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Saturday, October 27, 2012

JPay Petition

The ODRC is privatizing the administration of prisoner commissary accounts. This is a terrible new policy that has upset many prisoners we're in contact with, and shared thousands of prisoner-visitors personal information to an unreliable private company. PLEASE sign the petition, circulate it, and scan a copy to redbirdprisonabolition at gmail dot com. Here is where you can find the ODRC policy on this:

Here are the concerns as stated by prisoners:

"Starting September 17, 2012, JPay, a private corporation took over processing all prisoners’ money orders. We 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. JPay's system is only accessible to prisoner visitors and with the use of internet connection. This reduces access for friends and family, particularly elderly, low income and non-visitors from being able to send funds or maintain connection with prisoners.
5. 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." To sign this petition, (yes, there are two) go here.

And for Sean Swain's article on this issue, read his blog here.

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