Team Ameelio

By 

Team Ameelio

April 12, 2024

  |  

3 min

PRESS RELEASE: Ameelio and ASHEcon Highlight the Transformative Power of Free Communication Technology in Prisons

Share via:

FacebookTwitterLinkedinWe are creativeGoogle+
Read article
Arrow
PRESS RELEASE: Ameelio and ASHEcon Highlight the Transformative Power of Free Communication Technology in Prisons

San Diego, CA – April 12, 2024 – Ameelio, a TIME100 company committed to combating mass incarceration through technology, is proud to announce that Dr. Panka Bencsik from Vanderbilt University has been selected to present her groundbreaking research on Ameelio at the 13th Annual Conference of the American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon). On June 13th, 2024, in San Diego, California, her presentation, “The Impact of Free Communication Technology in Prison”, will showcase her transformative research on Ameelio's initiatives.

Dr. Bencsik was recently awarded a grant by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research for her work on the impact of free communications in prisons, specifically through Ameelio’s technology. The Upjohn Institute’s Early Career Research Awards program recognizes early career faculty who have made significant contributions to policy-relevant research on labor market issues. Dr. Bencsik’s research was selected among ten winners in 2024, emphasizing the critical nature and potential policy implications of her work in the justice system and workforce. 

In an era where nearly 1 in 2 Americans have an immediate family member who 
is currently or has previously been incarcerated, the cost of communication with loved ones behind bars is prohibitively expensive for many. Dr. Bencsik's study evaluates the impact of introducing Ameelio’s free communications technology (video calls) across Iowa's nine prison facilities. Utilizing the staggered rollout of this technology between 2021 and 2022, the study meticulously examines its effects on crucial outcomes including infractions and adverse health outcomes during incarceration, as well as recidivism rates post-release. 

“This study shines a light on a population that is all too often overlooked and marginalized,” states Sonja English, Chief of Staff at Ameelio. “Incarcerated individuals often face significant challenges in maintaining connections with their loved ones due to prohibitive communication costs. Through Dr. Bencsik’s presentation, we are granted a much-needed opportunity to bring the carceral experience to the forefront of public discourse. It is our hope that this research not only highlights the critical importance of accessible communication in prisons but also sparks meaningful change in how we support the incarcerated and their families.”

Dr. Bencsik's study brings to light the benefits of implementing free communication technologies in prisons, such as reduced infractions and lower recidivism rates. This research provides empirical evidence that can inform future policies within the criminal justice system. It signals how much rigorous academic research has the potential to ignite new criminal justice practices through data-driven decisions, as well as bring incarcerated individuals to the forefront of academic discussion.

For more information about Ameelio and its work in the criminal justice reform sector, please visit https://www.ameelio.org/.

About Ameelio

Ameelio is a prize-winning nonprofit technology company that builds free technology to disrupt the predatory prison telecom industry, and accelerate the creation of a more humane and rehabilitative justice system for the 113 million Americans it impacts. Ameelio transforms America’s correctional system with technology by connecting incarcerated people with support networks; they cut recidivism and sustainably reduce prison populations. Ameelio’s ecosystem of products helps everyone — from families to corrections officials to service providers — empowering successful reentry from day one.

About ASHEcon

The American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon) is a professional organization that promotes excellence in health economics research in the United States. Through conferences, forums, and a variety of professional activities, ASHEcon advances health economics research, recognition, and policies aimed at enhancing individual and societal health.

Other articles you may like...

By 

Team Ameelio

July 19, 2024

  |  

5 min

FCC Votes to End Exorbitant Call Costs for Incarcerated Individuals

FCC unanimously adopted new rules aimed at ending the exorbitant costs

By 

Team Ameelio

July 1, 2024

  |  

5 minutes

NPR Highlights Extortionate Prices In Prisons, Ameelio Fights for Affordable Communications

Recently, NPR’s hit podcast, The Indicator from Planet Money, highlighted the high prices

By 

Team Ameelio

April 12, 2024

  |  

3 min

PRESS RELEASE: Ameelio and ASHEcon Highlight the Transformative Power of Free Communication Technology in Prisons

Dr. Panka Bencsik from Vanderbilt University has been selected to present