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The JP4 (JP5) Cash Cow

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posted on May, 8 2016 @ 08:23 PM
As if the prison system wasn't corrupt enough today, communications and entertainment allowed at prisons now seems a cash cow for JPay, the vehicle used for inmates to communicate with the outside world as well as to purchase items, and now ,allowed to sell an entertainment device and service to inmates.
What is the device offer? What does it cost? Well let us find out a little more about the device known as JP4, (now upgraded JP5 version available).
JP4 (now JP5)
From inmate services page:

"The JP5 family of tablets are the next generation of corrections-grade tablet computing. Having one of these tablets helps your loved ones pass the time, keep engaged and stay connected to you. All JP5 tablets work in conjunction with the JPay kiosks installed in common spaces or living units. Your loved ones can sync their JP5 tablet with the kiosk to as well as preview, purchase and download songs and other media content. In some locations, JP5 tablets may be WiFi-enabled for sending/receiving email and pre-ordering stamps and other media content."
The device is contained within a clear plastic shell so you can be sure nothing is smuggled inside the tablet. It is also said to be allowed because the rare instance of using the device as a weapon would be cause to remove the device and then no more entertainment.
The article goes on to say;
"In some locations, the JP5mini is replacing the old JP4 device, which is being discontinued. Depending on the facility, you may have the opportunity to upgrade to the JP5. While existing JP4 devices will continue to work, we encourage you to upgrade to the JP5 family. You will receive additional communication if this is applicable in your loved one's location.
What can they do with a JP5 tablet*?
Listen to music
Read and write emails
Play games they have purchased
View photos and videos
Access educational materials
*Apps, capabilities and service availability vary by location
Universal Features & benefits Touchscreen and portable Simple to use and easy to understand Includes FM Radio, calculator, notepad, stopwatch and other apps
Rugged device made for use in corrections Includes accessories like earbuds, screen protector and batteries or
charger Two distinct models of the JP5 are available in various locations: the JP5mini and the JP5s. Remember, not every model is available in every location. Here are some of the unique features of each:"

Sounds like a wonderful and useful device for those spending time at one of the many prison facilities throughout the country.Some prisons let inmates connect with tablets

"Proponents say allowing inmates to use tablets will help reintegrate
them into society and keep them from returning to jail."

But wait...Something is not quite right here. Even the state's watchful eyes are blinded by the luminosity of JPay kickbacks.
This controversial device is changing the way inmates interact with the outside world

"The only hitch: Everything comes at a cost, including emails, which
require a paid virtual "stamp" to go through to recipients. Stamp
pricing varies depending on the prison, but each one goes for about the
same cost as a physical stamp. At the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice's Byrd Unit, for example, 20 stamps go for $9.80, while 40 can
be had for $19.60.
Electronic money deposits also come at a price. The cost of sending
between $100 and $199.99 at the Byrd Unit: $10.45."
"An extensive investigation in 2014 by The Center for Public Integrity
accused the company of gouging inmates' families with unreasonable fees
for its electronic money transfers. (JPay cut its fees for sending money
to inmates after the investigation came out.)
The CPI investigation also condemned JPay for unfair practices in its
music download and tablet businesses. Inmates in Ohio told CPI that the
state takes away inmate-owned radios when music players and tablets go
on sale. At the same time, JPay's songs can cost 30% to 50% more than
they would on iTunes.
When I first spoke to Shapiro, not long after the CPI investigation was
released, he brushed it off."

Then, From CNBC:
The big business of selling apps to prison inmates

"Aside from prisoners, the business has another beneficiary: state
coffers. In return for doing business, JPay gives the state a cut of its
revenue. For example, if JPay charges $3 for a money transfer, the state
might get 50 cents, depending on each individual agreement. (The company
charges $1.45 to $24.95 per transfer, depending on the amount of money

So with a monopoly of sorts, JPay also gives kickbacks to the state which alone is incentive to a lot more control of inmate purchase power through this service. and then there is the hacking of massive inmate communications and recording of privileged calls beyond the price gouging practices in use by JPay. With these concerns looming over JPay's practices, JPay was purchased by Securus Technologies. On May 27, 2015, JPay filed Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Amend Regulation E-Docket No. CFPB-2014-0031, RIN 3170-AA22,

The Human Rights Defense Center responded, in part,

"Dear Ms. Jackson,
The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) submits this letter in response
to a comment by JPay Inc. (JPay), dated May 27, 2015, which posted to the CFPB docket on June
3, 2015 – more than two months following closure of the comment period on proposed
rulemaking to amend 12 C.F.R. Part 1005 (Regulation E).
In addition to the extreme untimeliness of JPay’s filing, information contained in the company’s ex-parte submission is not consistent with the terms of their contracts with correctional agencies, as explained below in greater detail. Further, a recent significant development was not mentioned by JPay. On July 31, 2015, JPay was purchased by Securus Technologies for $250 million. Securus is a prison telecom company owned by ABRY Partners, a private equity hedge fund, that pays correctional agencies millions of dollars in “commission” kickbacks in exchange for monopoly phone contracts. Consumers seeking to communicate with imprisoned loved ones have no choice but to pay extortionate and outrageous rates for telephone communication with prisoners."
LINK .pdf
Seems the state, private prison and JPay are involved in what some would consider an extreme case of racketeering.
Oh, almost forgot to mention, they - (JPay now owned by Securus Tecxhnologies)- did settle a case involving the improper recording of privileged inmate calls.
The Verdict?

the settlement includes a stipulation by both parties that there was “no evidence of intentional misconduct” by Securus or its codefendants. Securus will pay $20,000 in attorney fees to the plaintiffs and Travis County will pay $800 in mediation fees."

That ought to deter future misconduct for sure.

posted on May, 8 2016 @ 08:29 PM
a reply to: imd12c4funn

Disgusting. Private prisons have no incentive to help inmates actually rehabilitate. It's in their interest to keep people imprisoned for longer and go have higher rates of recidivism.

What next. Inmates fighting and the prisons televising it?

posted on May, 8 2016 @ 08:30 PM
That's a great OP.

The only comments of my own I would add: I don't care if the inmates are getting gouged. They cost me enough as a taxpayer already. I would have to question why anyone is doing anything to complicate the time they're serving or the jobs of the people who have to watch them.

posted on May, 8 2016 @ 08:51 PM
Get them sum bitches out there planting trees and cleaning up fires. The tablets are a good thing though in the end for families and keeping spirits up on both ends.

We need to get a rape alert app where a prisoner can say his/her safe word and a silent alarm can go out that alone would make prisoners a bit safer save for soap dropping incidents.

posted on May, 8 2016 @ 10:35 PM

originally posted by: Snarl
That's a great OP.

The only comments of my own I would add: I don't care if the inmates are getting gouged. They cost me enough as a taxpayer already. I would have to question why anyone is doing anything to complicate the time they're serving or the jobs of the people who have to watch them.

But this gouging extends to families of inmates as they try making a bit more comfort and activities for their loved ones. This applies to honest law abiding citizens so it is a double edged sword.

posted on May, 8 2016 @ 11:04 PM
a reply to: imd12c4funn

It also reflects an opinion. of inmates as less than human beings. The father who couldn't get a job because of the color of his skin and the economy. He turns to theft to feed his children and his other brothers kids who lost their father in a drive by shooting. So then while in prison he must spend all his money on contact with his family and loved ones.

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