OAKLAND, Calif., May 10, 2023 — The Last Mile (TLM), an organization that prepares incarcerated individuals for successful reentry through education and technology training, announced today that Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin and Stand Together Foundation have provided $10 million to fund expansion efforts, educational programming, and research that aims to improve the justice system. Both Ken Griffin and Stand Together Foundation seek to break down barriers to upward mobility by investing in innovative non-profit organizations that provide communities with data-driven, scalable solutions.
“The Last Mile provides the skills and training that those serving time need to reintegrate into society,” said Ken Griffin. “In partnering with Stand Together Foundation to support The Last Mile, it is my hope that these individuals are able to earn an honest living, contribute to their communities, and never again return to crime.”
This support will enable The Last Mile to expand to reach a larger population of incarcerated people across the United States. As a result of this new funding, more than 800 new classroom seats will be created to provide incarcerated individuals and their families with technology training and support during and after incarceration.
“In addition to revolutionizing what is possible for in-prison education programs, TLM is excited to generate rigorous evidence about the impact of in-prison training and reentry services,” said Chief Programs Officer Sydney Heller. “With systemic problems across the justice system in the United States, it is imperative that scalable solutions with proven efficacy are supported and expanded throughout the country, and we are grateful to Ken Griffin and Stand Together Foundation for their critical support of our mission.”
Funding will also support the design and implementation of a randomized controlled trial to understand the causal impact of TLM programming on critical outcomes within and beyond the justice system post-release. The Crime and Justice Policy Lab at the University of Pennsylvania will carry out the study under the direction of leading criminal justice researcher and Primary Investigator (PI) Anthony Braga, Jerry Lee Professor of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania, alongside co-PIs Aaron Chalfin, Ben Struhl, and Sarah Tahamont. This study aims to generate rigorous evidence on the efficacy of TLM programming and inform future efforts within both the organization itself and the broader justice system.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Ken Griffin on this important project. The Last Mile is empowering incarcerated individuals to find valuable ways to contribute when they rejoin society. It’s truly a win/win solution: the students benefit through greater opportunity for themselves and their families and society benefits through their contributions along with dramatically reduced recidivism and safer communities,” said Brian Hooks, chairman of the Stand Together Foundation. “They’re demonstrating that improvements to the criminal justice system and improvements to public safety go hand in hand.”
About The Last Mile
Turn 2 U Inc. dba The Last Mile (TLM) is an Oakland, CA based 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to provide opportunities for personal and professional growth for justice-impacted individuals through education and technology training. Through prison education, transitional support and workforce reentry, TLM is disrupting the system of mass incarceration across the United States. In-classroom curricula and course material prepare students for meaningful employment in modern job roles including web development, software engineering and audio and video production. Students cultivate personal and professional development in alignment with the technical education and with the support of TLM reentry staff, volunteers, and a community founded on shared lived experience.
The Last Mile is celebrating more than a decade as an organization, originating with its first program in San Quentin State Prison in California. The Last Mile has continued to leverage the power of public-private partnerships with Departments of Corrections and industry leading companies. Programs are currently operating in 7 states and 16 facilities across the United States. TLM has been able to expand its purpose, To Imagine, Build and Open Doors, into other facilities through these partnerships as well as funding and employment opportunities from the technology sector, including Ken Griffin, Google.org, Slack, GitLab, Stand Together Foundation, Bank of America, Apple and more.
The Last Mile statistics:
- TLM is currently in 7 states and 16 facilities and 24 classrooms
- TLM has served 1,127 students
- TLM has served 449 returned citizens
- Please refer to TLM’s language guide for guidance on using humanizing language when referring to justice-impacted people in the media.
About Stand Together Foundation
Stand Together Foundation is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in America by driving change from within communities. We are building a community of social entrepreneurs who believe in people, work from the bottom up, and unite with anyone to do right. Since 2016, we have committed over $150 million and counting to fuel the innovation of nonprofits throughout the country to build stronger, safer communities where all people can learn, contribute, and realize their full potential. Our goal is to help nonprofit leaders maximize their impact to transform more lives out of poverty. Learn more at StandTogetherFoundation.org.