Even though your prison inmate cannot send money to you, you can send money to your inmate. This money can be used in the prison canteen to buy stamps, paper, pens, snacks, radios, envelopes and treats. They can buy cards, sometimes a television set, and they can purchase items from mail order catalogs. With money that you send them, your prisoner can also buy phone minutes so that they can call and talk to you. In many areas, collect calls from prisons are no longer allowed, so their phone time must be prepaid. Here are some ways in which you can fund your inmate’s account.
Phone minutes. If you would like your inmate to call you, there is a way to save some money. Any funds which are sent to your inmate will have certain percentages automatically deducted from them. In the state of Kansas, 10% is deducted from all deposits into the prisoners account. This 10% is a total of several different allotments, including funds to be given to the prisoner upon release and funds for the Victim’s Services. If you send your prisoner funding for their phone line, this percentage will be deducted from your deposit before they have any access to your money.
To counteract this, you can deposit funds directly onto their phone line using the prison’s phone line service (which is usually free) or through JPay.com (which has a fee attached). Phone calls from prisoners are very expensive and, in the state of Kansas, the ratio is approximately $1 for every 3 minutes on the phone. In general, if they have $10 on their phone account, you can have a 30 minute conversation.
Deposit slips. To deposit money into your prisoner’s general account, you must get a deposit slip from your inmate. They can be obtained and sent for free, so you may get as many as you like. Make sure that you mail the deposit slip along with your money order to the CORRECT LOCATION!
This is important, because in many cases, prisoners are not allowed to receive money directly or it will go into their “outer account,” which is the money they receive when they are released. They will be unable to spend money in their outer account while they are in prison. The mailing address to fund your prisoner’s account will probably be on the deposit slip, but just in case, phone the prison itself and ask someone who knows for sure.
JPay. You can send money directly to and fund the phone account of your prisoner through www.JPay.com. This website is set up for several states and can be used to send and receive email as well. JPay requires that you pay for email “stamps,” one stamp per page. You can also click a box on the email page which sends a prepaid stamp to your inmate. Stamps for your inmate cost five times as much as they cost you, so keep this in mind when sending them prepaid stamps. For example, to buy 10 stamps on JPay, they must pay $40-$45 while you only have to pay $8 or $9.
JPay also requires that you pay a fee every time you send money to your inmate, through their money account or their phone account. Keep in mind that this is on top of the percentage which will already be deducted from any deposit headed for their money account. Sending funds and phone minutes to your inmate can be quite pricey, so plan accordingly.