Vocational job training materials are among the most requested by incarcerated men and women. Inmates want to support themselves when released. Level custom creates free job training guides made specifically for inmates.
Level is creating the first free Creative Commons licensed GED test preparation guides. Inmates can use these to learn independently or with groups. Adults with a high school education earn 32% more than those without i and have 27% lower unemployment i.
Visual art, creative writing, meditation and personal development are hugely popular resources among incarcerated men and women. Level creates guides that help develop the whole person to strengthen the self and relations with others.
Level’s learning material is effective because it’s custom created specifically to support adult learners who have been failed by traditional education systems. To accomplish this, Level prioritizes an educational philosophy that acknowledges, accepts, supports and encourages adults in their journey to self improvement.
Level’s content is accessible because it can be distributed at scale to inmates without any internet access. Level's learning guides are printed on any standard printer, folded and sent via mail. They become the permanent property of each inmate who can use them anytime for individual or group learning.
The American prison system is a destructive cycle, tearing up people, families and communities while costing more than $80 billion a year i. One of the most effective tools for breaking this cycle - prisoner education - is overlooked, underutilized and outdated.
2.3 million Americans are currently behind bars i, and almost all of these prisoners will be released at some point. Prisoners aren’t set up for success after release. Former inmates experience a 470% higher unemployment rate i, significantly lower incomes and are 10 times more likely to experience homelessness i. The cycle of incarceration can seem inescapable - 68% of former prisoners are re-arrested within 3 years of release i.
Education and job training are shown to measurably increase the chances for success among former inmates after release. Inmates who participate in correctional education programs had 43% lower odds of being re-arrested i and had 13% better chances of finding employment post-release i. Prison education more than pays for itself with savings from avoided re-incarceration of $11 for each dollar spent i.
The answers to this important question run deep, and touch on America’s pernicious history with racism, classism and shifting public attitudes towards criminal justice. Budgets are stretched by the ever increasing cost of mass incarceration. And prison education is challenging - incarcerated individuals don’t have internet access, have lower than average starting educations and must be secluded in secure facilities.
The effectiveness of prisoner education has been proven. What's missing is a modern, scalable solution that can reach the millions of people who are currently incarcerated and focus on the unique educational needs of America’s prison population. Level is working on this solution. Join us!
Prisoners are some of the poorest and most disenfranchised members of our society, cut off from technology, education, income and opportunity - especially during COVID-19. Your donation to Level will empower people in prison to find purpose, personal development and valuable skills that break the destructive cycle of incarceration.
Level has the opportunity to reach 200,000 people in the next 2 years expanding to 5 million in 5 years. To get there, we'll need to work with a lot of awesome people ... like you.
Level envisions a world in which adults of all economic backgrounds have access to free, high quality learning materials to help them achieve their goals. To accomplish this, our team applies creativity, experience and out-of-the-box thinking.
Demetrius never loses the forest for the trees or the people for the project. He was a Writing Fellow with the Bard Prison Initiative from 2013 to 2020 and an Academic Instructor for Rising Hope from 2019 to 2020. He received a BA in Literature in the Humanities from Bard College in 2017 and an MPS in Urban Ministries and Leadership from the New York Theological Seminary in 2018.
Co-founder & Director of Content
Kate focuses on providing a responsive and consistent learning experience across subject areas. She currently creates consumer education material for a federal agency, and has taught and written curriculum in high school math, GED prep, and English as a Second Language. She received a MS in Statistics from Texas A&M in 2016.
Michael excels at making complex topics accessible and digestible. He has tutored math, science, and writing for several years, and facilitated anger control classes. He received an AA from Bard Prison Initiative in 2019 and his BA in Mathematics from Bard College in 2021.
President, Board of Directors
Suzi is a social entrepreneur and CEO and co-founder of Verb, an online lifelong learning platform. Suzi won the 2014 Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award and formerly led the Social Entrepreneurship program at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Co-founder and Managing Director
Alex Wright has spent the past 7 years reading thousands of letters from people in prison describing their education needs. He is a successful serial entrepreneur, a board member with Inside Books Project, one of the country’s largest prison literacy programs, and a member of the Coalition on Adult Basic Education's Prison Literacy committee.