Tech Goes Home partnerships across Chattanooga & Hamilton County are working to reduce recidivism rates and provide pathways to employment.
Thanks to funding through United Way of Greater Chattanooga and partnerships with Project Return, The BRAVE Effect, and ReWake, nearly 200 justice-involved individuals across Chattanooga have graduated since October of 2022 – with 100+ more anticipated for the next year.
Tech Goes Home has worked with organizations like Love’s Arm and The Next Door, supporting justice-involved individuals development since 2015 — but a $25,000 catalyst grant through the United Way in 2022 allowed for expanded partnership with Project Return and an opportunity to re-develop classes for a population facing specific barriers, especially to employment. The partnership quickly grew to include ReWake and The BRAVE Effect, and continues to expand thanks to an additional $75,000 impact investment from the United Way.
Increasing access to opportunity by addressing economic need through tech:
Across Tennessee, recidivism rates are approximately 46%, meaning nearly half of all people who have been incarcerated in any facility return to jail within three years, according to the Tennessee Office of Reentry.
High recidivism rates occur not just because an individual committed a new crime, but often instead because they did not meet the conditions of their parole, according to Portland State University and the Corrections and Reentry: Digital Literacy Acquisition Case Study. And in Tennessee, state unemployment rates for those who have been formerly incarcerated are nearly eight times the state unemployment rate.
Lack of transportation, technology, or internet access to search for employment exacerbate these recidivism and unemployment rates, and intervention to address these issues is the motivation behind Tech Goes Home’s work.