MUST BE 18 OR OLDER - MUST READ TERMS OF SERVICE

Many inmates need housing when they come home. If you would be willing to help someone locate a residence upon exiting prison, please visit Inmate Housing Profiles.

JPay

39 posts / 0 new
Last post
Talitha
Talitha's picture
JPay

Last week some one told me about this concept and I immediately was interested. I have a question considering JPay. I know you can't establish contact via Jpay by yourself the firtst time. But how do you make sure that after the first time you can have contact via JPay? Do you just tell in your first letter that you would like to recieve an e-mail back?

Edited by: Webmaster on May 30 2019 - 9:24pm Reason: Imported from old database.
Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

1. Yes, that's been my experience. We can have a conversation in relatively more "real time" than writing. Usually I get his jpays the next day. Weekends are a bummer though. No Jpay.

2. Technically yes... for my guy in Washington I get 60 stamps for 10 dollars... which is a lot cheaper than a USPS stamp -- BUT I go through them a billion times faster, so in practice Jpay is more expensive for me. Each attachment requires a stamp, each page as well (though my messages never go over a page -- he only has so much time on the kiosk). Plus I find that as opposed to mailing out a paper letter a couple times a week tops, I email every day, sometimes multiple times a day. So the stamps are cheaper per stamp, but I spend more on them overall.

3. As far as I know, everything I've ever sent has gotten to him.

4. I'm not sure about the expense to the inmate, but every inmate I've ever written to has requested I get on their email, so I figure it must be comparable. And I never feel obligated to contribute... if they don't want to email they don't have to. I've sent Taf stamps before because I wanted to, never out of obligation. He never asked.

5. Yes it's timed and there's usually a queue at the kiosk, but I never email him anything I'm too scared of anyone reading over his shoulder. I mean, everything we write is getting read by someone, so I just don't concern myself with it too much. That's the breaks.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Taf's in WA we don't get jpays on the weekend, at least we haven't so far.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Its the same state and same person that I have been writing to for over a year now. I never used to get his JPays on the weekend but that is because they used to be scanned in and that I can understand, but now he uses the kiosk I seem to be getting them on the weekend. Hey i'm sooooo not complaining LOL

I think in the past it was more common for facilities to send messages on the weekends. I don't know anyone I write currently who is able to receive Jpay messages on the weekend, but they can in fact use the kiosk and most likely you will get the message on Monday. The machines are very temperamental. Most inmates have access twice a day and sometimes the system will reboot in the middle of them writing and that time spent writing is lost. Come to think of it, I don't think I get messages on Friday either for the most part.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Welcome to the forum, Dave!

sunray's wench
sunray's wench's picture

Hi Dave :)

If you look through the General and Texas sections, you'll find a lot of information about writing to inmates (and inmates in Texas in particular). You can't be scammed if you don't allow yourself to be. If you choose to give, don't attach any strings to it and only give what you can afford to lose.

sunray's wench
sunray's wench's picture

Re-reading this forum a little closer I got the feeling, in general, that Saturdays and Sundays are 'iffy' at best as far a mail processing and delivery. I mean, I asked that question more for 'me' and my wondering how quickly letters get to the prisoner, and back to me (i.e. that like most businesses - as the prison industry is and which caters to the state, and not to the inmates and their friends/family) that I should expect that mail processing is M-F.

If you are talking about states where the Jpay emails are printed and handed out with the rest of the mail, then most states don't operate their mailrooms over a weekend.

Lydya
Lydya's picture

Nope, no problems here. Sorry.

februarymoon
februarymoon's picture

They accept overseas debit cards with the visa logo. Good thing too because I don't have any credit cards, just my debit card.

Earthmother
Earthmother's picture

How Jpay works varies from state to state. In some states, such as Washington, Michigan, and Ohio, you can add the inmates contact details to your account and send an email straight away and they can use Jpay kiosks at their facility to write reply emails. Bear in mind that inmates usually only have 15 to 20 minutes time slots in which to read and reply to any emails and then they will have to wait awhile before being able to use the machine again. Also, there are usually only a few kiosks and many inmates, so there is also going to probably be some waiting for turns...unless they have bought an MP3 player with the added keyboard option ( which is not available to all inmates).

In places such as Texas, any Jpays you write (after adding the inmate info to your Jpay account) will be printed off in the mailroom as a hard copy and delivered to the inmate as regular mail. The inmate will then need to reply via snail mail as they do not have any direct Jpay kiosk access. In other states, such as Virginia, the Jpay office itszelf will print off a copy of your letter, stick it in an envelope and mail it for you via snail mail. Some states don't have any of these contact options, but you can use Jpay to send money to inmates ( although usually only to state inmates, and not federal ones)

For any of thses email options, you will need to have bought a supply of stamps. SOme states allow you to send the inmate an extra stamp to use for their reply.

Earthmother
Earthmother's picture

I think they also accept debit card payments? But that may be only if you live in the States?

Earthmother
Earthmother's picture

It depends on the state I think? I've had some pals who have said no messages are delivered on weekends, and others have been able to send messages regardless of day of the week.

Earthmother
Earthmother's picture

Go with the Jpay joy and be happy!

JoshA
JoshA's picture

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. In life there are no guarantees
4. There is no cost for an inmate to receive from jpay, there is a charge of 5 cents per minute to the inmate to use corrlinks
5. Possibly

NorthernLight
NorthernLight's picture

I use my debit card which also has the visa logo on it for all my purchases including those online but I have idea if that works outside the US.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight's picture

Any state that does the jpay scans, they will not be mail on the weekend cause the mail room is closed..but if they can use the kiosk then i don't think it applies since they are typing the email themselves.

I think it still needs to be previewed though by someone. I thought I read on here that it searches for certain words and if it comes across any the email is flagged. I don't know exactly how it all works but when I had a pen pal in Washington even though he had kiosk access I still didn't get email on the weekend.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight's picture

Welcome to the forum Dave!

:welcomesign:

DanPal
DanPal's picture

Hi Dave, and welcome :)
You don't actually write 'through' Writeaprisoner; except for the initial contact if you so choose. You just use regular mail which takes a few days to a week if you live in the States - or even abroad :) Except once in a while when there's a glitch of some sort. But that can happen with JPay too by all accounts, although I have not experienced that myself. On the whole JPay is faster, though. And if none of the parties involved are particular about preferring the more personal touch of a letter, then it's a real good choice.
Happy writings :)

rainy daze
rainy daze's picture

This is not about jpay, but anyone having trouble with corrlinks? It won't load the login page.

Beanz
Beanz's picture

I got a quick question about JPay so I thought I would out it here rather than starting a new thread.

I was unser the impression that JPay didnt deliver messages on the weekend but this weekend I have been lucky enough to get two messages and the only thing that is different is that these people are now using the Kiosks.

Were my impressions wrong?

Beanz
Beanz's picture

It depends on the state I think? I've had some pals who have said no messages are delivered on weekends, and others have been able to send messages regardless of day of the week.

Its the same state and same person that I have been writing to for over a year now. I never used to get his JPays on the weekend but that is because they used to be scanned in and that I can understand, but now he uses the kiosk I seem to be getting them on the weekend. Hey i'm sooooo not complaining LOL

BirdyB
BirdyB's picture

In my own experience, we get no JPay emails on the weekends. We can send an email over the weekend, but it will only get processed on the Monday. Fridays can be iffy and I sometimes only get Friday's emails on a Monday. Generally speaking, if emails are sent before 2pm they usually arrive the same day. But it really varies soooo much between different states and prisons...there are no set rules and the best person to ask is one's PP :-)

RebelUSA
RebelUSA's picture

I'm new to jpay and have only been using it a couple of months to exchange daily emails to my new pal, I've been using corrlinks for over 2 years now with my fed pals but I actually prefer Jpay simply because I can send pictures instantly and in Ohio they have the option to video chat, I would love to have this option with my fed pals!

RebelUSA
RebelUSA's picture

From what I understand form my own personal experience is that the inmates don't get mail on a Sunday, well....none of mine do anyway but they still get mail on a Saturday apart from the one in State Prison in Ohio, he doesn't get mail on a Saturday either! if your inmate has access to the computer and gets his/her jpay that way then they will recieve them and can reply at the weekends even when the mail room is closed but if they recieve then via a print out then they won't get them at the weekends and will have to wait until Monday to read and reply.....this is what used to happen with my Ohio Pal before he got access to the computer! :)

RebelUSA
RebelUSA's picture

I use coorlinks with my Cowboy as he is in Fed prison, we exchange emails a few times everyday and I know he recives mail on a Saturday but not a Sunday, my minion uses Jpay as he is in State prison in Ohio, before he had access tot he computer he used to recieve my Jpay's as printouts, the one I'd send Friday morning he would recieve on Friday afternoon but I wouldn't get a reply until Monday afternoon because the mail room is closed at the weekends but now that he uses the computer to read and reply he can recieve and send jpays at the weekends which is awesome! :) So I guess it all depends on the facility that your pals are in?

Henrietta
Henrietta's picture

I think they also accept debit card payments? But that may be only if you live in the States?

I live in Sweden and it works perfectly fine with my debit card :)

elysium
elysium's picture

Hi everyone! As a new person to PPing I also some questions about Jpay and CorLinks (and it seemed like I couldn't get my questions really answered unless I set up an account at either company):
1. Is the main advantage to both - other than being able to transfer $$$ - that correspondence arrives FASTER between you and your PP, and vice-versa, because it's email?
2. Jpay mentioned that their 'stamps' are priced differently depending on the institution... but in general are their 'stamps' cheaper than USPS stamps?
3. Are items sent through USPS more likely / less likely to get to a prisoner, as compared to a Jpay email and attachments (I mean things like letters and inserts being lost or not delivered because of censorship)?
4. Am I right in thinking that Jpay will be more expensive to inmate - if he/she wants to print out what you are sending him/her like an article or photo. So I might feel more 'obligated' (possibly) to contribute to his account?
5. I guess if an inmate had lousy handwriting or types faster he'd prefer Jpay/CorrLinks... but by using this service he has less time to compose and write his/her message and less privacy to read messages because it's in a public place?

Thanks for your help, people in the know, here!

I don't use Corrlinks so can only answer for Jpay...

1. Yes, generally they do arrive faster, though at certain - busier - times (i.e. Christmas), I've seen messages take as much as 8 days to go/come through.
2. As Hunny said, for Washington it's $10 for 60 stamps... which for me is cheaper than Royal Mail (£1.28 minimum per letter), I'm not too sure how it compares with USPS.
3. Yes, as far as I know everything I've sent has got to my pals. I use it for WA/TX/NV (TX and NV print and deliver, WA is electronic and they have access to kiosks, JP4 players etc).
4. I don't believe it costs the inmate more than a stamp, though they are time restricted if they use the kiosks. I occasionally prepay my replies for my pal in Washington, he's never asked me to, but it's nice to be nice.
5. Yes, if he's using the kiosks. But in most states with these kiosks (to my knowledge anyway) JP4 players are also available. If the inmate has been able to save for one or has been bought one by a friend/family member they can use this to compose their mails in their own time and in private. They can then they plug it in to the kiosk and hit a few buttons to send any mails they have written (think of it as an institutional iPod).

Hope this helps xx

EDIT: JP4 players are available in: Washington, North Dakota, Georgia, Ohio, Louisiana, Virginia and Michigan.

Nevef
Nevef's picture

This is not about jpay, but anyone having trouble with corrlinks? It won't load the login page.

same problem over here.. I was just about starting to answer mails and now it seems that I will do that later :/

Axel
Axel's picture

Actually, this is not the way it works. You're talking about Coorlinks.

JPAY is different - you need to know the state, the name and the DOC number of you penpal. Then, you create an account on JPAY and click the search button for an inmate. Your enter the State and his DOC number - if he's registered (the prisons do it if they have a deal with Jpay), he will appear (his full name) then you add him to your list of contacts. Jpay will then show you what you can do : send e-mail, transfer money, etc.

Then you need buy "virtual" stamps on Jpay and you will be able to send him an e-mail. Depending on where he's locked in, either he will have access to a Jpay booth and will be able to read your mail and write you back. If he's not allowed to send an e-mail back, they will likely print your e-mail and treat it as normal mail and deliver him at mail call.

Hope I was making myself clear :rollinglaugh:

Axel
Axel's picture

I don't use Corrlinks so can only answer for Jpay...

Hope this helps xx

EDIT: JP4 players are available in: Washington, North Dakota, Georgia, Ohio, Louisiana, Virginia and Michigan.

I just wanted to ad a little comment : Texas, Nevada and Pennsylvania : you can send e-mails but they cannot reply.
In Kansas, they can send and receive e-mails and get videograms. I had on PP there a few years ago.

In Virginia, they're the weirdest : in 50 prisons : you can transfer money via Jpay but in 16 prisons, they only allow outbound e-mail but don't allow incoming e-mail :acry2: w.... ?????
My sister tried to send an e-mail but no, she's only allowed to buy music !!

So make sure to check on JPay before !

Axel
Axel's picture

Welcome Dave !

If you browse this forum, you will find stories about scammers. But these stories, in my opinion, are a minority. The vast majority of us have been around for years writing to inmates and have never been scammed. But as you may also have it seen it, you can get scammed in real life - so you just have to be careful as you would be in your daily life too. Usually the ones who try to scam you are not very smart, they ask for money almost right away or make up the most stupid stories. I did send some money (once) when my former pp (he's like your son now, doing great) he needed it for the stamps ($20) but the only thing I've sent so far are gifts for their birthdays or X-mas (magazine subscriptions or books), as I do with friends IRL. I never spent a lot of money. Of course, it's totally different if that person is a relative, like with your son.

I think you should just keep writing and trust your guts. You'll know it if something's wrong, you seem to be pretty smart.

And finally, my amazing mini Daschund says "Bonjour!" from France. Doxies are the best ! :beer:

njsquarebear
njsquarebear's picture

Hi everyone! As a new person to PPing I also some questions about Jpay and CorLinks (and it seemed like I couldn't get my questions really answered unless I set up an account at either company):
1. Is the main advantage to both - other than being able to transfer $$$ - that correspondence arrives FASTER between you and your PP, and vice-versa, because it's email?
2. Jpay mentioned that their 'stamps' are priced differently depending on the institution... but in general are their 'stamps' cheaper than USPS stamps?
3. Are items sent through USPS more likely / less likely to get to a prisoner, as compared to a Jpay email and attachments (I mean things like letters and inserts being lost or not delivered because of censorship)?
4. Am I right in thinking that Jpay will be more expensive to inmate - if he/she wants to print out what you are sending him/her like an article or photo. So I might feel more 'obligated' (possibly) to contribute to his account?
5. I guess if an inmate had lousy handwriting or types faster he'd prefer Jpay/CorrLinks... but by using this service he has less time to compose and write his/her message and less privacy to read messages because it's in a public place?

Thanks for your help, people in the know, here!

njsquarebear
njsquarebear's picture

Ok, it's 4:40am and I don't feel like lookin' through the all the forums for an answer!
Q: "Generally speaking, are most prison mailrooms run like a business, so no snail mail (or physical Jpay messages) will be processed on a Saturday and Sunday? So if the USPS delivers my letter late on a Friday, it won't be looked at till Monday morning? Also, sorry if this is dumb question... is it inmates who work the mailroom?

njsquarebear
njsquarebear's picture

From what I understand form my own personal experience is that the inmates don't get mail on a Sunday, well....none of mine do anyway but they still get mail on a Saturday apart from the one in State Prison in Ohio

Re-reading this forum a little closer I got the feeling, in general, that Saturdays and Sundays are 'iffy' at best as far a mail processing and delivery. I mean, I asked that question more for 'me' and my wondering how quickly letters get to the prisoner, and back to me (i.e. that like most businesses - as the prison industry is and which caters to the state, and not to the inmates and their friends/family) that I should expect that mail processing is M-F.

SinBi
SinBi's picture

Its the same state and same person that I have been writing to for over a year now. I never used to get his JPays on the weekend but that is because they used to be scanned in and that I can understand, but now he uses the kiosk I seem to be getting them on the weekend. Hey i'm sooooo not complaining LOL

Any state that does the jpay scans, they will not be mail on the weekend cause the mail room is closed..but if they can use the kiosk then i don't think it applies since they are typing the email themselves.

SinBi
SinBi's picture

I think it still needs to be previewed though by someone. I thought I read on here that it searches for certain words and if it comes across any the email is flagged. I don't know exactly how it all works but when I had a pen pal in Washington even though he had kiosk access I still didn't get email on the weekend.

it depends on the state, some use an email scan program like is used on corrlinks, that looks for key words..it just depends on how they had it set up at each prison. It would be nice if they where all the same, but yeah nothing dealing with prisons is ever nice or simple.

I've gotten them on weekends, but i no longer have pp that can use jpay to reply..so i don't know all the new rules, just what they used to be.

Talitha
Talitha's picture

Thanks guys, this is very helpfull!
Which payment methods are there available? Because I don't have a creditcard.

DustyDave
DustyDave's picture

My name is Dave. I am a professional chemical engineer working in the Houston area.

I had never written to a prisoner before aside from writing to my son, Chad 10-years ago when he was in prison for a while when he was 18-years old.

Chad's mother & I divorced when he was very young and I was living 1000 miles away from him in Chicago and our relationship became estranged from us not seeing each other enough and that is when he got into trouble. I have always felt like sh*t for it happening and felt his troubles were greatly in part because his dad was not there for him.

My son told me daily how much he enjoyed getting mail from me and we starting writing each other two to three times a week. It was the beginning a whole new relationship with son and now he is 28-years old and lives with me. He has never gotten into trouble with the law in the last 10-years. He never wanted to experience being locked up and having his freedom taken away. Being locked up is a pretty scary thing for anyone to experience, much less for an 18-year old kid.

In fact, that was the first time I ever got a hand written letter from my son. That was 10-years ago and I still have every letter he wrote me from prison. I keep them all locked up in my safe as though they are diamonds or something. Kind of funny, huh? And we are talking about a hundred letters or more. It is my secret treasure I pull them out of the safe every now and again to read them in total. ☺ It brightens me up to read them all over again. We truly started communicating for the first time about the serious things in life. You can see the walls coming down between us letter by letter. By the time he was released we were more then a father-son, we had become best friends. I love him so much as a father can love a son that I cannot describe it in words. I am a lucky man to have this kind of relationship with my son.

I remarried and have been married for the last 12-years. All of a sudden my wife decided a few of months ago she did not want to be married any more and just packed up and moved to Florida to live with her sister. This kind of flipped my world upside down and I’m adjusting to being single again at 56-years old. Just me, my son, Chad & my beautiful black longhaired Dachshund, Sassy living in a big house in Houston. Life is good and calm but I am just not ready to start dating yet.

Remembering how much my son Chad enjoyed getting mail while he was locked up. I decided to write to a couple of ladies via WriteAprisoner. One of them wrote me back an suggested I should use Jpay in tad and she would get my mail the next day versus it taking a couple of weeks or more through WriteAprisoner. Both of them wrote me back nice long personal letters and that made my day too. But I also don’t want to be a chump and be taken advantage of. I have read some posts that describe the whole Pen Pal thing being a scam to a lot of the people that request Pen Pals on the outside. Both these gals seem very nice and real and I want to make them smile when they get mail. I certainly smile when they write me back. But I am also aware there are a lot of scams done with the whole Pen Pal thing. Can anyone give me their thoughts on how real the Pen Pals they written to have been or have they gotten scammed instead? Yes, I sent both of them $20 for stamps stuff and just be nice to them but neither of them asked me to. I guess I am willing to take the chance and give them the credit that they are real and are writing me for the right reasons. If anyone has any advice for me, please write me an email and share your story. I diffidently find Jpay easier to write emails to my PP then WriteAPrisoner. Like I said, I'm new at this whole thing and really want to be the real deal for both these gals.

Have a great day and I wish you all happiness in life’s journey. It can change in the blink of an eye for all of us, so every minute we are here is important.

DustyDave (Dave is the real deal)

Rita Z
Rita Z's picture

Hi Axel, Im new to JPAY and started writing to prisoners on Death Row. I have sent an initial email and sent my actual mailing address. They don't have access to a computer to email me back, so are you saying that they will write to my actual mailing address. Im in Australia, they are in Texas and California