From the article: “Family and friends of about 20,000 inmates in the Tennessee prison system now must pay a commission to a private for-profit Florida company when they want to send money to the inmates’ trust accounts, and the state will get a cut, too.”
Read more here.
I grabbed this from the Vera Institute’s collection of headlines (see below), but I thought it was worthy of reposting separately due to the fact that I know it’s also a problem in other states (namely, Ohio). Ohio also transitioned to JPay within the past year and it has been the top cause of inmate complaints. The original cause of the complaints (also litigated by the ACLU in other states, I believe) was the charge to the families and the requirement that families send their personal identification (such as a driver’s license) to the company. Now, the primary cause appears to be that it can take several weeks for the company to put the money on the books. This is especially a problem for reception inmates.
In the state’s defense, the cost charged by the company was covered by the state previously, which one can certainly argue against, and it also frees up significant staff time, who were previously responsible for processing the money orders, etc.
Privatization…always a plus and a minus.