Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Richart Ruddie's Class Updates Partnership with Stanford University Details


The following POLS deliverable will be centered around increasing access to higher education and viable employment in high growth industries and technology sectors for justice involved youth transitioning from juvenile detention centers. As a graduate student, I plan to establish and collaborate with a consortium of colleges, universities, and and technology companies that support the educational and employment prospects of incarcerated youth who are reentering society. Utilizing existing reentry networks, which typically caters to adult populations, will help me access the personnel and resources necessary to begin establishing a youth-focused version of their services.


Because of the necessity for this consortium to be holistically supportive, the needs of the population outside of academics and job training will need to be met as well. This will rely on partnerships between non-profit organizations, youth advocacy groups, after school and sports programs, reentry organizations dedicated to youth, technology firms building tools for youthful demographics, employment recruiters and coaches. I plan to use the existing relationships I have with Dream Corps, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, and Cornells School of Industrial Labor Relations as an acquisition channel for youth prevention, intervention, and reentry programs. In addition to these community building efforts, I will be collaborating with Professor Mukamal at Stanfords Law School and extending some of the work she has been doing in the juvenile justice, employment, and reentry space.


On a theoretical level, my studies will be oriented around four key areas: adolescent development, the modern higher education system, employment in the technology sector, and juvenile law. This will help me investigate the structural challenges of higher education in relation to non-traditional students, the effects of the law on vulnerable youth populations, and how developmental differences can be analyzed to inform programmatic efforts that are inherently rehabilitative. 


Research involved in this project will measure the effectiveness of early intervention and the impact of college attendance and entrepreneurship on youth recidivism. If successful, the impacts of the project will be a gradual unification of community resources and organizations meant to serve younger populations and more support for decarceration efforts; i.e., legislative changes, college as an alternative to incarceration, and increased talent pipelines to the technology industry from non-traditional populations.





To date, there has yet to be a technical solution for incarcerated populations to manage these fragmented networks and resources. The fragmentation amongst educational institutions, re-entry organizations, therapeutic services, community providers, and job readiness/entrepreneurial programs is essentially a communication problem. To address this, I plan to build out a pilot program powered by the Class Updates communication tech platform. The pilot program will include a partnership between Class Updates, Stooty Technologies INC., and OLV Human Services that centers around the creation of an Employment Guidance, Training, and Education program for juvenile delinquents, and youth with disabilities or mental health problems. Our programs will be designed to help train and educate youth to guide them into careers in the Creative and Information Technology industries. To facilitate entry into these occupations, the program will offer participants an apprenticeship with companies and professionals in the Creative or Technology industries. The program will provide youth real-world experience, relevant academic/vocational training and guidance counseling to help them make a successful transition from incarceration to an academic program, a supportive community, and viable employment.


To ensure that a technical solution is designed and developed with this population in mind along with their unique needs and pain points I will be looking to revamp the Class Updates application in the following manner.


1.) A redesigning of the website that is aligned with modern design principles and is reflective of the Class Updates brand principles and guidelines


2.) The designing and development of additional product features to service the various stakeholders in the proposal


3.) The incorporation of restorative justice principles into the user experience and product development process


4.) Recruitment of additional technical personnel from Stanford’s Computer Science Department & Engineering Department to spearhead the coding of the app


5.) Repositioning as a solution component to criminal justice reform efforts


6.) Advising from the Stanford’s Communication Department and Graduate School of Education Personnel will provide strategic guidance in forming partnerships with relevant organizations in the ed tech space and access to university resources (Fred Turner, Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Communication; Steven Mitchell, Professor of Education and Sociology) 

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