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Ex-inmate, Marcus Bullock, has created an app designed to help keep families of those who are incarcerated connected. Flikshop is an app designed to send photos delivered as postcards to any person in any prison instantly, according to their website. Users are able to stay connected with their incarcerated loved one with no subscription or hidden fees.
Bullock credits his experience being incarcerated and his mother’s vow to write him a letter or send him a picture daily for the idea to start Flikshop.
“She made a commitment to me in a prison visitor room to be able to overcome and see there was still hope for my life after prison,” Bullock said.
Turning Pain to Purpose
At 15 years old, Bullock was arrested and sentenced for carjacking.
“It wasn’t until two years into me not only getting arrested, and then getting sentenced to eight years in adult maximum-security prison as a 15-year-old kid when things started to shift for me,” Bullock said.
He lost hope and spiraled downward. Fortunately, his mother did something to turn things around. Her loving actions would become the inspiration for Flikshop.
“My name started getting called for mail and in prison, people don’t get mail every day,” Bullock said. “My mom wrote me letters and people started living vicariously through my letters and pictures.
Bullock credits the daily letters from his mother in helping him stay focused on the future.
“My mom is my superhero, definitely,” Bullock said. “I feel blessed to be able to have someone who was committed to me in that way. I wouldn’t have been able to make it through it without my mom.”
Flikshop hopes that their cards can help end recidivism. They work hard to keep every person in every cell connected to their family members and other community resources prior to their release.
“It allows us to be able to connect over 170,000 families, and ship over 700,000 postcards to prisons across the country,” he said.
With Flikshop, Customers can take a picture, add some quick texts and press send and each postcard is 99 cents.
The company also has a program where children are able to send postcards to incarcerated parents for free from prior donations.
Flikshop Angels has connected over 6,500 families through donations allowing children to send postcards to their parents.
“We know that there are over 2.3 million people who are incarcerated around the country and data says that 76 percent are going to return to prison after three years. If we want to lower that rate of recidivism then we have to be thoughtful of how we introduce family connections and opportunities, get social capital resources back to these people well before they come home. That’s the target audience because we know we can reduce recidivism with tech and data,” Flikshop founder Bullock said.