Twilio has invested $250,000 in startup Edovo, which creates tablet-based educational content for incarcerated individuals. Twilio has also invested grant money in the International Rescue Committee, MindRight and Caravan Studios. Last year, Twilio awarded over $1.5 million in impact funds and plans to award an additional $1.5 million by the end of this year.
Edovo works with facilities to bring in secure wireless networks and tablets that access Edovo’s educational platform. The incentive-based learning program covers a variety of areas, including literacy, college course work, cognitive behavioral therapy and vocational training.
Upon completion of certain lessons, incarcerated individuals can receive certificates and entertainment options. They can also use Edovo to stay in touch with their loved ones.
Right now, Edovo is operating in 20 states in over 50 facilities. To date, over 50,000 people have accessed Edovo’s educational content.
“This is government, so there are limitations and challenges to operating with government,” Edovo co-founder Brian Hill told TechCrunch. “As an impact entrepreneur, it’s on us to innovate and figure out how to make it easy to work with challenging organizations.”
On average, those who participate in correctional education programs had 43 percent lower chances of returning to prison than those who did not participate in education programs, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Our goal is to make sure everyone incarcerated has free access to education on a daily basis,” Hill said.
By the end of 2018, Edovo plans to be in all but five states. Another goal is to open up the channel of communication between loved ones and the incarcerated person, Hill said. Ultimately, Edovo’s 2018 is about “creating accessible communications, driving mental health treatment successfully through technology and identifying specifically what drives change in an individual.“