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Community Development, Startups

One of our Country’s Most Important Programs: The Last Mile

I am constantly hearing about new ideas and new programs and it is very rare I come across one that stops me in my tracks and automatically clicks with the immense amount of impact it could have on our world. The Last Mile was one of them that I just came across. Please watch this video:

The problem they are solving is huge to say the least. If you don’t believe me, here are some facts that just scratch the surface.

– The money states spend on prisons has risen at SIX times the rate of spending on higher education in the past 20 years

– In 2011, California alone spent $9.6BIL on prisons ($5.7BIL was spent on the UC system and state colleges)

– Since 1980, California alone has built ONE college campus. In that same time have built 21 prisons.

– A college student costs the state $8,667 per year; A prisoner costs the state $45,006 a year.

– Lifetime per prisoner cost is estimated at $1.2MIL. Instituting the death penalty costs at least 2-3x more due to legal fees and appeals that vary per state.

– The U.S. has 7-10x more prisoners per citizens that other developed countries. (The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100k citizens. Japan: 63, Germany: 90, France: 96.)

– In developing countries where they are well known for crime, they still only have about 1/3 the amount of prisoners per citizens as the U.S. Mexico: 208, Brazil: 242

– The U.S. makes up 5% of the worlds population but 25% of the worlds jailed prisoners. – The 700 Club

These are facts just that support the U.S. fiscal problems but doesn’t even touch other major problems such as inequality and racism. We tend to think that creating policies that keep more people “off the streets” is the solution for healthy communities when in reality it is drastically hurting our sustainability. We have blatantly decided that putting more people away is more valuable that reinvesting in human capital, the essence of a thriving and innovative society.

I will you with one last fact:

The states and federal government in the U.S. spend $75BIL a year on corrections.

What if we decided to invest even a small fraction of that ridiculous budget on developing better programs that educated and provide more options than just going back to jail? What if we decided to invest a small faction of that ridiculous budget on creating programs that not only gave better options but also showed how individuals can change our society? What if we just put faith back into people that they are ultimately good  and not automatically assume they are in our community to destroy it? That is what The Last Mile has started to do and I cannot wait to see how they impact not only the California community but how they inspire the rest of the world to change. I wish them only the best in their development of this remarkable program.

*Sources:

TIME:http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2109777-2,00.html

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nake-m-kamrany/incarceration-rate_b_1423822.html

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About Joey Aquino

@Joey_Aquino https://joeyaquino.wordpress.com/ http://www.linkedin.com/in/jdaquino

Discussion

5 thoughts on “One of our Country’s Most Important Programs: The Last Mile

  1. Hey Joey,

    This is a amazing and impactful post. In a system that would normally require top-down reform, The Last Mile is affecting change from within and shining a light on 1) A very difunctional corrections system and 2) The social and economic value we are losing due to this system.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Posted by davidburt08 | August 9, 2012, 1:27 pm
    • I just got introduced to the founders and may develop a Startup Weekend event with them as a way to introduce more entrepreneurship education to them. Really awesome group. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

      Posted by Joey Aquino | August 9, 2012, 3:48 pm
      • Great work Joey! I participated in a StartUp Weekend in Jacksonville, FL back in January and it literally changed my life. My StartUp Weekend teammates and I are now down in Santiago participating in StartUp Chile and couldn’t be happier. I’m also trying to gather a group to help with the SU Weekend down in the south of Chile in a few weeks. There are a lot of smart entrepreneurs here and all of them know StartUp Weekend. You guys are doing a fantastic job of empowering people and giving them that little push and perhaps a little bit of confidence to take a swing at their dreams. Keep at it and I’ll keep following your journey.

        Posted by davidburt08 | August 10, 2012, 7:39 am
      • Awesome! Congrats! What is the name of your startup? I’ve got a good friend from HS in the Startup Chile program right now, her name is Jackie Gow and she is working on localisto. I think we have done a couple weekends down there but let me know if you find another group of organizers and we can link you up to help throw a big event! Cheers

        Posted by Joey Aquino | August 10, 2012, 10:27 am
      • We are working on EventRay, which is a task management and event planning software. I haven’t met Jackie yet, but I will try and seek her out and chat her up a bit. All the people involved in the program are super cool and collectively form the best resource we have here. There is a SUP Weekend down in Concepcion, Chile on the 31st of August that I want to try and attend and help out in some way. There are also some other SUP Chile participants that would like to do the same. If you are able to facilitate anything to get us involved that would be amazing. We are willing to do whatever it takes to help out, be it mentorship, judging, or just helping run the event.

        I’ve enjoyed reading some of your blog posts. I’m a little jealous you were able to meet Steve Blank, he’s such a smart guy and he seems like he would actually be a lot of fun to hang with too! Saludos!

        Posted by davidburt08 | August 10, 2012, 3:59 pm

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