Ameelio has quickly established itself as the future of prison communication and virtual learning. We were recently chosen as one of Fast Company's 2021 World-Changing Ideas.
As we prepare to scale, we're searching for a Senior Software Engineer (5+ years of experience) with strong infra (Kubernetes, Docker, Microservice Architecture), and backend engineering experience (we use Elixir and Node.js/Typescript). Experience working with WebRTC, either directly or with libraries that use it, is highly desirable, but not mandatory.
A few focus areas today we could use a hand with
- Monitoring — help develop our monitoring system end-to-end, ensuring we have robust monitoring, alerting, and tools for development/debugging
- Release Engineering — owning everything from our git workflow, code review process, build system, configuration system, artifact management, CI/CD system, working hand in hand with engineers across the company
- Core Deployment — managing our deployment in a way that allows us to be both extremely reliable and easily able to push new versions of the product. We're currently in the process of transitioning to a Kubernetes-based deployment.
Who We're Looking For
- At least 5 years of experience.
- You have a strong focus on delivering value as fast as possible to our core users.
- You're pragmatic in knowing when to refactor and when to ship.
- You're able to ruthlessly prioritize in a chaotic and ambiguous environment.
- You ship incrementally to move fast and can communicate how the team needs to handle product transitions.
- You're scrappy. We have to out-compete heavily funded for-profit competitors.
- You can navigate and extend APIs and microservices to support delightful frontend experiences.
- You have experience with Kubernetes in production.
- Experience working on a large scale group video calling platform like Zoom or Google Meet
- Experience working with WebRTC, either directly or with libraries that use it
Why You'll Love Us
- A welcoming and collaborative environment with people who are dedicating their lives to fighting the commercialization of incarceration
- Experience working closely with users who rely on our product to stay in touch with their loved one
- An environment for rapid experimentation and ownership
- Ownership of entire systems and features that deliver society-changing impact
- Contributing to the foundation and culture of a young and growing organization
- Experience working cross-functionally and exposure to a variety of business functions
- An incredibly high bar for velocity of shipping and the quality of your work
- Compensation: $100,000 - $150,000
- Desired: Appreciation for design and willingness to help advance a higher bar for design
Ameelio is a nonprofit technology company that builds free technology to accelerate the creation of a more humane and rehabilitative justice system. We were recently chosen as one of Fast Company's 2021 World Changing Ideas. Our tools will enable 27 million Americans to communicate with their incarcerated loved ones for free, organizations to scale their social services, and educators to empower incarcerated people through virtual learning. We are a technological bridge that reconnects incarcerated people with their families and vital resources — for free. Our tools will help improve post-release outcomes, lower recidivism rates, and help America safely reduce the size of its prison populations.
We're backed by Schmidt Futures, Mozilla Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation, Google.org, and Fast Forward accelerator. Our funders also include Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, and Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the founder of Khosla Ventures. Our work has been covered by Forbes, TechCrunch, Fast Company, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and others.
Ameelio was an all-volunteer effort until late-2020. Since, we've built an A-team that brings together technical and criminal justice expertise, participated in Mozilla's Spring MVP Lab (won 1st place), Fast Forward Accelerator, Robin Hood BRL program, and Visible Connect's Accelerator. We're backed by Schmidt Futures, Mozilla Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation, Google.org, and Fast Forward accelerator. Our funders also include Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, and Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the founder of Khosla Ventures.
- Fast Company: This app is making it free for incarcerated people to make video calls
- Forbes: The Prison Communications Nonprofit Backed By Twitter's Jack Dorsey And Former Google Chief Eric Schmidt
- Washington Post: Let inmates talk to their families for free
- Tech Crunch: Ameelio wants to take on for-profit, prison-calling rackets after starting with free letters to inmates
- Fast Company: This app bypasses the absurdly high cost of making phone calls to prison by converting texts to snail mail
Problem We're Solving
The $1.4 billion prison communications industry generates obscene profits by charging extortionate prices to the incarcerated and their loved ones. Families spend up to $500 a month to stay connected to their loved ones inside. A 15-minute phone call runs as steep as $25. Our work has never been more important. Because of COVID, prisons have shut down all in-person visitation. Low-income families have few options to communicate with loved ones.
Exclusive contracts leave prison telecommunications companies unchecked by competition: former FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn called the industry “the clearest, most glaring type of market failure I've ever seen as a regulator”.
Poverty and incarceration are viciously tied: over 50% of incarcerated people had no income eight years preceding their arrest. For-profit prison companies entrench this cycle. One in three families with incarcerated loved ones is forced into debt ( $13,000, on average) by the cost of maintaining contact.
This is a social and moral disaster
A suite of free prison communications and virtual learning tools that connect the incarcerated with their loved ones, service networks, and colleges, which will improve post-release outcomes.
Connect: Video Conferencing & Virtual Learning
Reconnecting the incarcerated with their loved ones and supporting the next generation of remote prison programming. We have secured our pilot facilities. By 2021, we will have launched the nation's first free prison video conferencing and virtual learning platform.
Letters for Families
App that bypasses the absurdly high cost of making phone calls to prison by converting texts,photos, games & news to snail mail. We currently have over 110,000 users in all 50 U.S. states, and in 42 countries.
Letters for Organization
Web app that enables criminal justice orgs, reentry groups, voting rights, and legal clinics to extend their services directly to the incarcerated using our letters infrastructure. Our users include: the Marshall project, Connecticut Bail Fund, Pen America & Defy Ventures.