Startup's Education Platform For Curbing Recidivism Launches Pilot In Philly Prison

Image courtesy fast-fwd.org

By Anne Field / Forbes

When we last met Jail Education Solutions earlier this year, the startup was part of FastFWD, a social enterprise accelerator in Philly focused on public safety.

Now, it just launched a pilot of its tablet-based wireless education system for inmates in prison and jail. It’s in the 8,500 bed correctional facility in Philadelphia and, according to co-founder Brian Hill, will be rolled out over the next several months.

As part of the FastFWD program, startups presented rfps to the city, which is why the pilot is there instead of Chicago, where the company is based. (I’ve written about FastFWD and Jail Education Solutions here and here).

In August, the company also closed a Series A round led by SustainVC and others. Hill doesn’t want to disclose the amount. A few months earlier, it raised a seed round. And in January, it was awarded $325,000 from the MacArthur Foundation which, says Hill, is one of the only times the organization has given money to a for-profit company.

Jail Education Solutions’ educational platform Edovo aims to reduce recidivism, which is rampant, by helping inmates get an education while they’re incarcerated. Studies show that educational and vocational training dramatically reduces the number of inmates who return to prison or jail.

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