For parents who are incarcerated, keeping connected to their children can be nothing less than challenging. Communication can become extremely expensive for families, causing some to choose between keeping in contact and not. Well, Jay’Aine “Jay Jay” Patton, after experiencing personal challenges with keeping in contact with her own father, has developed an app designed to help families overcome the challenge of staying connected.

The talented teenager developed Photo Patch, a program and mobile app that connects parents in prison with their children. 


“Everybody’s on their phone. It’s way easier for them to take a picture and type a letter right there. My dad said I should try it.” Patton told Teen Vogue in an interview. “No matter where the child or parent is, they should always have a bond, a connection, and be able to talk to each other. We know that being able to talk to each other helped our bond a lot. So why not give that same thing for [other] kids and parents?”

Patton’s father learned coding while incarcerated. After his release, in addition to Jay Jay’s mobile version, he started the Photo Patch Foundation which hosts a website where children can write and send a letter and upload photos without incurring unreasonable fees. 

Since the launch, almost 2,000 users have signed up for the app and it has been downloaded over 10,000 times. Having proven extremely timely during quarantine restrictions as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, for some families, the Photo Patch app/website has been a lifesaver. 

Congratulations, Jay Jay. This is an amazing invention that will help touch many more lives than you will ever know!

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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