Ameelio is a non-profit committed to transforming prison communications, decoupling incarceration and profit, and leading a data-driven movement towards a more compassionate, rehabilitative justice system.
Already, users can send free letters to their incarcerated loved ones. In future, users will be able to use our Connect platform to make free video calls to facilities nationwide.
Also in progress is Trends, our data collection tool. We’ll use this to empower advocates and policy-makers to make data-driven interventions, to connect criminal justice organizations with those who need their services most, and to track and analyze regional incarceration rates to push for prosecutorial accountability.
Nearly one in two Americans has a family member who has experienced incarceration. When a loved one is imprisoned, staying in touch is vital. Yet prison communications options remain prohibitively expensive. While the $1.2 billion prison telecommunications industry boasts 50% profit margins, 34% of families with a loved one in prison are sent into debt by the cost of maintaining contact.
Since the 1990’s, the prison telecommunications industry has been dominated by just a few companies. These companies’ large market power has allowed them to run a lucrative business, in some states charging $1.22 per minute. That’s more than 25 times the free-world rate of phone calls. Surveys suggest that roughly half of all families with an incarcerated loved one struggle to meet basic food and housing needs because of the financial strain associated with incarceration.
Prison telecoms companies’ profits come at the expense not just of low-income families with incarcerated loved ones, but of all taxpayers. There is overwhelming evidence that greater contact between the incarcerated and their loved ones improves post-release outcomes, and reduces recidivism rates. Our country spends $35,000 to incarcerate one individual for one year. With soaring rates of re-arrest and re-incarceration within five years of release (75% and 55%, respectively), the costs pile up quickly. The status-quo is both ethically and economically insupportable.
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, policy reform is moving slowly, and few are innovating tech-based solutions to improve people’s lives in the interim. Replacing out-dated, overpriced prison communications tools with modern alternatives would be a transformative step.
An ecosystem of free prison communication tools to free the justice system from the grip of exploitative monopolies. We are dedicated to supporting meaningful contact between the incarcerated and their loved ones. We believe our products will make correctional institutions safer, and free up funds that would be better spent elsewhere.
Send letters and photos to any incarcerated person in the U.S.
Save time & money
No more stamps or visits to the post office
Write letters on-the-go
Compose messages and attach photos from any device
Connect with any incarcerated person
We send to all correctional and detention facilities in the nation. Whether you’re a mile or an ocean away, our service remains free of charge.
-👷👷♀️under development –
Make video calls and send e-messages to your incarcerated loved ones. We will provide free software to correction institutions, and work with them to source proper hardware.
Remote video calls and e-messaging
Speak face-to-face with individuals incarcerated across the country.
Save money & improve quality
No more hidden fees.
-👷👷♀️ under development –
A social network to connect users impacted by the criminal justice system, and those working to improve it.
Personal profile and public feed
Post photos, questions, articles, and new ideas
Merge social networking and advocacy
Connect with a network of friends, advocates, attorneys, and experts
Follow criminal justice news and join the conversation
Read and comment on pressing issues affecting the justice system
-👷👷♀️ under development –
Spread awareness about mass incarceration through interactive graphics and accessible data visualizations. Compile detailed data on the criminal justice system to better inform policy decisions.
Simple and accessible data visualization
Real-time updates and predictive analysis
Our database is automatically updated as the incarcerated population changes. We also use machine learning tools to make predictions
Request access to our datasets. Run your own analyses and innovate