There are various difficulties to community reintegration for the formerly incarcerated; finances, family, community belonging to name a few are often the underlying causes for the high rate of recidivism. Research reveals that mostly prison-returned individuals usually go to unstable or temporary housing, such as shelters, motels, or streets. It is almost impossible for them to get a full-time job or an independent residence in the initial months of their return.
Knowing the difficulties of reentry, Travis Richey, an entrepreneur, founded AccomplishED Ventures, a tablet-based and in-person curriculum for convicted persons. Accomplished Ventures provides a variety of services to offenders in order to help them become self-sufficient and prepared for the pressures of the outside world.
One of the most popular prison courses is the 12-week “Shark Tank” style Entrepreneur course where inmates learn the intricacies of building a business and then pitch their business on week 12 to community partners and leaders. “Seeing the process of personal transformation happening inside these prison cells and having an idea that brings both hope and second chances is why I founded AccomplishED” says Richey.
Travis says “most of these inmates were business owners just selling the incorrect product. We teach them to pair their natural hustle with real-world products and it’s a win-win for everyone.” He considers it an honor to teach various courses aimed at equipping offenders with the essential skills and knowledge. “It is my obligation to teach these men they can become great, they can use their mess and turn it into a message of hope and second chances. They can live a life they are proud of.”
Through his tablet curriculum and with a goal of 1,000,000 tablets worldwide, Travis intends to give hope to individuals who are now incarcerated all around the world. He is dedicated to transforming inmates’ views of themselves and their lives. He wants them to be fully prepared to pursue their ambition with fervor and dedication, giving it everything they have to make it a reality. Travis aspires to be the President’s jail czar in order to achieve his goal of changing the narrative of prison reform by bringing opportunity and hope to millions of inmates seeking a better life.