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:


Media Inquiries

Paul Wright - Human Rights Defense Center - 561.360.2523

Press Releases

HRDC, along with 68 other organizations nationwide, filed a comment with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau urging them to add language related to protecting the finances of released prisoners to a proposed rule regarding regulation of prepaid debit cards.

Press Coverage

Malihe Razazan, KALW Radio San Francisco, August 18, 2015

Jack Hitt, Mother Jones Magazine, July 31, 2015

Brian Dolinar, Truthout, July 25, 2015

Eric Markowitz, International Business Times, July 10, 2015

Huff Post, by Ben Walsh, June 10, 2015

Scott Broden, Daily News Journal, June 7, 2015

Dave Maass, Electronic Frontier Foundation, May 5, 2015

Matt Stroud and Joshua Brustein, Bloomberg, April 27, 2015

Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun Sentinel, April 25, 2015

PR Newswire, April 24, 2015

John Washington, Al Jazeera, April 23, 2015

Nick Chiles, Atlanta Blackstar, April 22, 2015

Amadou Diallo, Al Jazeera, April 20, 2015

Ray Downs, The New Times (Broward/Palm Beach), March 31, 2015

Pat Beall, Palm Beach, March 30, 2015

Daniel Wagner, Center for Public Integrity, March 25, 2015

Herb Weisbaum, NBC News, March 24, 2015

Prison Legal News, March 16, 2015

Erik de la Garza, Courthouse News, March 13, 2015

Amirah Al Idrus, Center for Public Integrity, March 13, 2015

Stan Alcorn, Marketplace, January 28, 2015

Adam Carpinelli, KBOO Portland, December 29, 2014

Truth-Out, November 1, 2014

Dina Gusovsky, CNBC, October 30, 2014

Daniel Wagner, Center for Public Integrity, October 2, 2014

CNBC, October 1, 2014

The Center for Public Integrity, September 30, 2014

The Des Moines Register Editorial Board, March 30, 2014

BJ Austin, Kera News, January 8, 2013