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Jpay question

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chizlit
chizlit's picture
Jpay question

Hello, I'm new here so please be gentle with me if this question is stupid! I've written to someone in Texas using Jpay, don't really understand how it works or even if he's got the email as I never heard back from him as yet.
I'm wondering do I first have to write him a physical snail mail letter and give him by email details or what? I really do not want to start a normal letter writing process, I only want to do it via email.
Also is Corrlinks basically the same, as I wrote to someone today and have no real clue how it's meant to work!

Thanks for any help/advice.

Edited by: chizlit on Jul 28 2014 - 8:08am Reason: Imported from old database.
Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Now if only they could justify a way to use color ink. You use a stamp to send them photos and they have to imagine what the colors would be. I call foul :)

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

OOO! Oregon wins the email-off!
They have keyboards for their MP3 players and can type their emails and save them ahead of time and then they only go to the kiosk and plug in to send and receive their emails.
It's a much easier/quicker system. Things are still broken sometimes and the keyboard is an added expense (and it breaks sometimes too) but...all in all... at least no one is hovering over you watching what you type.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Oke, thank you. The thing that makes me most omfortable is that my penpal asks for free stamps.

Jpay is bad for my heart by the way. They are VERY close to give me a heart attack every time after I send a message and I am not sure if I put the right receiver in the email.

I dont know how many pp you have but if maybe its only two and you have 2 different email addresses you can set up two accts to assure you're not going to ever have a hear attack : ) Is the uncomfortableness because you feel like's expecting you to?

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Don't do it. If you want to know why I'm saying this I can PM you. I would go w/your instinct on this one.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Don't do it. If you want to know why I'm saying this I can PM you. I would go w/your instinct on this one.

Or...if you do it I would strongly suggest you use a prepaid cc ie. Wal-mart reloadable

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

First I will say, I have never had any issues w/"jpay" directly. However my business and myself has involving their security of ip addresses which was obtained by one very intelligent person in prison with access using a cell phone. Some of their privacy statements and policies we were unable to retrieve recovery of our loss. And what are you really going to do to someone serving a life sentence, press charges, give him another 8 years?

I'm not saying NOT to use jPay only use caution as anyone should do when making transactions online regardless if its within a penal system or shopping on Amazon. Use a pre-paid card is what I would suggest rather than straight access to your bank and livelihood. But then it also has to do with who you're dealing with on the inside. For the record, I have only had one issue out of 20yrs being scammed by an inmate and not everyone is up to no good. So please dont take what I'm saying as a ALERT to think all inmates are thieves...lots of good people inside.

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sunray's wench
sunray's wench's picture

The Federal prisons in Texas are FCI Fort Worth, FCI Beaumont Low and Medium, FCI Big Spring, FCI La Tuna, FCI Segoville, FCI Texarkana, FCI Three Rivers and FCI Bastrop.

There is an FCC at Beaumont, FDC at Houston and Carswell, FPC at Bryant, and a US Pennitentiary in Beaumont.

If the inmate's address is anywhere else in Texas, then it is almost certainly a TDCJ facility.

sunray's wench
sunray's wench's picture

Federal prison is for those who break federal laws, or commit crimes that span across more than one state. They were implemented in 1930 after J. Edgar Hoover's response to criminals such as John Dillinger created the FBI.

States also have their own prison systems for those convicted of state felonies. There are also county jails which hold those charged with public order offences and misdemeanours and those awaiting trial (and awaiting transfer to a state prison or other facility).

There are lots of layers to the American criminal system.

sunray's wench
sunray's wench's picture

Think I'd have to do a whole lot of reading to try to understand your system. If state prisons do not allow Jpay is it because they are more strict or simply do not have the ability to impliment it?

Both Feb and me are Brits, not American.

It is up to each individual state whether they negotiate the services of Jpay or any other service provider. Texas only recently installed an inmate telephone system.

The layout and design of many Texas prisons would make it difficult for them to control the use of Jpay kiosks in the way the administration would want to, but often the desire to benefit inmates in any way is not there unless the state can make some money off it as well.

sunray's wench
sunray's wench's picture

I could be missing something here, but is there anything wrong in sending the photos by traditional mail, just to break up the routine of emails all the time?

gooddog
gooddog's picture

chizlit: not sure if this is true for every Washington prison but the one I write to, this is the jpay reality: 15 minute slots for them to use. They have to sign up for them. Others are breathing down their necks the entire time. The machines are not working OFTEN. So even though my pp has access to jpay, it's a very secondary form of communication for us and we can go weeks and weeks without sending one. He is a very busy person and has no time to wait in line to read/send jpays nor to pivot his entire day around a sign up time.

So just because they have jpay to write you back with does not mean it's like emailing someone out here. It is neither intant nor a given. I highly reccomend you think of snail mail when writing to prisoners.

gooddog
gooddog's picture

So true! My pp in WA has 5 15-minute slots a day but is lucky if he gets the chance to use one of them. The line is always a mile long. The machines break constantly - a combination of users who have no knowledge of how computers work because they've been locked up longer than computers have been commonplace in homes and offices and the sheer numbers of people using them each day. They are open from 7 am to 11 pm every day and almost constantly in use except during count time. When they do break, fixing them is the last priority of the unit staff. Occasionally they will contact JPay on behalf of the inmates but they are based in Florida, thousands of miles from Washington, and won't send an engineer out all that way to repair a machine that has been kicked and punched by angry inmates with nothing better to do.

The idea is great. But in practice it's not.

This is what I want to get across to people new to writing to prisoners. Just because the technology is there does not meant it translates the same way as it does for us. We can't believe it when a single email or text goes awry in our worlds but in their world, the email is NOT a given.

My pp says he cannot stand the way guys are 5 inches from him with their eyes roving over his screen.

gooddog
gooddog's picture

Oke, thank you. The thing that makes me most omfortable is that my penpal asks for free stamps.

Jpay is bad for my heart by the way. They are VERY close to give me a heart attack every time after I send a message and I am not sure if I put the right receiver in the email.

I feel you. I have terrible anxiety over this. It's almost at OCD levels for me. A long time ago I sent the wrong person an email and it is one of the most horrible feelings you could ever have ESPECIALLY if you said not such nice things about THEM and then sent it to THEM. Nice one! Yes, I did that. It taught me a hard lesson. I have weird obsessive problems over making SURE I did things write or have my papers or that things are orgainzed right, just little things but yeah... clicking the wrong button I could not handle.

gooddog
gooddog's picture

I wouldn't do it and just tell him you're sticking with snail mail and that's that. Sounds too complicated to me. If he wants to learn to type he doesn't need YOU to learn how to do that, he can learn that anyhow. I wouldn't get in to any cellie's name and account and nothing like that.

februarymoon
februarymoon's picture

Assuming the Texas penpal us in state prison, he won't be able to reply by Jpay message. Your message to him will have been printed by the unit staff and handed to him with the regular mail. If he wants to reply, he will have to so by hand and send it in the mail to you.

Corrlinks users can reply electronically. Remember that messages are screened so it's not quite as fast as emailing someone in the free world. Also the Corrlinks inmates have to pay by the minute to use the machine to read and reply. They are aldi limited to when they can use the machines. If there is an emergency situation like a lockdown the machines will be inaccessible.

You can never have too much patience when corresponding with prisoners.

februarymoon
februarymoon's picture

I second earthmother's suggestion of Washington being a good choice for an email-only pal.

februarymoon
februarymoon's picture

And what a lot of people here don't realise is that each state has its own system of sentencing and punishment. My man is doing life in Texas for robbery, my pp in Washington stabbed someone and almost killed him and got 9 plus 2 enhancement for a weapon.

Likewise not all states have the death penalty.

februarymoon
februarymoon's picture

Take Washington, for example, not only do the state prisoners have kiosks where they can read and type replies to emails on JPay, they also have the option of buying a tablet that is an MP3 player and email machine in one. Something not too dissimilar from a smartphone. They can look at pictures and videos of their family on it. Washington also has video visits (just like Skype video calls), extended family visits (conjugal visits), pizza and bingo nights for the families, family barbecues, Christmas parties with Santa and gifts for the children, music rooms, art studios, etc. so I have to disagree with people here in the UK who say "American prisons are strict". Yes, Texas, Louisiana, California and others have strict prisons but not all states are that harsh. I can't imagine a bingo night being held in a UK prison for the families and the prisoners. Imagine the outcry in the Daily Mail!

februarymoon
februarymoon's picture

Does anyone know if the photos show up in color if there are JPay kiosks in the facility where they can just view it electronically?

In Washington they do. They have to pay to print them though. And they are printed onto plain computer paper and then folded in half, right across the middle of the picture. That's why I prefer to send regular photos that he can put on the wall or in an album.

februarymoon
februarymoon's picture

So true! My pp in WA has 5 15-minute slots a day but is lucky if he gets the chance to use one of them. The line is always a mile long. The machines break constantly - a combination of users who have no knowledge of how computers work because they've been locked up longer than computers have been commonplace in homes and offices and the sheer numbers of people using them each day. They are open from 7 am to 11 pm every day and almost constantly in use except during count time. When they do break, fixing them is the last priority of the unit staff. Occasionally they will contact JPay on behalf of the inmates but they are based in Florida, thousands of miles from Washington, and won't send an engineer out all that way to repair a machine that has been kicked and punched by angry inmates with nothing better to do.

The idea is great. But in practice it's not.

februarymoon
februarymoon's picture

Yep, my pp doesn't even like it when he gets sent pictures of his kids by JPay message. You'd think he'd be delighted but he is so concerned at who is looking over his shoulder when a photo of his (beautiful, I must say) children pops up on screen.

februarymoon
februarymoon's picture

OOO! Oregon wins the email-off!
They have keyboards for their MP3 players and can type their emails and save them ahead of time and then they only go to the kiosk and plug in to send and receive their emails.
It's a much easier/quicker system. Things are still broken sometimes and the keyboard is an added expense (and it breaks sometimes too) but...all in all... at least no one is hovering over you watching what you type.

Washington has them too. But for those that can't afford them there is only the kiosk option.

februarymoon
februarymoon's picture

I'm thinking he is in close custody. Clallam Bay?

IMU is the hole and they have no kiosk access, I believe.

Earthmother
Earthmother's picture

Telford is a state prison. He does have Jpay in as much as he can receive letters via that route. However, as Febmoon has stated, Texas state inmates get a print out of any Jpays delivered to them at regular mail calls, and do not themselves have any access to Jpay kiosks. Texas state prison inmates reply to Jpay messages via snail mail...and as you have not put your address in the Jpay message you sent, there isn't any way the inmate can respond to you...so unless you send another Jpay with your address included, then waiting for a response from him will be an exercise in futile patience :rollinglaugh:

You could email him again, provide your address and make it clear that all correspondence from your end will be done via Jpay - if this is a person with whom you really would like to establish a friendship.

If ability to electronically correspond is your priority, then contact an inmate in Washington state prisons, or Michigan perhaps? Or Ohio. Inmates in those states generally have the ability to reply via email, provided they have adequate funds to do so.

Earthmother
Earthmother's picture

Aalright, you helped the Original Poster of this threat so well that I ask my JPay question in this threat as well. I am wondering if the persons who send email every day or a few times a week always send a free stamp along with their email??

I do, but only because I choose to do so and can afford to do so (especially since I buy Washington stamps :) ) but there is no requirement to do so - it's a matter of personal choice and comfort level. As long as you feel you aren't being taken advantage of or doing something against your will, go with what you want to do :)

Earthmother
Earthmother's picture

I have my OWN Jpay question and need your thoughts/advice:
One of the guys I have been writing snail mail, has been 'nudging me' to get a Jpay account and write him via that. He is a bad typer (2 fingers), but has started taking a typing class (he says), so he can become skilled in typing (which is, I agree, a necessary skill since he'll hopefully be paroled in the fall of next year). It'll be faster, he says, but I think he also expects me to pay for his correspondence back to me with the free stamp (since all his 'spare' pay is going toward saving up for jogging sneakers). LOL

The problem is that he is not getting his OWN Jp4 player... he says that his celly only uses his for music, and is willing to let my penpal use his for mail, and so he can (supposedly) set up his own password to use the keyboard. All well and good. EXCEPT that he would need ME to register on Jpay using his celly's name and prison number, and I question whether that is wise and/or legal for either of us? While I doubt I'd ever put any money into this guy's account - it's a bit annoying to feel like I should fund our correspondence! - I do see the possibility of fraud, being the pessimistic person I am!

I have my own thoughts about doing this / not doing this.... but wonder how others think? THANKS!!! (as always in advance)

I'd stick with leaving that possible can of worms firmly sealed shut. Besides, he doesn't need to use his cellie's Jp4 player - he can line up at the kiosks with everyone else.

Just tell him that you're only able to commit to snail mail for the time being. If he writes less as a result or hassles you about it further, then have a nice little browse through some of the other 9000 possible pen pal candidates waiting for someone to write.

Earthmother
Earthmother's picture

I too have a penpal that has been nudging me towards jpay, but it seems the others don't have it, so I'm not sure if I want to bother with it. He said of course it is up to me but it is cheaper for him if I do it, and I really do enjoy our correspondence. Can you buy one "stamp" at a time? He said something about $12, but I'd prefer since I'm writing several not to buy a "book" of stamps just for one inmate at this time.

If he is the one paying for his share of the correspondence, then yes, Jpay will be cheaper for him than sending snail mail - especially since the cost of stamps in the USA recently increased.

As far as I know, you can't buy one Jpay stamp at a time, and the actual cost will vary depending on what state the inmate is located.

RaineDancer
RaineDancer's picture

Indiana also seems to be implementing jPay kiosks, for use in facilities, FYI.

Taivas
Taivas's picture

I feel you. I have terrible anxiety over this. It's almost at OCD levels for me. A long time ago I sent the wrong person an email and it is one of the most horrible feelings you could ever have ESPECIALLY if you said not such nice things about THEM and then sent it to THEM. Nice one! Yes, I did that. It taught me a hard lesson. I have weird obsessive problems over making SURE I did things write or have my papers or that things are orgainzed right, just little things but yeah... clicking the wrong button I could not handle.

Yeah you all know it also happened to me just recently!!
My pp answered and it made him feel terribly bad that I made a mistake, because now he thinks I have a more awesome friendship with another pp and that he is just boring. It is really annoying! Sometimes when you refresh JPay or change of page it automatically changes the receiver, too! And THAT is incredibly awful...

elysium
elysium's picture

Telford's a state prison, I'm sure. I wouldn't underestimate how damned exciting it is to receive an actual letter through your door that's not a bill :D I hear from my pal in Texas every 1-2 weeks and it's always great to receive his letters, I mostly write to him using Jpay though to make things a bit quicker! xx

Schavuit
Schavuit's picture

Aalright, you helped the Original Poster of this threat so well that I ask my JPay question in this threat as well. I am wondering if the persons who send email every day or a few times a week always send a free stamp along with their email??

Schavuit
Schavuit's picture

Oke, thank you. The thing that makes me most omfortable is that my penpal asks for free stamps.

Jpay is bad for my heart by the way. They are VERY close to give me a heart attack every time after I send a message and I am not sure if I put the right receiver in the email.

Schavuit
Schavuit's picture

Don't do it. If you want to know why I'm saying this I can PM you. I would go w/your instinct on this one.

I am very naive and I don't see the harm in this. Can you please explain to us as well what the problem is??

gsc984
gsc984's picture

Thanks for the fast reply. I'm in the UK so have no clue as to the difference between state and federal prisons, however he is in Telford Unit, New Boston, TX , so not sure if that is State or not. I'm confused because it says on his advert that he has Jpay, so it then seems pointless to me that he has to write back to me using normal mail (which he can't do as I didn't give him my address).

I speak to someone in Telford I send him JPay and they are printed out and sent to him, and he snail mails, the reply. He said photos are printed in black and white (someone else may clarify this) If you want him to reply you will have to send another message with your address

gsc984
gsc984's picture

I could be missing something here, but is there anything wrong in sending the photos by traditional mail, just to break up the routine of emails all the time?

I prefer to send in the normal mail, but if I wanted to share a photo I had taken on my mobile and not had printed out yet I would send via Jpay, I use flikshop at the moment.

Bluebottle87
Bluebottle87's picture

Think I'd have to do a whole lot of reading to try to understand your system. If state prisons do not allow Jpay is it because they are more strict or simply do not have the ability to impliment it?

Some state prisons do have Jpay.
If you do a WAP search for prisoners with Jpay, you can then Google their facility + jpay, and it'll tell you whether there are kiosks available for them to write back to you via email, whether their replies are scanned back to you, or whether they just have to reply via snail mail.

Bluebottle87
Bluebottle87's picture

Imagine the outcry in the Daily Mail!

I've just installed a chrome extension to block that absolute rag of a "news" site... now if I inadvertently click a link to it, it plays me random GIFs.
No more outrage and scaremongering, or seeing the daily "article(s)" on what Kim Kardashian's arse is up to.
I feel liberated.

Bluebottle87
Bluebottle87's picture

Oh wow! I need that but for the german version of The sun. For some reason, certain people really do quote it as if it was a genuine newspaper. I always wonder what went wrong in their eduction...

Have a search on the chrome extensions page... you can get generic website blockers where you specify which websites to block, but you might find one for the specific website. The one for the Daily Mail displays this message along with the GIFs:

"Hang on a second!

You're heading towards an article that was probably written specifically to provoke a reaction. Take a moment, enjoy this gif, and think about whether or not you want to give them the satisfaction of knowing that you took the bait.

Another selfless act performed just for you by @Jonic. You're welcome."

:adance2:

Bluebottle87
Bluebottle87's picture

do you mean the Daily M if so please describe in detail how to block it. I'm tired of being outraged every day.

Just install the Chrome extension linked below:

Daily Mail Blocker

I expect firefox will have something similar, but I stopped using that buggy rubbish ages ago, so I have no link for that.

:peace:

njsquarebear
njsquarebear's picture

I have my OWN Jpay question and need your thoughts/advice:
One of the guys I have been writing snail mail, has been 'nudging me' to get a Jpay account and write him via that. He is a bad typer (2 fingers), but has started taking a typing class (he says), so he can become skilled in typing (which is, I agree, a necessary skill since he'll hopefully be paroled in the fall of next year). It'll be faster, he says, but I think he also expects me to pay for his correspondence back to me with the free stamp (since all his 'spare' pay is going toward saving up for jogging sneakers). LOL

The problem is that he is not getting his OWN Jp4 player... he says that his celly only uses his for music, and is willing to let my penpal use his for mail, and so he can (supposedly) set up his own password to use the keyboard. All well and good. EXCEPT that he would need ME to register on Jpay using his celly's name and prison number, and I question whether that is wise and/or legal for either of us? While I doubt I'd ever put any money into this guy's account - it's a bit annoying to feel like I should fund our correspondence! - I do see the possibility of fraud, being the pessimistic person I am!

I have my own thoughts about doing this / not doing this.... but wonder how others think? THANKS!!! (as always in advance)

njsquarebear
njsquarebear's picture

Just tell him that you're only able to commit to snail mail for the time being. If he writes less as a result or hassles you about it further, then have a nice little browse through some of the other 9000 possible pen pal candidates waiting for someone to write.

Yeah, y'all have confirmed my instinct not to open this can of worms. It's interesting that of the 4 guys I write in prison, he's the only one I chose from another prison pp website, because he was closer to my age and so have more 'pop' culture things in common. Of course, he was also the guy who right of the bat wanted 'some lovin' and thought we'd make a great 'couple'. :) I quickly made sure he understood we would only be friends at most.

Thanks for the answers, everyone!

Gipsy
Gipsy's picture

I've just installed a chrome extension to block that absolute rag of a "news" site... now if I inadvertently click a link to it, it plays me random GIFs.
No more outrage and scaremongering, or seeing the daily "article(s)" on what Kim Kardashian's arse is up to.
I feel liberated.

Oh wow! I need that but for the german version of The sun. For some reason, certain people really do quote it as if it was a genuine newspaper. I always wonder what went wrong in their eduction...

Gipsy
Gipsy's picture

That's genius!

UnsaidPromises
UnsaidPromises's picture

Does anyone know if the photos show up in color if there are JPay kiosks in the facility where they can just view it electronically?

UnsaidPromises
UnsaidPromises's picture

My pp is in max custody in WA. He says they barely ever get to use the kiosk, and he prefers snail mail over JPay.

I was wondering if maximum custody in WA refers to the IMU (Intensive Management Unit)? Are the conditions really bad? :(

UnsaidPromises
UnsaidPromises's picture

He's in WSP.

Close custody would make a bit more sense, but he's supposed to be released really soon in a few months. I thought close custody was for lifers though. I'm not very familiar with any of this :(

I haven't heard from him in more than a month now. I'm a little worried he's gotten himself into trouble again...

Mandycatt
Mandycatt's picture

I too have a penpal that has been nudging me towards jpay, but it seems the others don't have it, so I'm not sure if I want to bother with it. He said of course it is up to me but it is cheaper for him if I do it, and I really do enjoy our correspondence. Can you buy one "stamp" at a time? He said something about $12, but I'd prefer since I'm writing several not to buy a "book" of stamps just for one inmate at this time.

josephina2
josephina2's picture

Both Feb and me are Brits, not American.

It is up to each individual state whether they negotiate the services of Jpay or any other service provider. Texas only recently installed an inmate telephone system.

The layout and design of many Texas prisons would make it difficult for them to control the use of Jpay kiosks in the way the administration would want to, but often the desire to benefit inmates in any way is not there unless the state can make some money off it as well.

So so true. Its great to see someone who can tell it like it is.

josephina2
josephina2's picture

Take Washington, for example, not only do the state prisoners have kiosks where they can read and type replies to emails on JPay, they also have the option of buying a tablet that is an MP3 player and email machine in one. Something not too dissimilar from a smartphone. They can look at pictures and videos of their family on it. Washington also has video visits (just like Skype video calls), extended family visits (conjugal visits), pizza and bingo nights for the families, family barbecues, Christmas parties with Santa and gifts for the children, music rooms, art studios, etc. so I have to disagree with people here in the UK who say "American prisons are strict". Yes, Texas, Louisiana, California and others have strict prisons but not all states are that harsh. I can't imagine a bingo night being held in a UK prison for the families and the prisoners. Imagine the outcry in the Daily Mail!

100% agree!

josephina2
josephina2's picture

I've just installed a chrome extension to block that absolute rag of a "news" site... now if I inadvertently click a link to it, it plays me random GIFs.
No more outrage and scaremongering, or seeing the daily "article(s)" on what Kim Kardashian's arse is up to.
I feel liberated.

do you mean the Daily M if so please describe in detail how to block it. I'm tired of being outraged every day.