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Concern about prisoner-family relationships is gaining momentum and may become, if not a major correctional treatment strategy, one of the most pressing problems ever encountered in corrections.
Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare
March 1991
From the creators of Voice Freedom Calls
We are committed to lower recidivism through family communication by providing voice, text and email services to incarcerated men and women.
We are also developing new services to be able to help with the problems our current system has.
Studies have consistently found that prisoners who maintain close contact with their family members while incarcerated have better post-release outcomes and lower recidivism rates.
Prison Legal News
April 2015
Corrio keeps prisoners connected to the people who matter most.

Family

Talking to their family helps inmates feel like they are still part of the family when their situation seems designed to separate them.

Friends

By communicating with friends, inmates can ask for advice on how to deal with situations affecting them. They continue to feel like part of the community even while separated from it.

Lawyer

When inmates are able to answer important questions on time, lawyers can build a better case.
Spencer O.
In March 2014, Spencer was one of five inside speakers selected to give a talk as part of TEDx "Turning Keys" at the Washington State Reformatory. His TEDx talk "Armed or Equipped?" addressed how higher education equips prisoners with an equation for success.
There are many studies that agree: connection with other human beings is the antidote for any number of maladies. From infantile development to recovery from addiction. The solution to the problem is often connection. This fact leads one to wonder why our prisons place barriers in the way of this basic human need. Why are those who may need it the most deprived of basic human connection -- with positive influences -- seemingly by design? Though it is tempting to get caught up in the age old blame game and can even be momentarily satisfying to point the proverbial accusatory finger, this prisoner has learned from experience it's futility. Instead of bemoaning the hurdles between my loved ones and I, the last six years of lock-up has been marked, in part, by a search for ways to climb over them. All of these methods have their place and go a certain distance to helping me connect with those I care about, but they all fall short and have failed me - repeatedly.
Letters are personal, but they're slow in reaching there destination - hence the term snail mail - and often find the recipient too busy to respond in kind. Cards are light hearted or touching, as the occasion demands, but not always readily available and still strapped to a snail for delivery. Phone calls are great, you get to hear the other persons voice and connect with each others souls through spoken language. However, they certainly aren't perfect. One of the biggest drawbacks with our phones is that they are one-way. My family and friends are busy, often keeping them from being able to answer when I call. Believe it or not, I'm pretty busy too (take that, prison stereotypers)! Add these two facts of life together and connecting with my peeps in the free world over the phone can be a pain in my than convenient areas of my anatomy -- physical and spiritual. Corrio Messaging alleviates that.
Relationships that were strained and sputtering along for want of communication have been renewed. It's incredible how being able to leave short messages for each other helps engender a much deeper sense of connection between my loved ones and me. It's been especially powerful for the relationship with my mentor. He's an extraordinarily busy businessman which can make catching him at just the right time like getting the proverbial lighting in a bottle. With VFC we can stay in touch on his schedule and play voicemail tag until we finally get our schedules to meet.
There are still challenges to staying connected in prison. We are, by definition, removed from society's embrace, after all. But having VFC in my life goes a long way to helping me become and remain connected to those who are vital to my life and my success. Thanks VFC!
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