CNN Op-Ed, March 28, 2014
By Mitchell Kapor and Benjamin Todd Jealous
When Frederick Hutson left prison in 2012 after serving four years on marijuana-related charges, he realized he had gained something more than his freedom: insight into an overlooked consumer market.
Many inmates are stuck in an age before Instagram or Facebook, relying on envelopes and pay phones to connect with family on the outside.
So Hutson founded Pigeonly, a photo-sharing and low-cost phone call service that has already helped 50,000 incarcerated individuals connect with their loved ones, maintain their ties to society, and remain a presence in their children’s lives.
The story of Pigeonly is statistically unlikely: a disruptive technology created by a member of a disenfranchised community, in order to solve a problem within that community.
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