Marcus Bullock has taken the journey from prisoner to tech CEO to help families avoid the suffering he experienced firsthand.
In 2012, the entrepreneur and criminal justice reform advocate founded Flikshop, a tech company that offers an app that enables families to send personalized postcards to incarcerated loved ones. The photo-sharing platform aims to help combat recidivism, Bullock told Newsone.
“When I went to prison, I was forced to grow up fast,” he said of his eight-year sentence at 15-years-old for carjacking. “One of the things that got me through and allowed me to even be able to see the world and what the possibilities were before I came home was my mom and the letters that she would write me while I was in jail. In prison, getting mail is like hitting the lottery.”
Flikshop allows photos from your phone, Facebook, or Instagram to be delivered as postcards instantly for as low as $0.79 each.
In addition to the app, the Washington, D.C. native and TED Talk speaker is helping combat recidivism with two different programs. The Flikshop School of Business is a program that teaches returning citizens life skills and entrepreneurship. Then there’s the Flikshop Angels Program, where donations can be made to assist children of incarcerated parents to send postcards for free.
“We knew there was a need for post-release support. The Flikshop School of Business allowed us to go into spaces and share prison-to-entrepreneurship stories with men and women who were still behind bars, led by leaders that were formerly incarcerated themselves,” Bullock said.
Bullock, a father of two, continues to leverage tech and work with organizations to achieve prison reform and has also gained the likes of some big names outside of tech. According to Newsone, retired NBA player Baron Davis and singer, John Legend are both backing the app.
“We have to shift the narrative surrounding what people in prison look like and can do when they come home,” he said. “There are so many men and women who are bringing home solutions that are world-changing.”