Endless Rolls Out to Incarcerated Youth Across Five U.S. States in Innovative Juvenile Justice Education Program

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Endless Joins Forces With World Possible to Bring Open-Source Creative Commons-Licensed Technologies to Young Offenders

Endless today announced that it has joined forces with World Possible, a non-profit organization that shares the Endless mission to help improve access and equity in digital global education, in a project that is rolling out the Endless operating system to correctional facilities across Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Florida and Utah. Giving juvenile offenders access to cutting-edge technologies and digital skills is a radical idea in the world of corrections, where security concerns typically ban these types of activities. The program allows incarcerated youth to access valuable online educational content without actually going on the internet.

Both Endless and the World Possible project rely exclusively on open-source and Creative Commons-licensed technologies that work even without internet connectivity. Endless OS was field-tested in developing parts of the world under conditions similar to those at U.S. prisons where educational opportunities are often constrained by infrastructure and accessibility. Tapping into the unique offline capabilities and robust educational catalog of the Endless OS and World Possible’s standalone wireless content server called RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning), this provides young offenders with a technology-based education experience similar to what they might get in public schools.

Jeremy Schwartz, executive director of World Possible, commented, “Designed to help these young people broaden their digital literacy while also showing they are trustworthy, this program is an important tool for reducing recidivism and expanding opportunity as incarcerated populations transition out of custody. Our work with Endless has had a tremendous impact.”

Recently, a delegation from Endless has been assisting with the project at the Oregon Youth Authority’s MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Ore. A growing number of students participating in higher education and vocational programs at the institution has led authorities to move from piloting the project in several living units to a significant expansion. In the next and final phase, which started a few days ago, the Endless OS will be installed on hundreds of specially configured laptops.

The project owes much of its existence to Frank Martin, justice education director for World Possible and former Oregon Youth Authority education administrator, who helped establish legislation in Oregon to increase access to technology as a rehabilitative tool.

“Giving these young people access to education helps prepare them for life outside and a smooth return to society,” said Michael Conn, who works for the Willamette Education Service District and is the principal at MacLaren’s Lord High School. “Working with Endless and World Possible, we’re not just equipping youth with appropriate life skills and career content, but also helping to shift the foundations of criminal justice reform efforts.”

Last year, World Possible was awarded $250,000 to launch World Possible Justice, a U.S.-based prison education technology pilot program which is building a roadmap for low-cost, high-quality digital learning in state and federal, youth and adult, correctional facilities. Endless has partnered with the organization in an effort to fundamentally shift the project away from a passive info-access model toward an approach that actively builds computing and coding literacy in the juvenile close-custody population through the Endless desktop ecosystem.

The Endless OS offers a familiar, intuitive interface that is as simple to use as a smartphone and is built upon the decades of evolution of the Linux operating system. It includes hundreds of preloaded apps for health and wellness, business and career skills, educational content and games. It is available to anyone as a free download at the Endless website.

“Research shows that education, perhaps more than anything else, helps incarcerated people turn their lives around and rejoin society better prepared to find a job and achieve the social stability that comes with making good choices,” said Matt Dalio, CEO at Endless. “We’re proud to partner with World Possible to deliver educational opportunity, dispel the myths, and shine a light on the value of digital literacy in rehabilitating young offenders.”

About Endless
Endless was founded in 2012 with a mission to make computing universally accessible. The Endless OS, the company’s flagship operating system, is a complete live, work and play environment that provides everything you need to be productive from the moment it is turned on even without an internet connection. Available as a free download at the Endless website, its familiar, intuitive interface is packed with more than 100 pre-installed apps for health, education, entertainment, small business and many other areas to help users achieve a better life. Endless OS utilizes the power of open source to remove barriers to computing for all, and provides the best platform for distribution of open source apps to a broad new audience, thus ensuring anyone can use and even become a co-creator of a vibrant app ecosystem. The company is based in San Francisco with offices in Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Guatemala, Taipei and London, with people on the ground in Jordan and the UAE.

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Thomas Morelli
Endless
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