Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
How to send money to someone in jail
Don't let legal hurdles get in the way of sending money to loved ones.
Inmates often depend on deposits to their commissary accounts from family and friends. You may be able to transfer money to an inmate using your bank account, a money transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram or a 3rd party provider like Synergy Inmate phone.
What are my options?
Inmates are not allowed to have cash, which is considered contraband. Instead, they use an inmate account for all transactions.
Depending on the inmate’s facility, you may be able to deposit money directly into the inmate’s account online or by phone. With some jails and prisons, you’ll be required to use a proprietary system for commissary deposits. However, most also accept payments through MoneyGram or Western Union.
Using MoneyGram or Western Union to send money to an inmate
If you don’t have a credit card, you might find it difficult to load money onto your an inmate’s account. You can, however, send a money transfer directly to some prisons or to companies like Synergy Inmate Phone. Most inmate accounts won’t allow you to load more than $750 per year in funds.
To send money with a service like Western Union or MoneyGram, you’ll typically need to know:
- The four-digit Receive Code that corresponds to the specific facility you’re sending money to.
- The inmate’s ID number — typically eight digits followed by the inmate’s last name.
Fees vary by facility.
Options that require a credit card
When a loved one is incarcerated, it’s not always easy to know how to help. By sending money directly to their commissary account, you can rest assured that they’ll have the means to get by more comfortably while there. If you have a credit card, it may be easier to top up your loved ones account using a kiosk in the lobby of the prison.
You can also use a service like Synergy Inmate Phone for web and phone top-ups to most prisons in Canada. This method might require identity verification, so make sure to have your driver’s license or passport on hand.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
Canada Drives vs Clutch vs CarDoor
Compare the top features of 3 online car dealers in Canada: Canada Drives, Clutch and CarDoor.
BDC Business Loans Review
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) provides financing to businesses at different stages of growth.
Let your child earn a taste of financial freedom with Mydoh, an innovative prepaid Visa card for kids.
Day trading in Canada
Learn the rules of day trading in Canada before you dive into this full-time commitment.
Binance NFT Marketplace Review and Guide
The Binance NFT Marketplace offers one of the safest NFT marketplaces for creating, buying and selling NFTs.
How to send money home for the holidays from Canada
SPONSORED: How you can save when sending money abroad for festive occasions with Simplii Financial.
Best stock trading apps in Canada
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, use this guide to compare the best stock trading app options in Canada and choose the one that’s best for you.
How to stake Solana (SOL)
Learn how to stake Solana (SOL) by following a step-by-step guide. Start earning interest on your crypto today.
Hybrid vs. electric cars
Find out how to make the right environmentally friendly choice for your next vehicle between hybrid and electric cars.
Coast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account Review
Enjoy unlimited free transactions and zero monthly account fees with this basic chequing account.
Ask an Expert
You must be logged in to post a comment.