By Arti Finn, Host and Co-Founder APDS

I am thrilled to announce the launch of the APDS 2nd CHANCE Podcast, a community voice dedicated to changing corrections for good, and a new venture that I will personally host. Through this platform, I will speak with some of the most important change agents in corrections and highlight the critical work to educate and help justice-impacted individuals prepare for a living-wage career. Our guests will include policymakers, educators, advocates, change agents and most importantly, those who have been directly impacted by the justice system. Together we’ll discuss innovative programs, share personal stories, and explore strategies for changing the corrections system for good. 

I’m honored to release our trailer episode today on International Women’s Day celebrating the contributions of women in history, and those who have played significant roles in addressing some of the world’s most urgent social justice issues;  poverty, education and corrections reform. Women, in particular, face significant challenges when it comes to re-entry after incarceration. This month’s upcoming episodes will proudly feature female change agents that are paving the way for progress in corrections, and shedding light on the needs and opportunities for justice-impacted women.

Today, 83% of our nation’s incarcerated population have no access to programming. Additionally, approximately 70% of formerly incarcerated individuals remain unemployed one year after their release. Most justice-impacted individuals are released with little resources or skills, leading to alarming recidivism rates nationwide.  The company I co-founded, APDS, focuses on changing this by reskilling the incarcerated justice-impacted through education technology.  By providing the tools to everyone and individualizing our approach, we support everyone in their quest to earn a living wage career and contribute to society.

In 2014, when we started the company, we focused on bringing the best online education to incarcerated learners in order to help prepare them for re-entry better than when they entered the corrections system. Over the last nine years, our evidence-based EdTech curriculum has reached thousands of incarcerated learners at no cost to them or their families. But the opportunity to amplify our impact is what propels us forward.

With the 2nd Chance Podcast, we hope to amplify the voices that need to be heard and inspire change that is long overdue. 

“I want to change corrections from a space of warehousing to a place of true rehabilitation.” 


Whether you’re in corrections reform, an advocate for social change, or simply someone who cares about the well-being of our society, I invite you to join APDS and I on this journey of exploration and discovery. Tune in to the 2nd Chance Podcast, available now on all major podcast platforms, and join us in our mission to create a brighter future for justice-impacted individuals. Together, we can break down barriers and become the voice of change to educate and create a pathway to earn a living wage career, changing corrections for good!

Available on all podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Amazon Music.

Julian Blair knew nothing about cloud computing when he became incarcerated in a Washington, D.C. jail more than two years ago.

“I’d never done anything with a computer besides video games, typing papers in college, and downloading music on an iPad,” said Blair.

Now, after three months of work with an educational program led by APDS and Amazon Web Services (AWS) inside the jail, Blair and 10 other residents at the facility have successfully passed the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam.

Read more:

Lynn Nottage’s “Clyde’s” gets a showing at Rikers Island, and detainees have plenty of feedback …

Author: Peter Marks

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The New York City Department of Correction has increased the use of tablets since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to help offer information and resources to the individuals in custody within its facilities …

Author: Julia Edinger

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In early November, following reports of increasingly dangerous and inhumane conditions at the city jails on Rikers Island, I joined a group of business leaders for a tour of the facilities led by Correction Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi and Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez. The purpose was to better understand the hard choices that policymakers face around criminal justice reform and public safety …

Author: Kathryn Wylde

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The U.S. Department of Education recently announced it was inviting more institutions to participate in the Second Chance Pell experiment, a program first piloted during the Obama administration that allows a select number of approved colleges and universities to support incarcerated learners through Pell Grant funds. The change would allow as many as 200 two- and four-year colleges and universities to offer their prison-education programs through the experiment. The change comes after Congress finally lifted its prohibition of incarcerated individuals …

Author: Arti Finn

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Based on his 2019 book, Chris Wilson offers insight into building successful strategies for reentry in a new interactive course. NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, October 20, 2021 / — Chris Wilson, author of The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose, today launched an interactive online course to help incarcerated people prepare for successful reintegration into their communities and growth during their incarceration. Rooted in Wilson’s personal experience navigating life …

Author: Jessica T. Hooper

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In his inaugural address, President Joe Biden pledged to combat the sting of systemic racism, boldly promising that the “dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.” He took his first steps toward making good on that promise by signing a slew of executive orders focused on equity — including directing the U.S. Department of Justice to improve prison conditions. But Biden brings to this mission a checkered history with race and criminal justice. As a senator, he sponsored …

Author: Chris Wilson

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This year gives about 463,000 of the more than 2 million Americans behind bars — and President-elect Joe Biden — a chance at a fresh start. Buried deep in Congress’ latest COVID-19 relief deal is a provision that would allow the incarcerated the chance to better themselves, and their communities, through higher education. For almost 30 years, prisoners could use federal aid to pay for a college education. By 1993-94, 23,000 of the 4 million Pell Grant recipients who received a portion of …

Author: Gerard Robinson

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Today, 2.3 million people sit in prisons or jails. Research suggests that those who participate in well-rounded education programs are 43% less likely to commit another crime after release than those who do not. But—while people in prison have widely varying learning needs—many inmates are unable to access any education at all, and what programming does exist looks like a one-room schoolhouse. We cannot unleash the potential of incarcerated learners without scaling learning tools that are accessible, rigorous, and personalized …


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Featured Case Study

Massachusetts is currently the only state in the country that has committed to personalized education, workforce, and rehabilitation plans for each individual incarcerated in the state’s prisons.

Download the case study to read about how APDS helped MADOC administer the digital and infrastructure implementation required to bring this complex and monumental project to life.