App Sends Free Email to People in Prison, and Helps Them Register to Vote
Date:  10-21-2020

Ameelio, a tech nonprofit founded by Yale students, launched a voter registration campaign targeting people incarcerated in Maine
From Next City:

All incarcerated residents of Maine have the right to vote — it’s one of two states, alongside Vermont, that allows it — but few actually do so. Low literacy rates and restricted access to information are among the main reasons.

This challenge became an unexpected opportunity for Ameelio, a technology nonprofit launched by Yale students this March to facilitate free communication between incarcerated people and their loved ones. The early goal was to provide a not-for-profit alternative to the $1.2 billion prison telecommunications industry, in which private companies charge for phone calls and emails into U.S. prisons.

“We wanted to start with letters because we knew just how important of a communication method it was,” explains co-founder Zo Orchingwa, who was a Yale Law and School of Management student before taking a leave to work on Ameelio. “It was also the easiest way to break into this industry … it allowed us to connect with users right away.” Continue reading >>>