is their direct response to the problem of mass incarceration in the United States.
“After seeing for myself the potential in these men, I thought maybe we could take on this overwhelming issue of pervasive recidivism by helping them to fulfill that potential,” Redlitz said. “Returning to prison doesn’t have to be inevitable if we can prepare our incarcerated population to meet the needs of society, if we can give them a second chance to contribute through meaningful work.”
TLM Works employs incarcerated men who have graduated from a training program created by TLM in partnership with the California Industry Prison Authority and the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. With more than 2000 hours of coding experience under their belts, TLM graduates interview for employment with TLM Works, where they are paid fair industry wages, build real-world job experience, and provide custom development solutions for clients like the Coalition for Public Safety.
“We are very happy to see TLM Works partnering with the Coalition for Public Safety,” Parenti commented. “It’s opportunities like this website redesign that give us hope that the footprint of mass incarceration can be reduced through local innovation.”