It’s no secret that we live in a world dominated by electronic communications. From text messages to emails to social media apps, constant communication through our phones, computers and tablets is how we live today.
However, when you’re in prison, you don’t have access to the internet, and until recently, electronic devices were banned (more on that later). If you get caught holding your phone, you’re in a lot of trouble. Usually, that means you’ll go to the hole, which is prison slang for solitary confinement or administrative segregation.
However, you can still receive emails when you are a prison inmate, but there is a process. So, that leads us to today’s question: how do you email an inmate?
In this blog post, I will cover the following topics:
- How do prisoners get emails?
- How to email prisoners for free?
- When do prisoners receive JPay emails?
How do prisoners get emails?
Until recently, the only way inmates had access to email was by postal phone calls.Friends and family use services like this Alipay or access correction Write an email to their incarcerated loved one. The email was then sent to the prison, where mail workers printed the email. Prisoners received a printout of the phone when it was mailed.
You must know the facility where your inmate is located and their inmate ID number. And, you must also sign up for an account with any service you use. You will also need a debit or credit card.
Many prisons now allow inmates (or their family and friends) to purchase tablets. Depending on the facility, you can send money to the prisoner to buy the tablet, or you can buy the tablet via JPay and send it to the prisoner.
Either way, many inmates can have a tablet (with no internet access) and they can read the emails you send them on their device. These tablets also have other functions, such as downloading music, games and e-books, and renting movies.
Of course, all of these features come at a price, and costs vary by company, service, and facility.
How to Email Prisoners for Free
When it comes to prison, nothing comes for free. Any product or service will cost you, and often there will be crazy markups on the price. Email is actually one of the most affordable things you can buy in prison. Sending an e-mail usually costs less than postage stamps, somewhere between 25 and 50 cents. Most of the time, they allow you to attach pictures to emails if you want to use that option.
When do prisoners receive JPay emails?
Inmates receive emails from JPay on mail calls, timings vary by facility, security level, and housing unit. Some prisons send emails daily, while others may send them twice a week or once a week. It really depends.
For prisoners with tablets, they will have the opportunity to download emails, music, games, books, movies, etc… usually once a week. But again, this varies from prison to prison.
JPay is a Florida-based company that has literally taken over the prison industry when it comes to communication between prisoners and their loved ones. Some prisons only offer JPay as an option to send money, write emails, video visits, make phone calls or buy tablets.
The fees associated with these services are very high. Sending $50 to someone can cost you as much as $20, and depending on the facility, a phone call can cost as much as $1 per minute. Unfortunately, inmates’ families and friends don’t have many other options when they want to stay in touch.
Do you think companies like JPay are taking advantage of prisoners and their families? Let us know in the comments below.