Ameelio has quickly established itself as the future of prison communication and virtual learning. We were recently chosen as one of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas.
As we prepare to scale, we're looking for a full-time hire to join our small and nimble product team—currently consisting of five software engineers and one product designer (you’ll be the second to join us)—to help us in building the nation’s first free prison communications platform.
What we're looking for:
Why You'll Love Us
Ameelio is a nonprofit technology company that builds free technology to accelerate the creation of a more humane and rehabilitative justice system. We were recently chosen as one of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas. Our tools will enable 27 million Americans to communicate with their incarcerated loved ones for free, organizations to scale their social services, and educators to empower incarcerated people through virtual learning. We are a technological bridge that reconnects incarcerated people with their families and vital resources — for free. Our tools will help improve post-release outcomes, lower recidivism rates, and help America safely reduce the size of its prison populations.
We’re backed by Schmidt Futures, Mozilla Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation, Google.org, and Fast Forward accelerator. Our funders also include Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, and Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the founder of Khosla Ventures. Our work has been covered by Forbes, TechCrunch, Fast Company, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and others.
Ameelio was an all-volunteer effort until late-2020. Since, we've built an A-team that brings together technical and criminal justice expertise, participated in Mozilla's Spring MVP Lab (won 1st place), Fast Forward Accelerator, Robin Hood BRL program, and Visible Connect's Accelerator. We’re backed by Schmidt Futures, Mozilla Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation, Google.org, and Fast Forward accelerator. Our funders also include Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, and Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the founder of Khosla Ventures.
Problem We're Solving
The $1.4 billion prison communications industry generates obscene profits by charging extortionate prices to the incarcerated and their loved ones. Families spend up to $500 a month to stay connected to their loved ones inside. A 15-minute phone call runs as steep as $25. Our work has never been more important. Because of COVID, prisons have shut down all in-person visitation. Low-income families have few options to communicate with loved ones.
Exclusive contracts leave prison telecommunications companies unchecked by competition: former FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn called the industry “the clearest, most glaring type of market failure I’ve ever seen as a regulator”.
Poverty and incarceration are viciously tied: over 50% of incarcerated people had no income eight years preceding their arrest. For-profit prison companies entrench this cycle. One in three families with incarcerated loved ones is forced into debt ( $13,000, on average) by the cost of maintaining contact.
This is a social and moral disaster
A suite of free prison communications and virtual learning tools that connect the incarcerated with their loved ones, service networks, and colleges, which will improve post-release outcomes.
Connect: Video Conferencing & Virtual Learning
Reconnecting the incarcerated with their loved ones and supporting the next generation of remote prison programming. We have secured our pilot facilities. By 2021, we will have launched the nation’s first free prison video conferencing and virtual learning platform.
Letters for Families
App that bypasses the absurdly high cost of making phone calls to prison by converting texts, photos, games & news to snail mail. We currently have over 110,000 users in all 50 U.S. states, and in 42 countries.
Letters for Organization
Web app that enables criminal justice organizations, reentry groups, voting rights, and legal clinics to extend their services directly to the incarcerated using our letters infrastructure. Our users include: the Marshall Project, Connecticut Bail Fund, Pen America & Defy Ventures.