The partnership provides every incarcerated individual statewide with free education from day one of their incarceration.

New York, NY – Wednesday, April 19, 2023  APDS, an education technology and public-benefit corporation, announced a landmark partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Correction (MADOC) to provide nearly 6,000 incarcerated individuals with day-one access to best-in-class career-readiness courses. The education and career courses began rolling out to every state corrections institution in July 2022 and are now 100% complete. 

Leveraging APDS, Massachusetts is taking an individualized and scalable approach to delivering education, rehabilitation, and workforce plans for each incarcerated individual across the state’s correctional facilities. This initiative aligns with APDS’ mission to break the cycle of incarceration through pathways to living wage employment at no cost to the justice-impacted or their families. 

Education is a crucial aspect of turning corrections into true rehabilitation centers. However, 57% of individuals nationally in state prisons have never participated in educational programming. APDS addresses this disparity through its proprietary Whole Learner Framework™ curriculum focused on the justice-impacted lived experiences, designed by expert educators to transform learners for renewed career-readiness and reskilled education and training on a customized pathway; to earn living wage employment and reenter society to rebuild their lives. With an already declining recidivism rate, Massachusetts is poised to become a best practice for the Nation with this partnership added to its already robust offering of educational opportunities.

“Once incarcerated, the limited access to education and programs is not enough to ensure a living wage job upon reentry,” stated Arti Finn, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer for APDS. “We are happy to see Massachusetts leading the way for changing corrections by enhancing the rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals with technology, equipping them for a pathway toward successful reentry.” 

“We are excited to partner with APDS to help educate the individuals entrusted to our care across the state,” said MA DOC Commissioner Carol Mici, Massachusetts Department of Corrections. “Skills development is critical to providing success upon release.”

The unique content offerings within the APDS’ Career Academy include a career center of over 1,000 career pathways, a career fit assessment, and an intelligent guidance tool to help justice-impacted learners make informed career decisions about their future.

APDS and MADOC’s partnership will allow synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities for all individuals to create individualized and foundational blueprints that provide pathways to living wage employment before release back into society.


Founded in 2014, APDS’ mission is to prepare every justice-impacted individual for a living wage career. Through the career readiness platform, their proprietary “Whole Learner Framework™” delivers education technology assessments designed by expert educators to transform learners for renewed career-readiness and reskilled education and training on a customized pathway; to earn living wage employment and reenter society to rebuild their lives.

APDS is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) and certified B-Corporation, based on a philosophy that never charges incarcerated individuals or their families for its technology or services. APDS products and services are deployed across 18 states, including the District of Columbia — in hundreds of facilities across the United States, servicing thousands of justice-impacted individuals. To learn more, go to


The Department of Correction oversees the state prison system, managing inmates at 15 institutions across the state. The Department provides custody, care, and programming for those under our supervision to prepare them for safe and successful reentry into the community.


Yulu PR,, 604.558.1656

January 24, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, APDS, an ed-tech public-benefit corporation enabling innovative technology and certifying career-readiness for justice-impacted individuals, announced the results of a cloud certification pilot program implemented inside the D.C. Department of Corrections (DOC). In collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), learners in the pilot program were invited to participate from D.C. DOC’s ‘Lead Up!’ which is a leadership, education, and development program designed to help justice-impacted individuals within one to two years of their release, with comprehensive support that will assist them in reducing recidivism and increasing employment opportunities. The first cohort of learners achieved an 85% pass rate on the AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification exam. 

“We are grateful to the D.C. DOC and Dr. Amy Lopez for partnering with APDS, to educate and equip incarcerated individuals for successful reentry,” stated Arti Finn, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer for APDS. “Our collaboration with AWS provides a forum for justice-impacted individuals to develop valuable enduring skills and credentials that will provide an opportunity to attain a living wage career. It’s my personal mission to transform the corrections industry from warehousing to rehabilitation, and this pilot, with a transformational jail committed to programming, brings us one step closer.” 

The program is one of several transformative steps that the D.C. DOC is taking to ensure that the justice-impacted have access to skills training and educational opportunities that can open pathways to new careers. Through this program, learners were taught foundational cloud computing skills through the AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials course on AWS Skill Builder that includes more than 500 free courses and learning plans, self-paced labs, practice exams, role-based games, and more. Participants were able to access the course using APDS’ secure tablets which are already in use in more than 100 correctional facilities across 18 states in the U.S. 

“Education and skills training initiatives like this are critical components of upward mobility,” said Maggie Carter, Director, Global Social Impact at AWS. “Providing free access to AWS cloud computing courses can provide the foundation and inspiration needed for justice-impacted individuals to pursue meaningful employment. This is the first time AWS has delivered skills training inside a correctional environment, and we are proud to collaborate with APDS to empower individuals through this transformative technology experience.” 

Education and vocational skills training have been shown to reduce recidivism, and foundational knowledge in cloud computing offers marketable skills for in-demand tech jobs. Throughout the program, APDS and AWS incorporated job readiness training into this experience, where learners participated in mock interviews and had access to in-person guest speakers to learn additional professional skills.  This included resume-building support from APDS, and as participants near release they can work with DOC staff to apply to training programs and/or jobs. 

One of the participating learners, Julian Blair, has a particularly accomplished past from winning football and track championships in high school, earning a full-ride scholarship, graduating college, to playing pro football. He said “This cloud computing certification will start a new chapter in life for me that I never would have thought possible. This is giving me a new avenue and direction for a career to support my son.” 

As part of reentry support, all participants are expected to join ‘Lead Out!’ where they can access additional services. All ‘Lead Out!’ participants will continue to have access to APDS tablets and content, as well as hundreds of AWS digital courses and learning paths where they can advance their education. 

APDS has been using AWS cloud computing services to power its career readiness programs for several years. This initiative which was started by Amazon’s Black Employee Network (BEN) President Anthony Cole, builds on an ongoing collaborative effort. Cole said, “We’re proud to expand our collaboration with APDS, to help justice-impacted learners gain valuable tech skills. This is a great example of how Amazon empowers our internal organizations to build initiatives that support the communities in which we live and work, that can be scaled into truly impactful work”

Following the success of the initial pilot, APDS will look at expanding this program in the future. To learn more about APDS, visit 

About APDS

Founded in 2014, APDS’ mission is to prepare every justice-impacted individual for a living wage career. Through our career readiness platform, we use our proprietary “Whole Learner Framework™” to deliver assessments and plans that motivate and engage the justice-impacted to effectively educate and equip in their pursuit to empower themselves and strengthen society. APDS leverages innovative technology that fosters growth and certifies career-readiness.

APDS is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) and certified B-Corporation, based on a philosophy that never charges incarcerated individuals or their friends and families for its technology or services. Currently, APDS products and services are deployed in 18 states, including the District of Columbia, impacting hundreds of facilities and thousands of justice-impacted across the United States. 

To learn more on


Justin Goldstein, 516-578-8623

December 19, 2022 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–APDS, an innovative education technology and public-benefit corporation that certifies career-readiness for the justice-impacted, today announced that B Lab, the nonprofit network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet, has named APDS Best for the World in Corporate Governance 2022 for the fifth consecutive year, and Best for the World for Customers 2022 for the sixth consecutive year. B Lab awards the prestigious Best for the World designation to the top-performing 5% of Certified B Corporations, globally. APDS has been a B Corporation since 2015 and serves as the only Certified B-Corp in the United States.

Since 2016, APDS has been awarded Best for the World across several categories, including governance, customers, and changemakers. Please click here to learn more about our awards.

These awards are a testament to APDS’ work to break the cycle of incarceration and prepare every justice-impacted individual with a whole learner framework to create pathways to living-wage careers. Our Best for the World For Customers win highlights how APDS’ education technology is changing the corrections industry by never charging incarcerated individuals or their friends and family for our services. Furthermore, the company is committed to hiring justice-impacted professionals – 15% of the APDS workforce is justice-impacted.

“It is an honor to be recognized, once again, on the B Lab list of America’s Best for the World and to earn this distinction for a second year,” said Arti Finn, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of APDS. “We are committed to making the corrections space one of true rehabilitation, versus warehousing, and are extremely grateful to continue to serve the justice-impacted and work with corrections, and labor departments across the United States.”

The B Lab Best for the World 2022 list can be viewed here. Our 2023 Charge: Day 1 access to evidence-based education technology programming in every jurisdiction and state in the USA to create pathways to living-wage careers. To learn more about how to support our charge visit

About APDS

Founded in 2014, APDS’ mission is to prepare every justice-impacted individual for a living wage career and strengthen society. APDS leverages innovative education technology that fosters growth and certifies career-readiness. We are a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) and certified B-Corporation, that never charges incarcerated individuals or their friends and families for its technology or services. APDS’ products and services are deployed in hundreds of facilities across 18 states, including the District of Columbia.

Go to to learn more.


Justin Goldstein, 516-578-8623

Impact-driven ETS Strategic Capital & New Markets Venture Partners co-led financing round

NEW YORK, N.Y. — APDS, a public-benefit corporation whose advanced career readiness platform helps incarcerated individuals attain a living wage after release, today announced that it has raised $7 million in new funding during the Series C round. The capital will allow the company to further scale its innovative services across correctional facilities nationwide while enhancing its proprietary learning platform, content offerings and strategic partnerships.

“APDS is poised to transform the correctional system. The momentum is growing across the country to rethink our society’s approach to incarceration and preparation for reentry. Just last month, the Biden administration promised $145 million to develop ’reentry plans’ for incarcerated persons. APDS has been a leader in this process through our Whole Human Framework approach to education,” said Harris Ferrell, APDS CEO. “We use our proprietary curriculum, assessments and plans to equip these individuals for long-term success. We can only accomplish this mission with dedicated investors who are double-bottom line oriented. This fundraising round will contribute directly toward continuing to develop our product, supporting the momentum of sales, and connecting our learners with the resources and support they need to obtain living wage jobs.”

APDS currently serves learners in more than 110 correctional facilities across 17 states. The rapid adoption of APDS is in part due to their learner-first business model. The company is the only dedicated correctional edtech provider that delivers technology and services for free to incarcerated learners.

ETS Strategic Capital, a division of ETS focused on equity investments, growth partnerships and mergers and acquisitions, co-lead the Series C round. ETS is aligned with APDS in their shared goal of advancing educational opportunities for all learners. ETS Strategic Capital invested $2 million into the Series C round to help further the group’s goal of breaking the cycle of incarceration through education and advancing ETS’s integration as an assessment partner.

“Our investment and role support the creation of innovative, quality educational opportunities for incarcerated people,” said Ralph Taylor-Smith, ETS Strategic Capital Managing Director, and incoming APDS board member. “We are excited to bring the power of assessment to APDS to drive second-chance opportunities, create new pathways for those reentering society and to reduce recidivism. Expanding access to quality education for all people is the heart of our mission at ETS and we are proud to partner with APDS to advance this shared goal.”

New Markets Venture Partners, focused on innovative technology-enabled, mission-driven companies driving sustainable social impact, co-leads the investment round.

“We are very excited to support APDS as it scales an increasingly efficacious solution to dramatically improve outcomes for returning citizens. The management team is best in class and APDS is exactly the type of high impact and commercially successful investment New Markets strives to enable,” stated Mark Grovic, General Partner, New Markets Venture Partners.

The APDS Series C round also saw the return of investments from Converge Venture Partners,ECMC Group’s Education Impact Fund, Juvo Ventures, the Partnership Fund for New York City, Rethink Education, and Strada Education Network.

To date, APDS learners have a 20% increase in post incarceration employment. Students utilizing APDS have a 130% increase in high school equivalency (HSE) pass rates and are about 70% more likely to complete their post-release reentry plans than their peers, demonstrating a long-term reduction of recidivism through education.


About ETS Strategic Capital

ETS Strategic Capital serves as the private equity investment and M&A execution arm for ETS, its subsidiaries and partners sourcing transactions within both the domestic United States and internationally. The division of ETS partners with the broader EdTech ecosystem to identify and execute deals, coordinate with other ETS business units to identify opportunities and needs, network with professional services firms with education expertise, and build direct relationships with businesses internationally — especially within Asia Pacific, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East & Africa (MENA) regions. ETS Strategic Capital targets private equity investments that are typically in Series B, C or later; acquisitions that are middle-market in scale; and growth partnerships that may involve joint ventures (JVs), channel-affiliate or distribution agreements, Intellectual Property (IP) licensing and technology-transfer relationships.

About ETS

At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, and by conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series® assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

About New Markets Venture Partners

New Markets Venture Partners is a leading impact investor that accelerates growth-stage education and workforce technology companies. The New Markets team has decades of experience supporting evidence-based, high growth companies that improve economic and social mobility by leveraging deep relationships with centers of education and workforce innovation. New Markets prides itself on adding value to its portfolio companies before, during, and after the investment process, with the ultimate goal of improving both individual outcomes and the productivity of America’s education workforce system. For more information, visit

About APDS
APDS, a Certified B Corp, is the career readiness platform for all justice impacted individuals to attain a living wage job. APDS has proven success through its “Whole Human Framework” which is a proprietary curriculum delivering assessments and plans that motivate, engage, educate, and equip these individuals in their pursuit to empower themselves and strengthen society. APDS leverages innovative technology to create a managed learning environment that fosters growth and certifies career-readiness.

Romicha Cooper is the Director of Talent for APDS. She is seasoned Human Resources Professional in both public and private sectors for nearly 20 years. Her approach to talent management is with trust and transparency. In 2020, Cooper authored a children’s book titled “Aunty’s House” inspired by her childhood and family.

Kimonti Carter is the former president and current Resource & Equity Director of the Black Prisoners’ Caucus Community Group. At 34, Kimonti founded T.E.A.C.H., a higher-education program that he designed with the Black Prisoners’ Caucus to bring college courses to Washington State prisoners. Kimonti is also featured in the award-winning documentary Since I Been Down and serves as an APDS educational consultant. He is a community advocate, educator, motivational speaker, and curriculum designer of Liberation Education, a course on the ADPS educational platform.

Ralph is the Founder and Managing Director of ETS Strategic Capital; he also serves as Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for the unit. With experience in engineering, applied-science, finance, and business management, he has led ten venture investments and serves on six Boards of Directors. Previously, he worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, and in R&D at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, and AT&T. Ralph holds twelve patents in various technology fields and is a Kauffman Fellow, Robert Toigo Foundation Fellow, and PriceBabson SEE Fellow. He serves on non-profit boards, including Princeton University Engineering and the Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) of the NNSA, and works with the NSF on SBIR and STTR programs.

LaToya Newson is a trailblazer in the field of adult education, with a wealth of experience in corrections education programming. She spearheaded the creation of the Reentry, Employment, Adult Education Program (Project REAP) – a groundbreaking initiative aimed at curbing recidivism by providing education and training to justice-impacted individuals. This innovative program provides incarcerated individuals with the tools and resources they need to complete their high school equivalency exam, preparing them for success upon their release.

Born and raised in D.C, Chris grew up under extremely difficult circumstances. At the age of 17, he was charged with a crime, convicted, and sentenced to natural life in prison. While incarcerated, he earned his high school diploma, graduated from all of the vocational shops, earned an Associate Degree and started his Master Plan, a roadmap for his future. After serving 16 years in prison, Chris wrote and published The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose to inspire other justice-impacted individuals to achieve their fullest potential.

As CEO of APDS, Harris oversees all aspects of the company’s operations. His expertise, leadership, and vision have made him a respected figure in the education industry, and he continues to drive forward his mission of using EdTech to make a difference in the lives of justice-impacted individuals. Harris has a deep understanding of the unique challenges of EdTech in corrections, and he is passionate about leveraging technology to create innovative solutions that can help transform the lives of students and educators alike.

As Chief Revenue Officer of APDS, Mott ensures the successful delivery of evidence based programing to the states and jurisdictions serviced by APDS. In this role, Mott is instrumental in driving long-term change in recidivism and positive learner outcomes. She is a passionate advocate for free individualized programming for justice-impacted individuals.

A passionate advocate for social justice and education, Arti Finn co-founded APDS in 2013 with the ambitious goal of creating pathways to living-wage employment for individuals affected by the justice system. Under her visionary leadership, APDS has revolutionized the edtech landscape within the correctional environment, providing high-quality programming at no cost to justice-impacted individuals or their families in hundreds of facilities across 18 states.


As Chief Strategy Officer, Arti skillfully directs the company’s policy, government relations, marketing, and public relations efforts while also forging strategic partnerships to further advance the organization’s mission. Her keen focus is on helping correctional systems reimagine the potential of technology to deliver scalable, tailored programming that empowers justice-involved individuals to successfully reintegrate into society.

Nate Ober is the Chief Technology and Product Officer at APDS, where he leads teams responsible for developing innovative content and technology products for justice-impacted learners and driving technology efficiency in the company’s business systems. With 18 years of experience in education technology, Nate has a track record of guiding organizations through growth and transformation. He has expertise in product management, agile transformation, IT modernization, software development, and scalable educational technology solutions. Before joining APDS, Nate held various roles in the education industry, including CTO and Head of Product at Straighterline and CTO at Questar Assessment.

Dr. Amy Lopez is a federal appointee and nationally recognized expert who designs and delivers innovative correctional educational programming for incarcerated individuals and training for staff entrusted with their care. She is a pioneer in launching first-of-their-kind programs on positive behavior interventions, leveraging technology to connect incarcerated individuals with educational and legal resources, and implementing innovative trauma-informed staff training to de-escalate crisis situations. 

Carol D’Amico is a seasoned higher education reformer, dedicated to connecting education with the world of work. As a consultant, she contributes to talent growth across education, workforce, and economic development sectors. D’Amico’s background includes serving as Executive Vice President of Strada Education Network, Assistant Secretary for Adult and Vocational Education in the U.S. Department of Education, and co-director of the Center for Workforce Development at the Hudson Institute. While at the Hudson Institute, she co-authored “Workforce 2020,” examining the future U.S. workforce demographics and the challenges of preparing for a global economy.


In addition to her policy work, D’Amico has held leadership roles in higher education institutions, serving as executive vice president and chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, and president and CEO of Conexus Indiana, a manufacturing and logistics initiative.

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