Selling Tech to a Captive Audience
His profit is their gain. Ryan Shapiro’s company, JPay, has made millions selling tablet computers and digital pay services to prison inmates in 34 states. Not everyone thinks people should make money off the incarcerated, but the 38-year-old Miami-based entrepreneur says he’s helping convicts stay connected to their families, educational opportunities and job prospects, which could help America’s disastrous recidivism rates. And the self-described conservative Republican is giving back, promising to install free college coursework in his newest, jail-bound tablets to show that he’s serious about reform.