What most people probably don’t know is that people in prison, unlike the rest of us, don’t have ready access to texts, emails and social media.
About a week ago, a post from Richard Branson’s Blog called ‘Eight social enterprises giving ex-offenders a second chance’ Flikshop caught my eye. It’s based on a simple idea. Send photos and brief messages delivered as postcards to any person in any prison instantly. In a TED Talk its founder, Marcus Bullock, spoke about his own experience of being locked up at age 15. Two year’s into an eight year sentence, he was struggling with his mental health.
He was saved by letters and photos sent by his mum every day. She talked about things to look forward to when he got out. Took photos of things they would see and do together. Burgers to eat. Her love letters inspired his cellmates and kept them hopeful of life beyond prison too.
Flikshop, like the Magnolia Project, is all about maintaining connection with family and community. In Australia though, Australia Post prices mean that postcards cannot be sent for 79c like the US. But Flikshop has definitely got me thinking about the possibilities. Maybe we could print bundles of postcards to each prison in SA. There are only nine adult prisons and some are co-located. Maybe we could even bundle and send postcards to the General Post Office box of the Department for Correctional Services… definitely food for thought.