Right now there are nearly 2 million inmates in state, federal, and juvenile prisons in the United States. Ninety-five percent of them will eventually be freed, and nearly 700,000 of them are released every year—but two-thirds re-offend within three years of their release. According to studies, one of the best ways to keep inmates from returning to prison is by keeping them in close contact with family while they’re inside.
But many inmates end up transferring from prison to prison during long sentences, and visitations can become increasingly difficult for family members. Sending mail is still an option, but in a society that’s used to storing pictures on smartphones the process of having pictures developed, printed out, and dropped off at a post office is an inconvenience, and might lead to letters that will probably never make it to the mailbox.
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