While inmates who are incarcerated in prisons across the US have their basic needs met, if they want access to any luxuries and perks, cash is still a necessity to pay for them.
The good news is that friends and family members on the outside can send inmates money for this purpose, and there are a few ways to go about this, so read on to find out more.
Find Out the Systems in Use
Like many aspects of prison administration, there are differences in the way you can provide funds to inmates depending on the state they are in as well as the policies of the particular facility that is holding them.
Because of this, you will need to search specifically for what avenues are available to you before you get started. For example, this page details the payment possibilities in North Carolina prisons, alongside other useful information for things like visitation and finding prisoners in the first place.
Send Money Digitally
One of the most convenient ways to get cash to an inmate is via a digital transfer service, of which JPay is the most widely used thanks to its partnerships with Department of Corrections across many states.
As prisoners have a right to an account in their name, so long as you know this information, you can also use service providers like Western Union and MoneyGram to transfer funds.
It is worth bearing in mind that there are often longer processing periods for money that is sent to inmates than you may be used to. So while a typical transfer from your bank account might normally take seconds or a few hours to complete, if you are pinging some pennies over to a prisoner’s account then it may take up to 10 days for it to arrive.
This is all about ensuring that the funds being sent are legitimate, and to avoid any chance of fraud or corruption from occurring through the use of prisoners’ accounts.
Give Cash in Person
A more old school option for getting money to an inmate in the US is to visit the prison in person and pay cash into their account at the reception.
Again, the opportunity to do this is not universal, as some facilities will welcome cash payments while others will prefer alternative methods and may even have a blanket ban on cash deposits altogether.
The advantage of paying in cash is that this money should appear in the inmate’s account quickly, so long as the amount is reasonably small.
The disadvantage is that you will of course need to be able to physically get to the prison to do this, which is why a lot of friends and family members of inmates will combine a cash deposit with a visit to see the inmate in question.
So there you have it; sending money to an inmate in the US is essentially straightforward, so long as you do your research.