Ameelio is a nonprofit technology company. We are the first free prison communication and analytics platform built for incarcerated people and their loved ones. With our technology, users will be able to make video calls, share e-messages, send physical letters to the incarcerated, and explore data on the corrections system.
Our mission is to promote communication between the incarcerated and their loved ones, decouple incarceration and profit, and transform the justice system with technology.
Nearly 10% of Americans (27 million people) have a family member or friend that is currently incarcerated. And although the U.S. spends over $80 billion annually on the corrections system, loved ones are forced to spend an additional $4 billion per year supporting the incarcerated. This is primarily due to the exploitative nature of the prison industry.
Since the 1990’s, a small group of private companies have made billions charging incarcerated people and their loved ones extortionate prices to stay connected. Currently, the prison telecommunications industry, dominated by just two companies, is valued at over $1.2 billion dollars. In contrast, the average family of an incarcerated person is $13,000 in debt, yet are forced to pay up to $1.22 per minute just to call a loved one in prison. That is more than 25 times what a non-incarcerated person pays for a phone call.
Research has confirmed that greater contact between the incarcerated and their loved ones improves post-release outcomes, and significantly reduces re-offending. Yet because of the financial barriers placed on many incarcerated persons and their families, within the first five-years of being released more than 50% of re-entrants go on to reoffend.
Criminal justice reform has overwhelming support among the American public. Recent polls show that up to 91% of Americans believe that our justice system has problems that need to be addressed. However, few have concrete answers, fewer yet are proposing tech based solutions to improve the status quo. Modernizing prison communications using the latest technology tools at our disposal would be a transformative step. A free prison communication platform would improve quality of life for the incarcerated and their loved ones, reduce recidivism, make correctional institutions safer, and free up funds that would be better spent elsewhere.
To free the criminal justice system from the grip of exploitative monopolies, increase meaningful contact between those impacted by incarceration, and combat America’s high-rate of recidivism, we are launching the first free prison communication platform.
The Ameelio Team is developing Letters, Connect, Tablet, Forum, and Trends—tools that help users easily communicate with the incarcerated free of charge, find support among a growing network of users, and explore data on the justice system.
Letters allows users to send letters and photos to any incarcerated person in the U.S. criminal justice system. Simply locate the incarcerated person using our search tool, type messages and/or attach photos, click send, and we take care of the rest. Each parcel comes with a pre-stamped return envelope.
Connect is a video calling and e-messaging tool that enables users to communicate with their incarcerated loved ones. Users will be able to schedule video call sessions using a mobile or web app, and incarcerated people connect using tablets installed at their correctional facility.
Forum is an integrated social network built to connect users impacted by the criminal justice system, and those fighting to improve it. We hope that users will benefit from a community that offers insight and support by sharing their unique experiences, and skills.
Trends is an analytics tool that evaluates criminal justice data. We employ a machine learning approach to analyze prison population records from federal and state correctional sources. This data has the potential to provide the public a nuanced perspective on the justice system, and inform policy-making.