Carla was busy trying to pull together money for her brother’s bail. She easily accepted his collect call from jail. However, Carla admits she was surprised when her brother asked her to deposit money into his inmate commissary account. She didn’t know how to and didn’t understand how money was going to help him behind bars.
To say that Carla’s lack of knowledge is unique would be incorrect. Many people don’t understand that inmates can use funds while they are locked up. This is particularly relevant if they can’t get bailed out as quickly as they’d like to.
If you’re confused about how jail commissary accounts work, we’re happy to provide you with some information. We want you to be ready when you get the call from your loved one requesting a deposit.
Understanding Inmate Commissary Accounts
Let’s first clear up some misconceptions. While you’re trying to secure bail, the County Jail is providing your loved one with shelter, food and health services. However, they are not legally obligated to supply much else. That’s where inmate commissary accounts come in.
Jail accounts allow a convenient way for inmates to purchase what they consider other necessary items. For example, some may want to pick up writing materials to keep in touch with family members. Others might want to nibble on an occasional candy bar. Each facility will have different rules about inmates accessing their commissary accounts. They will also have diverse inventory.
Let’s take a look at some of different local counties. Susquehanna County Correctional Facility (SCCF) keeps a supply of different persona hygiene products, such as different shampoo brands. They also have food products on hand. Inmates can even order hobby products to keep them busy when they are incarcerated. Cash and money order deposits are accepted.
Detainees in the general population at Dauphin County Prison will find their accounts automatically set up when they first enter the facility. Family members or friends may place money orders in a specified drop box. A kiosk on the premises accepts both cash and money orders. Alternatively, deposits can be made via the internet.
These are the rules for just two counties. If you have questions about providing a loved one with a deposit to an inmate account, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
At Andrew Pizzo Bail Bonds, we realize that incarceration of a loved one can be stressful. If you have questions regarding inmate accounts, we can certainly help you. It’s all part of our job as we guide you through the bail process. Contact us for information.