Google Gives Big Boost to Prison Coding Program

Posted: Updated:
(photo courtesy of (photo courtesy of

A prison coding program that was introduced to Indiana earlier this year is getting a boost. has announced a $2 million grant to California-based nonprofit The Last Mile, which provides technology and business skills training for inmates. The funding will support, in part, the launch of Indiana's first coding program for incarcerated juveniles at the Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility.

The Indiana juvenile program is The Last Mile's first youth program outside of California. In an interview with Inside Indiana Business, The Last Mile co-founder Chris Redlitz says it is important to serve all populations, including men, women and young people. 

"It's specifically important for us to try to address issues of incarceration very early on in life," said Redlitz. "So if we can potentially help change some lives early, it's critically important. The youth facilities generally are 17 to 23-years-old, so they're still at a very formative age and if we can start directing some of those hopes and dreams and a path into technology, which many of these folks have not had any exposure to, I think it's really critical."

The Last Mile began its first Indiana program in April at the Indiana Women's Prison in Indianapolis. The grant from will also support new equipment for students and instructors at that program, including computers, electronic devices and audio-visual equipment.

In addition to the grant, Google has announced some of its software engineers, user experience researchers and program managers will volunteer their time to review The Last Mile's adult coding program and adapt it for young people. That will include creating a virtual lecture series enabling inmates to learn directly from industry veterans, which Redlitz says will be an important factor as the nonprofit looks to grow nationally.

The grant was announced Tuesday at the Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility. Governor Eric Holcomb was among those in attendance.

"I am beyond thrilled to be growing this life-changing program," Holcomb said in a news release. "Now with the help of, even more offenders will leave prison able to return to the workforce with the valuable skills world class companies like Google are looking for. The Last Mile program really starts the first mile of the rest of their new life."

Redlitz says the nonprofit's goal is to take the program and make it a national model by putting it in 50 classrooms over the next five years. The grant is also support the expansion of the program into Oklahoma and Kansas in 2019.

  • Perspectives

    • Time Management: When and How to Work to Your Max Productivity

      Time is the one resource in your life that is neither replenishable nor renewable. Regardless of how you spin it, everyone starts each day on an equal playing field with 24 hours in the time bank. And while people often yearn for more time, what they really need is better time management. Understanding where your time goes, when you are most productive, and why you should protect yourself against distractions are the keys to achieving your max productivity.



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


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Photo courtesy of MutualBank

      MutualBank President Dies

      The President and Chief Operating Officer of Muncie-based MutualBank Pat Botts has died. In a statement on Facebook posted Sunday, the company said the passing was unexpected.

    • Photo courtesy of Indiana Premium outlets

      Simon Announces New Name for Shopping Center

      Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) has announced Edinburgh Premium Outlets will become Indiana Premium Outlets. The company says extensive enhancements are currently underway to reflect the new name and are slated for completion by Holiday 2019. 

    • (file photo courtesy of Radial)

      Radial to Hire 1,800 Seasonal Workers in Brownsburg

      Pennsylvania-based Radial Inc. has announced plans to grow its seasonal workforce in Brownsburg. The company, which opened its 700,000-square-foot fulfillment center in the Hendricks County city in June, says it will add 1,800 workers ahead of the holiday season. Radial is an e-commerce technology and operations company and says a dramatic increase in online spending will lead to higher demand for workers at the new facility this year. The jobs will mainly be...

    • Artist rendering of proposed headquarters for Ruoff Home Mortgage in Fort Wayne.

      Ruoff to Build New HQ in Downtown Fort Wayne

      Fort Wayne-based Ruoff Home Mortgage has announced plans to build a $43 million corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne. Plans call for a 110-thousand square foot, nine-story structure, at the corner of Ewing Street and Jefferson Boulevard. The building would include leasable office and retail space, as well as a parking garage. It would overlook Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne Tin Caps minor league baseball team. The company is currently located on...

    • (photo courtesy of Aptiv)

      Irish Tech Company Coming to Westfield

      An Ireland-based technology company has announced plans to set up operations in Westfield. The city says Aptiv PLC (NYSE: APTV) will invest more than $9 million to open an engineering lab in the Westfield Business Centre and bring in 50 jobs.