If you think everything in the grocery store is expensive these days, I can guarantee that the prices at your local prison or prison commissary are even higher! It might sound weird, but being locked up doesn’t come cheap. Yes, correctional facilities provide inmates with “three beds in one bed” as well as some prison-issued clothing. But everything else you need costs money, not to mention the prison issued clothes are very uncomfortable and the food is terrible.
All of this means that prisoners need cash if they want even the bare minimum of comfort while incarcerated. They also need money to connect with family and friends, to keep themselves and their clothes clean, and to see the doctor. So today, we’re going to talk about the Prisoner Trust Fund.
Today’s blog post will cover the following topics:
- What is the Prisoner Trust Fund?
- What can prisoners buy with trust fund money?
- How do friends and family add money to an inmate’s account?
What is the Prisoner Trust Fund?
A prisoner trust fund is essentially another name for a prison or prison inmate’s “bank account” while they are incarcerated. When someone is enrolled in a local jail or sentenced to prison, the facility will automatically set up an inmate trust fund for them.
If they had any money with them when they were arrested or sent to the facility, it would be deposited into the trust. While an inmate is incarcerated, friends and family can send money into the fund so their inmate can buy items from the commissary, pay fees, etc…
If prisoners have jobs while in prison, their wages are deposited into their trust fund account. This is also the account through which state prison inmates receive their “state pay,” usually $5 to $10 per month. The payment is available to everyone – whether they are employed or not – so they can buy basic hygiene items.
What can prisoners buy with trust fund money?
If the prisoner owes money to the court, the victim compensation fund or the facility, any money in their trust fund account will be used to cover those costs. However, most jails or prisons will set aside at least five dollars from any deposits in the account that inmates can use to purchase needed items.
If the inmates don’t owe any money, every dollar deposited into their account can be used to purchase items from the commissary. Every prison and prison commissary is different in terms of the specific items offered and pricing. However, most offer snacks, cereal, ramen, pasta, chicken and tuna. They also have drinks like soda, tea and coffee.
Each kiosk has basic hygiene items such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap and toothpaste. Clothing provided is usually T-shirts, socks, sweatpants, shorts and underwear.
Some prison kiosks sell electronics such as televisions, CD players, alarm clocks and typewriters. Also, bathroom tools such as hair dryers, curlers, razors and hairbrushes.
Another necessity is correspondence, such as stamps, paper, envelopes, pens, pencils, and greeting cards. Prisoners can also use money from their trust funds to buy conference call transcripts and emails.
In facilities where inmates have tablets, they can use funds from the trust to buy music and games, films and educational sessions.
In jails and jails where prisoners have to pay for doctor visits and medical care, they can use money from trust funds to pay those bills.
How do friends and family add money to an inmate’s account?
For county jails, friends and family can deposit money into an inmate’s trust fund account in person at the jail through a lobby kiosk or accompanied by a guard on duty. However, prisons generally do not offer face-to-face trust fund deposit services.
Instead, state prisons, federal prisons, and private prisons contract with a company such as Alipaythis GTL connection networkor access correction Dealing with the Prisoner Trust Fund. Online and telephone deposit options are available using the facilities of these types of suppliers (the vast majority of them).
To learn which services and methods a particular facility uses to send money to your inmates, see Prison Insightst Facility Directory to find where your inmate is located and refer to the “How to send money” section.
Another method of sending money is via USPS money order. Most facilities accept money orders from the Prisoner Trust Fund. However, who you pay the money order to depends on the facility.
Some require you to pay a money order to the inmate, while others require you to pay the facility.These details also apply to each of our jails and jails prison insight Directory of facilities.
There is no fee for facilities that accept money orders by mail or allow you to hand over cash in person. However, if you send money online or over the phone through a provider, there will be a fee for each deposit.
What’s the biggest fee you’ve ever been charged for sending money to a prisoner? not cheap! ! ! Let us know in the comments below.
Sources: JPay Services Jpay.com Access Corrections Services AccessCorrections.com GTL Connect Network The Inmate Trust Fund Explained https://www.fool.com/investing/2016/08/03/the-inmate-trust-fund-explained.aspx#:~:text=An%20inmate%20trust%20fund%20is%20essentially%20the%20bank%20account%20of,that%20from%20the%20fund%2C%20too.