The Montana Department of Corrections has expanded to the Montana Women’s Prison its online service that makes it easier for families of inmates to deposit money in the accounts of incarcerated offenders.
The Inmate Trust Account Deposits Service, accessible through a website at http://inmatetrust.mt.gov, launched in April 2011 for inmates at Montana State Prison as pilot project. The department said then it intended to eventually extend the service to other correctional facilities.
The service offers another means for pre-approved family members and other individuals to make deposits into accounts from which inmates can use money to buy personal clothing, hygiene products, over-the-counter medications, TV or music player. The service requires depositors to be approved by officials at the women’s prison.
“This expansion provides the families and friends of inmates a convenient way to help out their loved ones who are incarcerated,” said Jo Acton, warden at the women’s prison in Billings. “Sometimes sending a few dollars to an inmate is the easiest way for them to show they care and it’s also a morale boost for the inmates. This service truly benefits everyone because it’s fast, easy and secure.”
Since its inception, the online banking service has accommodated almost $95,000 in deposits. During the past fiscal year, nearly $1.5 million was deposited in inmate accounts statewide.
*Resource Montana Board Of Crime Control
This is a wonderful service I am sure for the families of loved ones. I am sure that they appreciate the convenience of this route versus the having to go get a postal money order and mailing the funds. It looks great to the average citizen that knows nothing about the prison system. Hopefully if you have been following the blogs your eyes have been opened to what is happening. We’ve already discussed the money and profit that is made from overpriced goods that can only be bought through the prison system. What can happen to goods if and when they change the rules on what is allowed and not allowed in the prison.
What bothers me about this article is the guilt factor directed towards inmates families. Families that are already suffering. Families that are losing their housing, losing vehicles, not sure how they are going to pay the bills. Those wondering about their children and how to make ends meet. Families worried about even having healthcare. Those that have loved ones in the system that have been railroaded owing astronomical bills to lawyers and organizations to get their loved ones out. To even state “Sometimes sending a few dollars to an inmate is the easiest way for them to show they care and it’s also a morale boost for the inmates. This service truly benefits everyone because it’s fast, easy and secure.” shows that they are not thinking about the people at all.
I have talked to many families and inmates where the inmate feels guilty for asking or receiving any money. And we are talking about for the basic things such as personal clothing which consists of underwear, long sleeve thermal shirt or tennis shoes because the other shoes don’t have any support, hygiene products, over-the-counter medications, small food items. Not talking about the tv or music players. The majority does not have those. To state that this is a way to show them that they care and it’s also a morale boost for the inmates…that is unashamedly using guilt to play on emotions that will guilt them to spending more money on a loved one in prison. The state is making millions of dollars in so many avenues through the prison system and they are preying on the poor families of inmates that are losing most everything. Oh Montana! Where is your conscience?