Justice Reskill is an equity-centered social enterprise empowering true economic stability for the justice-involved community. What this means is that Justice Reskill teaches justice-involved individuals coding and specialized tech skills, allowing them to move into high-wage, long-term careers and access opportunities that otherwise may have been out of reach.
The American criminal justice system disproportionately targets the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community. This inequity creates a compounding effect through both concrete systemic barriers and pervasive societal biases that prevent justice-involved individuals from accessing career, housing, education, and financial opportunities and rebuilding their lives.
We believe that every person, regardless of their legal record, has the right to pursue a personally and financially rewarding career. In addition, we believe that most people, regardless of their legal record, have the desire to support their families and contribute meaningfully to society. However, the stigmas and injustices caused by our country’s discriminatory criminal justice system significantly impede those individuals who want to reach their true potential.
As one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors in our economy, technology has the capacity to provide meaningful, transformative career opportunities. Justice Reskill exists to empower justice-involved individuals to transcend personal and societal limitations to secure long-term professional success by equipping them with the specialized skills, network, professionalism, and experience they need to thrive in tech careers. Not only does this assist individuals in building more personally and financially stable futures, but it also inspires individual and systemic confrontations of bias. Individuals can leverage this stability to, by their example, overturn damaging misconceptions about justice involvement, build a greater sense of belonging and representation for justice-involved individuals, and in turn advocate on behalf of the justice-involved community.
At Justice Reskill, our theory of change is that by building a path toward true economic stability through workforce development and tech careers, we can achieve sustainable criminal justice reform.
Equity-Centered We recruit, hire, and elevate a team that is majority Black, BIPOC and justice-involved. We pursue systemic equality by extending specialized technical training to justice-involved communities in an effort to support their pursuit of financial stability. We work to end recidivism in America by increasing accessibility to technical skills, mental health services, community, and professional opportunities in tech.
Human Dignity We honor each aspect of an individual, their life experiences, and their unique intersections. We operate from a space of empathy and respect, and we recognize the value of individual worth.
Community We believe in supporting the whole person. We create a space that fosters meaningful connections and provides a sense of belonging through our community-building culture. Together, we can breathe life into our dreams, strengthen our families, generate wealth, and cultivate sustainable businesses.
Continuous Learning We can change the tech industry's culture by providing an inclusive talent pipeline of software engineers, technologists, and future tech leaders. We believe that the application of real-world experience is integral in increasing the opportunities for justice-involved individuals.
We are still in our first two years of officially operating as an organization. In that time, we’ve already experienced both successes and failures. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessity of virtual learning, we are especially proud of the individual growth of our students and their connection to our value of community. As we prepare for our first impact report in 2022, we’ll add stories and updates on our blog page. In the meantime, here are a few testimonials of some of our supporters.
“To create a just world where people are truly liberated to live, two of my three legislative priorities are eliminating prison recidivism in Colorado and eliminating the Black wealth gap. It is a heavy lift that requires the best of us. Aaron Clark is one of the best of us: a passionate Black leader capable of moving us from our current reality to a just and thriving reality. Justice Reskill represents a unique opportunity for our state to give justice-involved folks a clear path towards a sustainable career, a livable wage, and the hope necessary to eliminate the prison recidivism rate.” - Sen James Coleman, Colorado General Assembly.
“Justice Reskill provides a phenomenal and rare opportunity to receive technical skills training and obtain not only a pathway to a high paying job but to remarkable career advancement opportunities as well. For the justice-involved community members we work with, this is a literally life-changing possibility when it is most needed.” - Raschelle Jager, Manager, Workplace Operations, Netflix and Justice Reskill Advisory Board Member.
“The technology industry is well known for its diversity, equity and inclusion problem. It’s a complex situation that tries to hide in the well worn clothes of a meritocracy. But like the emperor the meritocracy has no clothes. Justice involved individuals need basic skills and training to be able to get jobs in the tech industry, yet few education and training programs are aimed specifically at them. When Aaron described his vision to me, it was easy to support him and Justice Reskill. Aaron is a classic entrepreneur. He’s got a great vision and the energy to follow it up. The vision, tenacity and determination of the leader are critical. Aaron has these traits. It has been a delight to work with him and provide my time, money and network while seeing Justice Reskill go from a germ of an idea in Aaron’s head to a fast growing startup impacting many people.” - Brad Feld, Founder, Author, Philanthropist.
We are beyond excited to launch the first of its kind, accessible online community hub and learning space specifically designed for America's justice-involved community. The JR Community Platform is where justice-involved people can access resources, connections, and training opportunities free of charge and apply to join one of our intensive learning cohorts. We're launching in December 2021. Leave us a note below if you would like to be notified once we are live.
Our cohorts (or classes) are small groups of students learning alongside each other. We offer our cohorts on a rolling schedule for those who are ready to commit to intensive learning. They are currently delivered online for two nights per week and every other Saturday. All cohorts begin with our introductory class called ‘Phase 0,’ which covers modern tech skills, our skills assessment test and culminates with students choosing their learning path.
We understand that folks exiting the cycle of the justice system live with varying degrees of trauma. The defining factor of Justice Reskill is that we deliver our programming in a method that we believe leads towards long-term career and personal success for our participants. To this end, we provide our students with tangible and intangible types of support, including free mental health therapy, personal development, financial literacy education, connection to experts in the legal field, and, when needed, housing and food support.
Once a student completes their learning path, we offer a full-time, paid apprenticeship program. In our program, apprentices spend approximately 80% of their time building real-world client projects and 20% of their time on project-related advanced learning workshops taught by industry experts. The apprentice program lasts at least six months but can be as long as 12 months. Note: this program is currently only available for graduates of our Software Engineering program, located at our Denver Headquarters.
Our new software development agency, JR Launch, is staffed by mid and senior level engineers, designers, and product managers, building solutions for our portfolio of real-world clients. As an apprentice, you’ll get the opportunity to work alongside them as you put into practice the skills you learned as a student while learning how to translate these skills into the real-world experience needed to work in top tech companies across the nation. Learn more here.
The Fair Chance Hiring Network is our flagship advocacy effort, launched by our CEO & Founder in December 2020. The Network is a collaborative, community-led effort to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and create career-level jobs by employing justice-involved individuals across the State of Colorado and beyond. We believe that everyone deserves fair consideration for jobs they are qualified for and that we can provide the skills training, resources, connections, and paths to career-level employment for our community.
We are a Black-led organization with a diverse leadership team that is representative of the community we serve. Our passionate, dedicated leaders are laser-focused on ending recidivism in America. Each of us brings skills and experiences at the intersection of technology, equity, and justice reform. We proudly exercise intentionality as we build our team to mirror those we serve.
CEO & Founder
Chief Technical Officer
Chief of Staff
Director of Operations
Student Experience Manager
Client Success Manager
Software Engineering Intern
Justice Reskill is a Black-led organization with a commitment to elevating leaders and advisors who represent the community we serve. Our advisors are diverse, passionate, and dedicated to our mission. We are proud that our Board consists of leaders from the technology, equity, and justice-reform sectors who believe and invest in Justice Reskill.
Head of Engineering
Sr. Software Engineer
ActBlue Technical Services
Director of Corporate Partnerships
Manager, Workplace Operations
Accessibility UX Program Manager
Head of Product & Innovation
Lead Product Designer
Senior Data Engineer
Chief Financial Officer
The Colorado Trust
Senior Engineering Manager
Founder + CEO
Attorney & Owner
Maxted Law LLC
At Justice Reskill, we are profoundly grateful for our funders, investors, and supporters. They understand and believe in the power of supporting and investing resources in a Black-led organization that aims to end recidivism. We could not do our work without them.
Allan + Gill Gray, Philanthropy (advised by David Campos)
Tawny + Spencer Grimes