Inmate Trust Accounts and Canteen

Trust Account:
Trust accounts are an inmate’s “bank” account.  If an inmate has a pay number from their job, their “paycheck” will be deposited into their trust account.  Family members can also put money into an inmate’s trust account so their Loved One can buy items at the canteen or participate in periodic fundraisers and food sales.  There are 3 ways to send money to your Loved One – Lock Box, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), and direct mail of a money order.  CDCR has instructions for sending money HERE

Restitution and Fees:
If the Prisoner’s sentence includes restitution, any money put into the trust account will have 50% of that money taken for restitution.  Once that restitution is paid off, then the inmate will no longer have 50% withheld. In addition to restitution, any money deposited into a trust fund has 5% withheld as an administrative fee.

So, for example, if an inmate has restitution and a family member deposits $100 to the inmate’s trust account, $50 will be held out for restitution and $5 will be assessed as the admin fee, leaving $45 to deposit into the trust account.

Sending Money over the Internet by EFT:
The fastest way to send money to your loved one is to send a payment electronically over the internet.  There are several services to do this.  All services charge fees for the EFT, but it is the fastest way to get money to your Loved One.  The EFT usually takes 1 to 3 days to get posted to your Loved One’s trust account.



Sending Money to a Lock Box:
There is no fee for sending money via money order, personal check, or cashier’s check. Fill out the Money Order Deposit Form (coupon) and print it. Make check or money order payable to JPay. Mail to:

2202 South Figueroa St, Box #3001
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Personal checks will be held for 10 days. Maximum of $999.99 per Money Order Deposit Form (coupon). A JPay account is not needed to send money orders, personal checks, or cashier’s checks.  Call 1-800-574-5729 if you need more information or assistance with this service.

Sending Money by Mail:
Money can be added to the inmate’s trust account by mailing a certified check, money order, or personal check to the inmate.  Check the with your local prison for the address to mail to. If you send a certified check, it will be posted immediately to the inmate’s trust account.  If you send a money order or personal check, it will be deposited into the trust account, however, the inmate will not have access to that money for 30 days, allowing time for the check to clear.  You MUST put your name and address and the Inmate name and CDCR Inmate number on the check or money order. If you do not, your Loved One will not receive the money on their trust account. Click HERE to see the latest changes for sending money by mail.

Uses of Trust Account Money
There are 4 reasons to send money to a trust account for an inmate – 1) Discretionary spending at the canteen or food sales, etc., 2) Restitution, 3) Family Visiting, and 4) Temporary Community Leave.

Funds to Inmate (for discretionary spending). Money that is being sent to the inmate for his or her own personal use is subject to restitution and administrative charges.
Restitution Payment. To make a payment for a restitution fine or direct order for a parolee, the parolee should contact his/her parole agent for instruction. If the payment is for an inmate, the inmate should contact his/her counselor for information. When making a payment, please give the restitution fine or direct order information. We also need in writing what should be done with any excess money over the fine or direct order amount. It can either be given to the inmate or refunded to the sender.
Family Visiting. Before sending money for family visiting, contact the institution’s Family Visiting Office at the institution where the inmate is located for instructions. NOTE: Funds for family visiting may NOT be sent via Electronic Funds Transfer.
Temporary Community Leave. Before sending money for Temporary Community Leave, the inmate should contact his or her counselor for instructions.