Startup Tech Company Brings Facebook to Prison Inmates

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Technology startup, Brownie Wise LLC, has developed a new product that will effectively “free” prison inmates from the isolation that occurs as a result of being separated from society. The company’s product, “The Prison Press” is designed to connect prison inmates with their loved ones on the outside.

Prison Letters

The Prison Press... Preparing To Set Inmates Free

Our mission is to create an innovative channel for these family units to stay connected for the duration of the sentence; after all, a prison sentence is a sentence on the whole family

Over 2 million people are currently incarcerated within the U.S. prison system with an additional 5 million on probation, parole or living in rehabilitative housing. With various state and federal laws prohibiting most of these individuals from using popular social media websites, including Facebook, the punishment includes isolation from the rest of the world. Communication is restricted and censored, information is withheld, and updates from family and friends are limited to personal visits and mail sent through the USPS. Personal visits are rare because they are often expensive, time-consuming and require the friend and family of the inmate to travel long distances. (1)

There is no worse feeling than that of being alone and helpless. This applies to the families of those who are incarcerated just as much as it does to those behind the walls. The Prison Press bridges the gap in communications between inmates and their loved ones, by creating and delivering a magazine personalized by the prison inmate and their loved ones on the outside.

Utilizing the Facebook API, The Prison Press allows a family member to visit the website and enter prisoner details, such as the inmate’s prison number and the facility where he/she is located. The Prison Press will then create a Fan Page on Facebook and allow the family member to share it with friends and family. Once the page is ready for publishing, select print and the personalized social news magazine will be delivered directly to the inmate with all his/her friends, and family’s, comments, posts, likes, and updated current events.

The Prison Press lets the inmate’s family and friends share resources, ideas and information with each other, allowing the parties to “remain” a part of each other’s lives. The Prison Press operates online as a resource for friends and family members. In addition to the weekly magazine, The Prison Press stands as a portal to resources and information that can simplify the lives of an inmate's loved ones as they navigate the complications of life with a family member in prison. Travel and accommodation resources, a forum for discussion, legal advice, success stories, and partnerships with educational and non-profit organizations are integrated into The Prison Press.com.

Friends and Family can also choose to create and send, on-demand, mini-news feeds based on single events. In the situation that an inmate's son has just participated in a school basketball game attended by friends and family of the inmate, the inmate's support group can create a mini-magazine focused exclusively around the happenings of that game, allowing the inmate to receive a fast paced account of the basketball game, akin to a phone call or a video.

According to a recent poll on PrisonTalk (The Global Communications, Support & Information Nexus for Inmates' Families & Friends), when inmates were asked what the worst part of being in jail was, over 47% stated that it was “Being away from family/friends”. That is two and a half times the number who responded that it was, “No freedom”. (2)

“Our mission is to create an innovative channel for these family units to stay connected for the duration of the sentence; after all, a prison sentence is a sentence on the whole family. It is our hope that this bridge in communication will help to inspire hope in the loved ones behind bars, in a way that is easy-to-use, affordable, and within the limitations set by the law,” stated Jason Draizin, CEO of Brownie Wise LLC.

Realizing that incarceration is not the only source of loneliness and separation of family, in May Brownie Wise will apply the same model used for The Prison Press, to launch a new social site that will offer users various personalized social newsletter templates such as: “The Soldier Press”, “The Birthday Press”, “The Christmas Press”, “The New Years Press”, and “The Grandparent Press”, to name just a few. Each template allows the user to print a personalized social newsletter that can then be shared with whomever they choose.

“It is our aim to deliver a new type of ‘personalized’ media to consumers. We hope that eventually every American will logon to our social news site, “LIKE” different genres of news media that spark the consumers interest, and then be afforded the convenience of having the media, within all targeted points of the consumers specific interests, delivered directly to the individual’s inbox,” concluded Draizin.

About The Companies:
Brownie Wise LLC is a startup technology company located in New York City. The company’s first subsidiary, The Social Slammer, identifies an absence of technology and communication between various groups and then bridges that gap with “print” editions of social media communications.

The company’s future plans include a series of locator websites that will help consumers find local businesses in specific niche markets. Some of these initial markets include finding local salons such as hair salons, nail salons and tanning salons. The company believes that consumers are starving for reviews to help them know ahead of time the best business to meet their needs. Furthermore, the new Geo locator sites and Geo Leads delivery system allow consumers to set appointments over the internet, while the information is delivered directly to the business with literally no increase in operations, only ROI for Brownie Wise clients.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States
(2) http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=588967

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John Nicolazzo
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