Teen Works with Dad to Launch App for Incarcerated Parents and their Kids


Jay’Aina “Jay Jay” Patton is a special 15-year-old from New York.

She has developed and launched Photo Patch, an app that incarcerated parents to their children for free.

Jay Jay made this innovative app with some help from her dad, Antoine. Antoine himself was once imprisoned.

When a parent is in prison, it becomes tough, and sometimes even impossible, for them to communicate with their children.

In-person visits might not be possible because of the long travel distance.

Many families opt for phone or video calls.

However, those can end up costing a substantial amount of money.

Others still rely on snail mail because of how affordable it is, but the biggest drawback of this is how long it usually takes for the mail to be delivered.

Jay Jay experienced all of these drawbacks when she was still only 3 years old.

Her father was imprisoned for gun possession, and communication between them became strained.

Black father and daughter launch app

While in prison, Antoine taught himself how to write code using a computer science manual.

In 2014, when he got out of prison, he started developing a website that allowed children to send photos and letters to their imprisoned parents completely free.

At the time, Jay Jay was 10 years old. She saw her father work hard to print, package, and mail the letters he got through his website.

This is when her interest in coding was born. As he taught her the basics of coding, she formed an even stronger bond with Antoine.

Two years after he started teaching her, Jay Jay thought of a way to simplify her father’s website.

She proposed making a mobile app version that would allow for faster and easier access for users.

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She started work on it, and in a mere three months, Jay Jay had already finished developing the app.

Since then, the app has been downloaded over 10,000 times. It currently averages around 1,000 to 2,000 users a month.

Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, the app received almost 100 letters every day.

To learn more about this innovative app, visit .org.


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