Successful Prison Coding Program Coming to Indiana

Posted: Updated:
Former San Quentin inmate Kenyatta Leal says the program helped him "transform my hustle." Former San Quentin inmate Kenyatta Leal says the program helped him "transform my hustle."
INDIANAPOLIS -

Indiana is the second state in the nation to use a prison inmate coding program that has drawn praise from the likes of the Obama administration and Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg. The Last Mile founder Chris Redlitz says, while many states approached the California-based organization, he believes Indiana truly "understood our mission." The program offers coding classes to inmates as well as mentorship and job placement services after their release.

One of the founding members of The Last Mile, Kenyatta Leal, served 19 years in prison for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. He says he was initially reluctant to ask for help, but the program allowed him to "transform my hustle." He says the skills training allowed him to channel his entrepreneurial spirit in a positive direction.

Redlitz says Governor Eric Holcomb has been "hugely supportive" of the program. Holcomb says the "results speak for themselves" in California. He says the initiative plays into the workforce development component of his Next Level Agenda for 2018.

The Last Mile launched its computer coding curriculum in 2014. The courses teach HTML, JavaScript, CSS and Python, and will ultimately expand to include web and logo design, data visualization and UX/UI. Organizers tell Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman inmates can only participate if they have no infractions, and can earn money in the program so they have some savings upon release.

Indiana reports more than 25,000 inmates in its state prisons, and the unemployment rate among formerly-incarcerated adults one year after release is 75 percent. The program is underway with coding classes at the Indiana Women's Prison.

Redman will feature this story this weekend on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
 

  • Perspectives

    • Taking Hyper-Growth and ROI in Key Sectors to The Next Level

      The Governor and our Legislature have already invested in programs that are delivering over 100X returns to Hoosiers. Prior efforts of Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana General Assembly to invest in our workforce have already positively impacted the lives of many Hoosiers, while building upon a solid foundation for economic growth. The 2019 General Assembly has the opportunity to leverage this to achieve exponential growth for Indiana.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • TradeRev Makes Hires, Promotions

      TradeRev has hired Kayne Grau (pictured) as executive vice president, U.S. and commercial sales. Keith Crerar (pictured) has been named executive vice president of global operations. Also, Kathy Hopkins has been promoted to vice president of sales and Will Farmer has been promoted to vice president of sales.

    • Tech Company Closes on Early-Stage Funding Round

      An Indianapolis-based software company has closed on an early-stage round of funding. Woven, whose platform helps high-growth software teams hit hiring goals, says it has raised more than $500,000 from a group of investors, including venture studio High Alpha. The funding round also included several Indy tech veterans such as Ade Olonoh with Formstack, John Qualls from BlueLock and Christopher Clapp of Angel Learning. Woven says its goal is to reduce bias in...

    • Holcomb Unveils Teacher Pay Plan in State of The State

      Governor Eric Holcomb used his third State of the State address to unveil a plan to increase teacher pay. He called on legislators to use money from the state's reserves to pay off pension liabilities in a move he says will save all local schools $140 million over the next two years, and more in the following years. He says school districts should "allocate 100 percent of the $140 million to increasing teacher paychecks." In his speech, Holcomb also announced the...

    • Kenzie Graduates First-Ever Cohort

      Kenzie Academy has graduated it’s first-ever cohort of students. Eleven graduates received a joint certificate from the Indianapolis-based coding school and Butler University’s Executive Education program. "They are on their pathway to do good work," said Kenzie Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Chok Ooi. "Half the class has already received full-time job offers, and they are getting jobs ranging from $50,000 a year to $70,000 ...

    • IU Kelley Tops U.S News and World Report Rankings

      Indiana University's Kelley School of Business is ranked first among online MBA programs and online master's programs in the most recent U.S. News and World Report Best Online Education Program rankings. Ball State University's Miller College of Business also reached the top 20 in the online MBA rankings.