Sheriff's Office Overhauls Inmate Account Deposit System

The change, effective today, allows people to pay online or over the phone, as well as at walk-in locations.

People who want to deposit money into the cash account of inmates incarcerated in the Land O' Lakes jail can now pay online or over the phone.

They’ll also have to pay fees for the privilege.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is overhauling its system for depositing payments into inmate cash accounts. Cash accounts allow inmates to purchase hygiene items like soap and toothpaste. The money can also be used for snacks. Authorities deduct a $2 subsistence fee daily from accounts, along with a fee for medical services rendered.

In the past, money could be deposited into accounts by cash, money order or cashier’s check by mailing the deposit to the jail cashier or taking the deposit to the jail in person.

Beginning today, the sheriff’s office will use a service called JPay to funnel payments to inmates. Effective June 11, folks will no longer be able to make deposits in person or by mail.  Instead they can make deposits online, over the phone, at kiosks in the jail and West Pasco County Courthouse or at one of Pasco County’s 50+ MoneyGram agent locations.

“The (jail) cashiers’ hours won't be reduced, as they still have to be there to accept cash bonds,” said sheriff’s office spokesman Kevin Doll.  "The change is to make it easier for friends and family to deposit money into the inmate accounts."

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office does not receive proceeds from the JPay transactions, but profits from commissary purchases are funneled into the inmate welfare fund.

The new payment methods that will be accepted include:

Online: JPay.com will accept deposit payments 24-hours a day. Users can pay Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card. Fees range from $3.95 to $10.95 based on the deposit amount. Users set up a private ID and personal password. JPay helps manage deposits for specific inmates. Users can print receipts and check deposit history using the system.

By Phone: Credit and debit card payments can be made by calling 1-800-574-5729. Fees range from $3.95 to $10.95, depending on the deposit amount.

Kiosk: JPay kiosks will be installed in the lobby at the Land O’ lakes Jail and the lobby at the West Pasco County Courthouse. They accept Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards and cash. A flat $3 fee is charged.

Walk-In Locations: Cash deposits can be made at MoneyGram agent locations. There are 53 locations in Pasco County and 30,000 in the U.S. These include Walmart, CVS, 7-11, Albertsons and ACE Cash Express. A $6.95 fee will be applied to each transaction. Up to $5,000 can be spent per transaction.

BILL MITCHELL June 01, 2012 at 02:50 PM


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