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These Yale students built an app that makes it super simple for people to communicate with incarcerated loved ones for free

Added 07-04-20 09:14:02am EST - “One in three families with loved ones who are incarcerated go into debt to pay for phone calls and visits, and Ameelio aims to fix that with its app.” - Businessinsider.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Businessinsider.com: “These Yale students built an app that makes it super simple for people to communicate with incarcerated loved ones for free”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

It can be expensive and difficult for family members to maintain contact with incarcerated loved one: About one in three families go into debt to pay for phone calls and visits, research shows. 

Phone calls in prison are often curtailed and can be costly, and while some facilities allow text messaging, the length of messages can be limited and pricey, too. Family members may want to mail a letter, instead, but struggle to find the correct address. 

To make it easier and cheaper for family and friends to connect with their loved ones in prison, two Yale students teamed up to launch an app called Ameelio in March that makes it dead-simple to send physical letters to incarcerated people for free. 

"We wanted to touch on the urgency of the moment," Ameelio co-founder and Yale Law School student Uzoma Orchingwa told Business Insider.

Ameelio allows users to type an incarcerated person's name into its database to automatically pull up the correct address information. Users don't need to worry about getting envelopes and stamps, either: Instead, they can just take a picture of their handwritten letter. Ameelio then works with mail company Lob to convert the picture to a PDF that Lob prints out and sends. The user can then track the letter until it arrives at its destination. The key feature: It's absolutely free for people to use Ameelio to send letters. 

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