Stop Prison Profiteering

Join us in fighting the companies and governments that are financially exploiting prisoners and pushing the costs of mass incarceration on to the families of prisoners. This includes money transfer services, commissary companies, pay to stay fees, for-profit probation and parole, the bail bond industry and the other parasites feeding off the prison system.
The “Time is Money” documentary featured here was produced by theCenter for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative newsroom in Washington, DC. It was originally part of their “Profiting from Prisoners” series that originally appeared September 30, 2014.

Take Action

We are currently collecting information about the ways that family members of prisoners and detainees get cheated by the high cost of sending money to fund inmate accounts, and the ways that this money is given back upon release from custody (such as debit cards from private companies). There are pending federal actions where your stories could make a difference in these practices. Please fill out our survey to help us end prison profiteering.

The more stories we can collect the greater impact we can have.

If you or someone you know has been charged high fees to send money to a prisoner or to access money when released from custody we would like to know the following:

1) The name of the facility and state it is located in.

2) The name of the company processing the money or issuing the debit card.

3) How much money was taken from you? Were the fees disclosed? If so, how?

4) What documentation do you have?

5) When did it occur?

6) Did you object?

Please send your responses to:


Recent News

Portland woman went to jail with $30.97 in cash. She’s suing after getting debit card in return loaded with service fees
By Maxine Bernstein | The Oregonian/OregonLive When Danica L. Brown was arrested in Portland during a 2014 protest, the downtown jail confiscated t...
Brown v. Stored Value Cards, 9th Circuit, Opinion, Debit Cards, 2020
Click here to read the opinion...
Brown v. Stored Value Cards Inc, Prisoner Debit Cards, Appeal, 2019
Click here to read the appeal brief....
Lawsuit over prepaid jail cards survives forced arbitration bid
A Portland, Oregon woman who said she was forced to accept a debit card for money she was owed when she was released from jail has defeated an attempt to have her proposed class action dismissed and submitted to binding arbitration.
Even After Release Prisoners Are Still Being Price Gouged
Vox explains corporate America's continuing financial abuse of prisoners through debit release cards and Senator Booker's request to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to impose stricter regulations on the practice.
Meet JPay, the Company that Controls Prisoners’ Access to Technology
Securus [who bought out JPay] operates in nearly half of the nation’s jails, prisons, and federal penitentiaries...the company has been leveraging its resources to corner the market.
HRDC Responds to JPay’s Defense of Unregulated Debit Cards for Released Prisoners
Consumer choice is a key issue in these pending regulations. JPay’s recent merger [with Securus] illustrates that their priority is in securing the ability of hedge funds to profit at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society. This re-affirms our efforts to ensure regulations are in place to protect consumers from exploitative products such as their release cards.
Police Shootings Won’t Stop Unless We Also Stop Shaking Down Black People
The dangers of turning police officers into revenue generators.
Profiting off inmates
When it comes to providing phone services for inmates, the county jail contracts with CTC (City Tele Coin Company). CTC donated $1,500 to the County Sheriff's re-election campaign... The county jail contracts with Keefe to provide commissary products to inmates. Keefe also gave the sheriff a campaign contribution.
The Hidden Cost of JPay’s Prison Email Service
Thanks to public pressure, inmates and their families won't have to give up the intellectual property rights to their communications when they use JPay's email and video visitation services.
Expensive ‘Prison Skype’ Is Squeezing Out In-Person Visitation as Prison Profiteers Expand
The world of prison profiteering is expanding. As the FCC cracks down on expensive prison calling rates, companies move into video chat instead.
Securus Technologies, Inc. to Acquire JPay Inc.
This transaction thrusts Securus into the fastest growing segments in corrections..." said Rick Smith, CEO of Securus Technologies. JPay and Securus are merging to create the ultimate prison profiteering leviathan, covering money transfers, release funds, communications and consumer products to a literally captive market.
Action Alert: Prison Debit Cards
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking comments on the fees associated with debit cards and currently debit release cards are not covered by CFPB regulations.
Prison Bankers Exact Fees, Profits From Families
In Oklahoma’s prison system, inmates spend millions of dollars a year from their trust accounts, buying canteen items and paying restitution, fines and other costs.
How Big Banks Turn Prisons into Profit Centers
"Until these banks find a way to make money on the rehabilitation of people, and not the incarceration," Greg Cavaluzzi warns, "this will continue."