Jason’s Journey: From Incarceration to Innovation

In a recent episode of Orijin’s Second Chance @Work podcast, Arti Finn, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Orijin, had an insightful conversation with Jason Spyres, CEO and Co-Founder of Training All People, Inc. (TAP3D). Spyres’ journey from incarceration to becoming a tech entrepreneur is nothing short of inspiring, offering valuable lessons and hope for both justice-impacted individuals and correctional administrators.

His story begins with a challenging childhood. Despite being raised in a home with loving parents, their struggles with drug addiction created an unstable environment. At a young age, Spyres realized he needed to take charge of his own life, which led him to work various jobs to support himself. Unfortunately, his teenage years saw him engaging in illegal activities, such as selling drugs, which eventually led to his arrest at 19 and a staggering 30-year prison sentence for nonviolent offenses. He ultimately served 14 years and 7 months before being released to a work release center.

During his time in prison, Spyres experienced a critical moment of self-reflection, and realized that his actions, though perceived as harmless, had broader implications, including the potential to harm innocent people. This epiphany spurred a profound change in him, leading to a commitment to rehabilitating himself and giving back to society.

Education became his pathway to transformation. Despite the barriers within the prison system, he relentlessly pursued knowledge, leveraging whatever resources he could find, from old textbooks to online courses from leading universities. His determination and resilience paid off as he was accepted to Stanford University. His journey was not without its hurdles; he faced numerous rejections before finally being accepted. This persistence underscored his philosophy: “Make them tell you no.” His time at Stanford, studying computer science, solidified his passion for using technology to create positive change.

Today, Spyres serves as Chief Executive Officer at TAP3D, a company that uses 3D models, VR simulations, and desktop simulations to provide training and education. His goal is to make training accessible to all, especially those within the corrections system. By offering realistic and immersive experiences, TAP3D aims to equip individuals with the skills needed to succeed post-incarceration, reducing recidivism and improving overall outcomes.

Spyres’ journey is a powerful reminder of what is possible with determination and access to education. To hear more about his inspiring story and his advice for corrections administrators seeking to improve morale, safety, and reduce recidivism through educational access, listen to the full interview on the podcast.


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