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Hi all, first time I've posted on here. My fiance is in prison in Nebraska and I'm from the UK so emails are really important for us to keep in contact. We used to be able to message each other 4-6 times a day which was great. But over the last few weeks there has been massive delays to the point where we haven't received any emails in nearly 3 days from each other which is heart breaking. I've contacted jpay and they've tried telling me that I'm wrong and that I've received all emails within 48 hours which is not true. I am still getting his emails which were sent a week ago!! They have also told me that they don't do emails over weekends now and that their policy is now 5 working days!!! Has anyone else had issues with delays or heard these things?! I'd appreciate any insight on this. Thanks in advance!!

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Hey Faith? Have you had any luck with getting any more emails. My husband is in Idaho and the past few days the emails aren't sending. They are also on lockdown so maybe that is why. Idk, just seeing if I'm the only who isnt getting emails from Idaho Department of Corrections, in Boise I.D where is your penpal located?
It is so frustrating since they are on lockdown and cant call either so wondering if maybe it is happening to you as well

Faith Kay

Thank you loads for the response Bella, perhaps that is the problem. But I'm also thinking to try shortening my messages as others are saying that longer ones usually take slower to reach their pen pals? I've asked him anyways how many times he'll be able to respond so I guess I'll just wait for his answer too. Thank you once again! :)


Hi Faith, 

It differs depending on facility and your PP's security level as to how many replies you can get a day. I have one PP who is at security level two so is out of his cell most of the day and has access to the kiosks and a tablet whenever he wants so he can reply multiple times a day. Then I have another PP who is at security level four so he is only out of his cell for 2 hours a day (excluding meal times) and obviously there is a big queue for the kiosks so he has limited time so I hear from him maybe once every 2-3 days. It all depends on their situation because remember, there is usually only around 25 kiosks to serve 100+ inmates. You're more likely to get quick, multiple replies if your PP has a tablet but even then, my level 4 PP has one but his replies are still delayed as he needs to use a kiosk to download and send his messages. 

Faith Kay

Hey! Im asking anyone who may have an answer for me please x Is there a way that I can speak to my pen pal more than once a day? I'm seeing that others get around 3-4 times of emailing each other back and forth whereas I only get to hear from my pen pal once. Is it him who is slow to respond? Or is it his facility that is taking long to deliver our messages to each other? I'm in the UK and hes in Idaho. 


YES, YES, YES!!! This has been a HUGE problem with me and my loved one also.  I am not entirely sure if it is JPay or the employees at the prison facility that is causing the delay.  Some times emails come thru within a matter of a few minutes (including weekends) and other times it has taken up to 4-6 days, and usually isn't until he writes a grievance or threatens a new lawsuit against JPay.  The other day that happened, he put them on Notice via a JPay email and copied me on it and literally within 3 hours I received 21 emails going back 6 days!! I honestly don't know where the delay is coming from but it really doesn't make any sense.  Unfortunatly they pretty much have a monopoly on the whole process.  SO SO SAD!


Well, translating a letter from a language I don't speak at all (wherever that person caught the thought I would speak it, I don't know)  into English isn't really doable.and that's just one thing.

But it always was weird in a friendly way, not pervy or anything.


Yes, thank you so much Kirsten for taking your time, sehr hilfreich. :) I am surprised people ask you to do strange requests but I guess there are some weirdos out there.


[QUOTE]Actually I wanted to ask you but wasn't sure how since we don't have personal messages here[/QUOTE]

One of my addys is on several threads on here. If you stumble upon it, feel free to use it: I don't have an answer to everything and I won't do everything ppl ask me to do, either (I got asked several strange things over time), but when I can, you'll always get an answer (though not always immediately).

[QUOTE]I know that jpay offers an option of paying for my letter with a stamp but also including prepaid stamp which would go to my penpal to be used by him with his reply. Have you used this option with your Texas penpal? I don't know if it works for Texas inmates as well or just for inmates who can reply via jpay?[QUOTE]

I do so for my OH pp, because he can (and does) reply via Jpay. With TX this won't work.

[QUOTE]Or do you put some money on penpal's account for him to reply? [/QUOTE]

Yes, I do. My pp lost his mother a while ago through a sudden heart attack. She was pretty young still (had him pretty young) and it was a shock for him, all the more because she was his main (not his only, but his main) family contact. So, a while ago I started to give him 10 $ per month on his account. Not much, I know, but that's what feels ok. One international letter per moth and some soap or so. I mean, we aren't in a relationship or anything.

[QUOTE]I honestly never discussed this with my penpal but it's something I wanted to bring up in case he needs help with paying for postage.[/QUOTE]

If you want to discuss this, you'll be having to be the one to bring it up, because in TX they can (and mostly likely will) get a writeup, if they ask someone who isn't immediate family for $. That protects pps, but it doesn't make it easier to bring the subject up.

[QUOTE]I also read that in Texas now we cannot put money on inmate's account unless we are on his visitation list. Have you heard of that?[/QUOTE]

No, that's my first word. And I think it's wrong, because for 1) that was nowhere mentioned on the slip with the new rules I got together with the latest letter from TX and 2) Well, I'm not on his visitation list, but they took the monthly 10 $ just yesterday from my credit card. So, if that was true, I guess, they would not have done so.

Hope this helps,



@Kirsten, thank you so much for taking your time to respond. I really appreciate it!
Yes my penpal is in Texas and not in Polunsky unit. You gave me a great reassurance.
Actually I wanted to ask you but wasn't sure how since we don't have personal messages here. I know that jpay offers an option of paying for my letter with a stamp but also including prepaid stamp which would go to my penpal to be used by him with his reply. Have you used this option with your Texas penpal? I don't know if it works for Texas inmates as well or just for inmates who can reply via jpay?
Or do you put some money on penpal's account for him to reply? I honestly never discussed this with my penpal but it's something I wanted to bring up in case he needs help with paying for postage. I also read that in Texas now we cannot put money on inmate's account unless we are on his visitation list. Have you heard of that?


@Jeanne: Telling this the way you do, you must be writing you TX, right? I've been doing so since May 2018 and it's mostly Jpay on my part, also I sent snailmail letters as well. And one thing I can confidently say: A jpay (or letter) getting lost in TX? Highly unlikely. They may be strict, they may be slow, they may be the only state not paynig anything at all for prison jobs and not allowing international calls at all, they may be violence ridden more than any other state I heard of so far, but one thing they're also:  diligent with mail. My TX pp has been transferred multiple times (another they like doing a lot), but there really never a letter or a jpay got lost. Not once. Had it with IL, had it with AZ, but never with TX.

A pp losing an addy? After he's written back? Also not the likliest one of scenarios. Mostly they'll keep it precious, it's private property. (I can't say I've had unsolicited letters, either.) Maybe I just got the right guys, don't know, but once a connection is established, they'll have a close eye on keeping it. 

Some TX units got to deal with COVID 19 in a rough way, which is slowing things down considerably at several units. Check TDCJ's website, they usually give COVID updates,which also is more transparent than what I see from some other states. With TX you practically never know. The fastest letters I ever got (5 daysonce, from the US to Germany, 6 days another one) were both sent from TX, those which took the longest were also. You never know with TX.

Could be a myriad of things... commissary closed and no stamps available, being in the hole and having no stamps, either, mailrooms understaffed (always, but the pandemic worsens this), investigations of any kind, general preventive lockdown (TX does them and they're being thorough, so these take a while), transfers going on (though I don't know if they're doing them at the moment). Better check TDCJ every once in a while, to see where's at now. If you don't have anyone in Polunsky  (TX DR), chances are that he'll be transferred (more often than in other states I wrote or write to). And if you're international and mail is delivered via shipping instead of airmail right now, better expect a few weeks of delay anyway.

Patience is key here. But as for Jpay: One good news about Jpays to TX is: They usually don't mess or mix up. How often do I read from others getting Jpays or letters the wrong way, i.e.not in the line they were being sent. Not with TX so far. A jpay sent there which isn't flagged in any way, is usually distributed 2 days later (weekends excluded). Say whatever you want about them (and there's a lot!), but organized they are.      


I write through jpay and my penpal responds via snail mail. First reply I received 2 weeks after sending initial message through jpay. I replied the same day as soon as I read his response. It's been three weeks with no reply. It's so frustrating! Each time I open mailbox and it's empty I feel disappointed. I hope I get one response tomorrow.
The worst part in all of this is that the reason could be just mail delay but what if penpal lost my address or cannot reply at the moment. I would never know this. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. I can't wait for mailing process to speed up a little. :/


Welcome to my  world!  I rarely if ever get JPays on weekends, and longer letters take longer to go through any day of the week.  Sometimes I'll get four or five  delayed JPays in a row, from almost a week in the past.  I don't know how JPay can claim they all go through in 48 hours, this is clearly not the case just looking at the log of letters and the dates sent and received.

It seems to have no rule or consistency about it, the only thing we can do is number all letters sequentially to know when something is missing, and steel ourselves for the long weekends without mail.  I have only been corresponding on JPay since things started to get hairy with the pandemic and mail slowdowns everywhere, so I can't compare what I'm seeing now to what might have been the case with JPay several months ago.


I was told by the facility that my fiance is in that Jpay updated their website to expand their services to more prisons in the country. When they did this, their system caused a glitch in some prisons that previously had their services, rendering them unable to print and deliver Jpay emails. In the prison that my fiance is housed in (California), their Jpay system was down for 3 weeks. He did not receive any of my Jpays during that time. Sounds like Jpay is aware of this problem and is fixing it so all emails sent will be delivered one way or another soon. 

Something similar to this may be happening in the facility that your penpal is housed in. I hope it gets resolved soon!


Hi everybody!

I currently have the same problem, I used to talk to my pp several times a day, even on weekends we could send each other at least one email.

But the last 4-5 days, we don't get anything from each other, I sent an email and thought my pp wasn't answering because he was busy, or something, so i thought he'd answer on the next day, and here again, nothing, and then on the third day I had a text from him saying he didn't hear from me

So we were basically waiting to hear from each other, I checked again but nothing seems to be breaking the rules, no content could be censored, no negative things
And they all have the "sent" status but those that were received at the beginning have the same status

I don't know how to see if they are delivered, pending, or any other status


And lately I sent 5 emails, he only answered one and it was an earlier one, he didn't get any of those 5


I use JPay for sending money. So is the site down just because of the holiday or are they updating the old one? Have tried to access it for the last few days and so far no luck.


The JPay site is down now, to the point where it encourages you to bid on the domain, and I'm annoyed.


Yeah, my experience with JPay has been all over the map-- sometimes you get a nice little back and forth where the turnaround is very quick, other times you get an onsalught of messages all coming in at once but sent over different days. I write a guy in WA (there are kiosks at his prison and he also uses a tablet, which makes things faster) and it's been pretty quick up to the holiday, but it seems to have slowed a good bit now. 


Hi, yes I've had the same issues.... so what I've heard is, don't message them on the weekends, because the emails can get lost somehow. I haven't heard from my penpal Since Thursday, its Sunday now. But we usually talk everyday. I guess it just depends who's working in the mailroom sadly.


I only use Jpay for photos and letters so it’s printed in the mailroom the same day but I assume the 2 way emailing system works the same as connect network. In which case it’s very unlikely to be Jpay’s fault. Like you, we email a lot every day but you are relying on a CO at the prison to authorise your email for delivery to the tablet. So weekends are so slow and sometimes it takes days to catch up! Holidays are terrible! After the last one I was still getting old emails after a week!! And they all come through out of order! We number ours now do that we know how many are still waiting! If we really want a message to go through quickly we make it short, it seems that the person authorising will let that go quickly as less to read!! It is really frustrating when you don’t get anything. Makes me feel lonely on days when I won’t get a phone call either but I just try to remember that there are 2,500 inmates so they probably get a lot to sift through!


So glad I read this !! I got a letter from my PP today wondering why I hadn't responded to him and apologising in case he'd offended me in his last letter. He thinks I haven't replied to him because of something he said and now thinks I don't want to talk to him anymore. I told him it was probably JPay playing up as per usual and that he just hadn't received my letter yet. So frustrating.


My pp said there were JPay upgrades over the weekend and signs were telling not to sync their tablets. It was also a public holiday long weekend the weekend before.
My pp and I write each other every day, and I've seen significant delays in the last couple of weeks.
I know whenever there is a long weekend over there is a delay in the mail since there is no DOC staff to review letter, then they have a more massive backlog to work through. Though it feels like at least the guys at NJSP like to go from newest to oldest when they go through stuff, which makes thing always out of order.
This weekend while they did their upgrade, I didn't get any mail through, so I imagine there is a bit of a backlog. Though I don't think it was all stuck in the DOC mailroom waiting to be released, cause there are no standard keywords in a couple of the letters to make them go via that route, so I wonder if its just JPays systems are trying to catch up with the back up of letters. But JPay always blames DOC and DOC blames JPay, there is no transparency.
but JPay and its time wrap (since the messages often come late and out of order) has become a bit of a running joke between my pp and me.


I use Jpay for a pp and although I?ve never experienced a huge delay like you, it is super slow at the weekend. I?ll ususlly get a couple on Monday night once it?s all caught up.

I know it?s not the same but short messages go through a lot quicker, if you just want to let them know you?re thinking about them and such.