Inmate Release Card
On July 2, 2018, the Department of Corrections will begin issuing Debit Release Cards to individuals being released from all state correctional institutions. The DOC has partnered with JPAY, a Securus Technologies Company, to provide this service. The DOC has been providing electronic money transfer through JPAY since 2003. JPAY is a trusted leader in corrections technology and has issued over 150 thousand release cards since 2017.
Debit release cards are easy to use, completely secure and MasterCard branded. Only the cardholder sees the actual 16-digit card number. Cardholders have immediate access to the funds as the cards are active immediately once they are issued. There is 24/7 customer support by calling 866-777-5729, or online card management at releasecards.jpay.com. Cards are accepted nationwide and internationally anywhere MasterCard is taken. Cards are even reloadable by cardholder. Most importantly, DOC Debit Release Cards are fee-free, as long as they are used in the MoneyPass ATM network (fees may be charged if used at an ATM outside the MoneyPass network). The only fee is a $3 monthly inactivity fee after 90 days of issuance if the card is not used.
Individuals being released from a state correctional institution will be notified of the nearest MoneyPass ATM to their SCI upon release. Additional MoneyPass locations can be found by going to https://www.moneypass.com/atm-locator.html. There are over 25,000 locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
DOC officials believe that the implementation of the Debit Release Card program will assist released individuals with reintegrating into society, gain money management skills and establish credit history.
Please read the informational flyers posted to the right for additional details.
Questions and Answers
General Release Card Information
Q: Do the cards have chips in them?
A: No. Swipe only.
Q: Can an inmate request a check instead of a release card from the SCI?
A: No. However, once they receive the release card, the individual can request a check from JPay.
Q: Can funds be transferred to a separate bank account?
A: No. The funds would have to be withdrawn from the card and they would have to be deposited into their bank account.
Q: If the individual uses their Release Card at an ATM not affiliated with MoneyPass, will they pay a surcharge?
A: Yes. Fees can be charged to the Release Card holder by a financial institution if that financial institution is not part of the MoneyPass network. The individual can find a MoneyPass ATM by searching https://www.moneypass.com/atm-locator.html. JPay will put this website on their flyers.
Q: Can the individual ADD funds to the card after being released?
A: Yes. Money can be added to a release card via Western Union.
Q: If the individual adds funds to the Release Card via Western Union, is there a fee associated with this transaction?
A: Yes. Western Union will charge a fee to the Release Card holder. This is not part of the contract between DOC and JPAY.
Q: Is there a maximum amount that can be loaded onto the card?
A: Yes. $5,000 total per card. You can load $2,500 per day per card.
Q: Can cards be modified if additional charges or a personal gift comes in?
A: Yes. Funds can be added and subtracted from the cards even after an inmate is released.
Q: How long should the inmate hold onto the card?
A: We recommend holding onto the card for 30-45 days in case additional funds need to be added.
Q: If an inmate is being released to a CCC, can a card be issued?
Q: The local bus company does not accept credit cards. Should a Release Card still be issued?
A: Yes. Cash can be given for the bus ticket from his/her account, if available. The remainder of the funds can then be put on a Release Card.
Q: If an inmate is going to a county jail or to another state on a detainer, should a card be issued?
A: No. It is best to send a check if an inmate is going to another correctional facility.
Q: Do the Release Cards have an expiration date?
A: Yes. The cards expire four years after they are issued to the PA DOC by JPay.
Q: Do the Release Cards expire due to inactivity?
Q: Is there an inactivity fee?
A: Yes. There is a $3.00 inactivity fee after 90 days of inactivity. This will be assessed monthly after the 90 days.
Q: Can the Release Cards be used Internationally?
Q: Can the individual receiving the Release Card turn it into a personal card?
A: Yes. The individual must contact JPay to do this. However, once the card is turned into a personal card, the institution can no longer add or subtract funds from the original temporary card.
Q: Who sets the PIN number for the release cards?
A: The PIN number will be set by the individual receiving the card.
Q: Who should the individual contact if there is a problem with the card?
A: He/she should call the number on the back of the card or the number on the flyer that is provided with the card at the time of release. They can also check JPay's website. He/she is not to call the institution.
Q: How can an individual check the balance on his Release Card?
A: They must contact 866-777-5729 or by visiting ReleaseCards.jpay.com
Q: If an individual loses their Release Card or the card expires, what should they do?
A: The individual will need to contact JPay's toll-free number at 866-777-5729 and a new card can be issued with the balance transferred over from the old card.