The Last Mile

Programming Pro

TLM provides opportunities for personal and professional growth for justice-involved individuals through education and technology training.

For the last decade, our political process has become bound in a binary sense of partisan loyalty, stifling progress on critical legislation that directly impacts the citizens of our country. Surprisingly, one unlikely issue has resonated across the aisle and provided hope that Republicans and Democrats can actually set aside their biases and become change agents for the common good. That issue is criminal justice reform.

Ten years ago, my wife Beverly and I were introduced to the issues of mass incarceration and the troubling epidemic of recidivism that has plagued our country for many years. Like many Americans, we were unaware of these systemic issues that were being perpetuated by a public sentiment of “tough on crime”, introduced decades ago as a response to rising crime rates and the infiltration of drugs into every neighborhood in America.

This legislation was introduced by Republicans and reinforced by Democrats for decades. It was a political assault on underserved communities, especially African American communities. The United States leads the world in incarceration rates, recidivism and the cost of incarceration. This is not a leadership position to be proud of.

What evolved from our research into this troubling issue is The Last Mile (TLM), a non-profit devoted to reforming the criminal justice system. Today, TLM is one of the most successful prison education programs in the country, teaching coding skills to men, women, and youth in 19 classrooms across 5 states. TLM graduates have been hired by some of the leading technology companies in Silicon Valley and beyond.

The Last Mile has become embedded in the criminal justice reform movement that has gained momentum over the last decade. This movement is one of the most powerful bipartisan initiatives of the past 40 years. State and local politicians, as well as politicians in Washington DC, are crossing the aisle to create long-overdue change, beginning a journey to rectify this tragic assault on our communities.

The support we have received has come from leaders in the Republican and Democratic parties and from every major media organization. California’s Governor Gavin Newsom (D), Indiana’s Governor Eric Holcomb (R), Oklahoma’s Governor Kevin Stitt (R), Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D), the Obama administration and the Trump administration have all strongly supported TLM’s mission.

We were recently invited by the current administration’s Workforce Policy Advisory Board (AWPAB) to present The Last Mile to some of the most influential CEOs in the country. The response from this group was extremely positive, already generating genuine discussions about hiring formerly incarcerated people. We are working with progressive non-profits like #cut50 and Stand Together, and we will continue to work with those government and business leaders who are committed to creating positive change.

While support from the majority of people has been overwhelmingly positive, there are still some who do not understand how we are positioned to help resolve the disturbing legacy of judicial inequities. They’d prefer we align only with one side or another in this fight. But excluding committed leaders in government and business will only perpetuate divided politics and a divided nation. The Last Mile was founded on the principles of collaboration and transformation and we will continue to pave the road to success. We are proud of the progress we have made and we are proud of our country for realizing that mass incarceration is not the answer.

The Last Mile team has made huge progress over the last decade, instilling hope to incarcerated populations across the country, and helping to introduce the business and technology communities to a population of people who deserve a Second Chance.

As all of the TLM participants, past or present know, if they “believe in the process”, good things will happen.

Beverly and I continue to “believe” more than ever before.

We have faith that you will too.


Chris Redlitz

Co-Founder & Chairman, The Last Mile“Paving The Road To Success”

The Last Mile is an in-prison technology program teaching software engineering with two 6 month track programs starting with Web Development Fundamentals (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and moving on to MERN Development (MongoDB, Express, React, Node and more) giving students full-stack developer skills. We have served a total of 848 students.
We have had 343 students released where our reentry department provides assistance with employment readiness, continuing education opportunities, basic needs resources and referrals, and emergency assistance.
Of the population of our returned citizens that have been released over 6 months 90% are currently employed, with over 50% in tech.


2022 Budget
75%Program Spend
19%Management Spend
6%Fundraising Spend


In prison software development program

The curriculum provides software development training in two-6 month cohorts, Web Development Fundamentals and MERN Development.

Students learn more than just technical skills as there is a major focus on soft skills including opportunities to work in teams and formal presentation of individual projects.

Each week a lesson plan related to the current topic students are learning in the curriculum is taught via virtual remote instruction. This is where students can interact with the remote instructor, most of whom are former students and provide inspiration beyond the lesson plans. Students are also able to submit help desk tickets for help with any concepts throughout the curriculum and are provided support, and resources to bring them up to speed, by a team of academic support that is also made up of former students from the classroom.

Reentry Services and Community Support

Reentry support begins while the student is still in the classroom. We supply transition plans and resume assistance and connect students with a returned citizen advocate who they can reach out to upon release.

Once released they are onboarded to the reentry program and supplied with a laptop, access to online educational opportunities at no cost, and career or education planning services.

Advocates provide support and services in several areas including employment, education, basic needs, community engagement, and emergency needs.

Continued support includes weekly meetings where an advocate can discuss and track progress on any goals the individual may have. Advocates will also share any upcoming job or professional development opportunities the reentry department has to offer. With continuous community engagement and support.

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