Communication apps help prisoners stay in touch with family and friends

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Spotted: A new generation of smartphone apps are challenging traditional communication services in US jails. Three apps designed by former prisoners seek to provide better, less expensive services to the 2.3 million people currently incarcerated. The apps are similar to Instagram and other popular smartphone programs. But these are specifically designed to meet inmate needs -- and prison requirements -- and to provide more affordable phone and email services. Prisoners traditionally have access to a secure form of email and phone calls. But both use dated technologies and charge prisoners high rates given inmates' small earnings. Pigeonly (named after the pigeon…

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