How to Send Money to Friends and Family in Prison


If you have a friend or family member in prison, you are sure to want to help them any way you can. One of the best ways of providing help is to send money to your loved one. Having money in prison can transform inmates’ experiences from a time of suffering to the best possible scenario they can be in behind bars. That is because when people first enter prison, they are stripped of all their possessions and issued with basic clothing, bedding, and hygiene items only. To get anything other than basic prison-issued items, inmates need to purchase the items. Prison jobs pay only a few cents an hour, and if prisoners owe money for things like court costs and victim compensation, a percentage of the pay will be taken each month, leaving prisoners with just a few dollars at the end of the month to spend at the commissary.

What is a commissary?

An inmate’s commissary is the equivalent of a bank account within the institution. The more money prisoners have in their commissaries, the more items they can buy to make their prison experience much more bearable. Various products can be bought through the commissary store, such as clothes, shoes, snacks, shampoo, shavers, magazines, books, radios, paper, envelopes, and stamps.

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Finding Your Loved One’s Details in a Specific Area Like Kentucky

The first thing you need to do before you can send money to your friend or family member is to locate the details of the prison they are in and their individual inmate details. That is simple to do online. For example, if you know your loved one is in a Kentucky jail or prison, checking all KY jailhouses for the inmate is simple with the online Kentucky Inmate Search tool.

Simply follow the link and enter the first, middle, and last name of your loved one. There are also various advanced search filters you can apply to narrow the search down. That will enable you to locate your loved one, his or her inmate identification code, and his or her current prison location. Once you have those details, you can proceed with sending money.

Sending Money to an Inmate

The exact procedure for sending money to your friend or family member can vary from state to state. Typically, all facilities allow you to deposit cash at the lobby or a kiosk in the lobby. Most facilities also accept postal money orders mailed to the inmate’s mailing address and made payable to the inmate.

Many states are in the process of using electronic banking, which makes things even easier. Instead of going to the prison in person or sending a postal order in the mail, electronic banking services enable friends and family members to send funds online. Web-based services like JPAY, Western Union, and Touch Pay allow you to quickly and easily send money to your loved one in prison, but each state uses a specific service. So, contact the prison where your loved one is incarcerated to get exact details on the different methods you can use to send money and the online services available for sending money to the specific prison. You can usually find all the information you need for sending money on an institution’s website. There, you can also check if there is a limit on how much you can send. Many correctional facilities only allow you to send up to $200 at one time.