Petition: Reverse the Illegal Privitization of Prisoners’ Accounts

Reverse the Illegal Privitization of Prisoners’ Accounts.

Starting September 17, 2012, JPay, a private corporation took over processing all prisoners’ money orders. We, the undersigned object to this new policy for the following reasons:

1. JPay will charge a processing fee of $1.50. This fee amounts to an illegal tax on prisoners’ family and supporters. The legislature must approve all taxes. There is no guarantee that JPay won’t increase this tax in the future.
2. Prior to September 17th, interest from prisoner’s accounts goes into the “I&E” fund, that helps pay for prisoners’ entertainment, recreation equipment, and going home funds. The new scheme allows JPay, a private company, to invest the prisoner’s money and take interest as profits. What will happen with the “I&E” funded programs? Who is insuring that the prisoners’ money will be safe if JPay’s investments fail and they go bankrupt?
3. How can prisoners resolve complaints with JPay? Would it cost a prisoner to mail a complaint to JPay?
4. Most importantly, why has the ODCR handed over personal information of prisoners’ friends and families to this private company? That is illegal. ODRC claims JPay will not have access to the information, but it is impossible for JPay to process and verify the authenticity of the funds without this information.

[Your name] 

Please go to the following link and sign, thank you! Spread the word!

http://www.change.org/petitions/gary-mohr-director-of-the-odrc-reverse-the-illegal-privitization-of-prisoner-s-accounts

Changes in sending money to your loved one in an Ohio prison

The Ohio Department of Corrections is making changes to send in money to prisoners, that may make it more difficult for families and friends to do so. They now have to be on the “approved visitor list” in order to send a Jpay-issued money order of 1.50.

This seems needlessly not good, because some prisoners are only allowed a certain amount of visitors on their lists, and they then have to take someone off and put the person who wants to donate money, on there, with a waiting time of 30 to 60 days! It sounds a lot loke the Soviet Union in terms of bureaucracy.

Also note that another private corporation (Jpay) is going to earn and profit from this decision off the backs of Americans and others with loved ones in the Ohio prisons. Prison is Big Business!

However, we hope that the ODRC will change its mind when they see the loss in $$ because prisoners will not have enough to spend in the ODRC-shop.

This is from the ODRC-site:

Effective September 17, 2012, institutions will no longer accept money orders via the U.S. Mail. Any money order received by an institution after September 17, 2012, will be returned to the sender at the inmate’s expense.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction will be contracting the money order processing service to a new vendor, JPay.

Please visit the JPay Web site at https://www.jpay.com/moneyOrderForms/OH_Money_Order_coupon.pdf for additional information.

Below are some key changes:

Only approved (or tentatively approved) visitors may send money. You may apply to be a visitor by filling out the application found at http://www.drc.ohio.gov/web/visiting.htm and sending it to the facility where the inmate resides.

Applications are no guarantee of approval. Visiting approval requires the permission of the inmate and can take up to 30 to 60 days. You should be as thorough as possible in completing the application process and respond promptly to any requests for additional information from institutional staff. All new visitors will only be added in compliance with the Department’s visiting policies located at http://www.drc.ohio.gov/web/drc_policies/drc_policies.htm.

Every time you send in a money order to JPay, you must complete the Money Order Deposit form, found on the JPay Website. You must use the form for the State of Ohio. You will also need to send in a copy of your driver’s license (or state ID or passport) with each money order. This will be used to match your name to the visiting list.

The name on the money order must exactly match:
– the name on the driver’s license, state ID, or passport; AND
– the name and date of birth used to register as a visitor with DRC or the money order will not be processed.

You will not be able to send any letters to the inmate with the money order. Any letters sent to inmates with the money order will be discarded.

Money orders may not exceed $200, unless approved in advance by the institution Warden. If you need to send more than $200, contact the institution for details on the procedures.

A fee of $1.50 will be deducted from the money order prior to forwarding the funds to the inmate. For example, if you send a $20 money order, $18.50 will be posted to the inmate’s account.

Money Order Coupon link:

http://www.drc.ohio.gov/web/drc_policies/drc_policies.htm