Banking Scam Targets Prisoners and their Families

The incarceration industry generates $30 billion a year in the US – more than baseball or pornography – so you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to wonder why the prison population is expanding so rapidly, writes Anna Mundow


The Most Revolutionary Act

debit cards

Leave it to the banksters to come up with new ways to gouge poor people who are forced to use their services and pay their exorbitant bank charges.

According to Al Jazeera, federal and state prisons are aiding and abetting the latest banking scam by substituting release cards for the cash they owe prisoners and immigrant detainees on their release. The funds on the pre-paid debit cards include cash confiscated at the time of incarceration, the remainder of money sent by family members and scant earnings from prison jobs.

In addition to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, 17 states are using them in state prisons. Their use is even more widespread in city and county jails.

Gouging Prisoners with Astronomical Fees

Unlike consumer debit cards, prison-issued cards are unregulated and subject to exorbitant fees.  On reviewing contracts in various states and counties, journalist Amadou Diallo found banks were charging…

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