Prison Talk

Prison Talk (
-   Pennsylvania General Prison Talk, News, Introductions & Chit Chat (
-   -   Putting cash on my account before state prison / Collection of Inmate Debts (

Berky 09-15-2019 12:30 PM

Putting cash on my account before state prison / Collection of Inmate Debts
If I have say $3000 on my account in the county, it should follow me to camp Hill and my home prison.
My question is will the state take a percentage if it's already with me or us it like family putting in on the books and they take some?
How much do the take?

patchouli 09-15-2019 03:25 PM

You absolutely do not want to put that much cash on your books at county. Chances are damned good they'll take a percentage of it, as much as 50% depending on the State / County / jurisdiction.

State won't take a percentage unless you owe fees, fines, restitution, etc.

Welcome to PTO :)

Berky 09-15-2019 03:41 PM

It's Adams county. York county never took anything towards fines. Just the deposit fee. I can't recall anyone complaining about fine cost coming off the inmates accounts
I understand the state prison will take 50% if my family puts money on the books once I get there ?
What is the best route to go?

onedayatatime13 09-15-2019 04:06 PM

Generally, when transferring from county to state it is separate bank accounts. Until sentencing, fines and fees are not placed upon the offender. When that money traders, it is looked at as new money and will be garnished up to whatever percentage each state takes.

You also dont want that much money for safety and extortion reasons.

waitinguntil001 09-16-2019 05:45 AM

I totally agree with what has already been stated about safety and extortion concerns.

It is absolutely not a good idea especially in state to have that much money in your account at one time. In state on a monthly basis an inmate is given a printout of their account information. Too many eyes can see the printed out report before it even gets to your hands - then word travels very quickly! Word usually comes from very unlikely sorces also, such as COs making comments to other COs and inmates over hearing it.

Me being in state for around four years I can tell you that it will be almost impossible to keep the fact that you have that much money on your account a Hush!!

Do yourself a big favor. Find someone on the outside that you can trust with your money and have them only send you a limited amount on a monthly basis. Also, don't flaunt your wealth buy buying a lot of commissary and clothing. Be very conservative when it comes to spending your money. Remember, there are a lot of eyes in prison and word travels extremely fast and usually to those you don't want to know or have anything to do with. You will be surprised also as to how many "fake" friends you will end up with once word gets out and most of these fake friends won't hesitate to take from you at the first chance.

Keep a low profile in State!!

Berky 09-16-2019 06:29 AM

In PA, how much do they take towards your fines and court cost when family puts money on your account?

patchouli 09-16-2019 09:39 AM


Originally Posted by Berky (Post 7793955)
In PA, how much do they take towards your fines and court cost when family puts money on your account?

Any funds taken from the deposits, as I understand it, must be ordered by the court. With that in mind, I'll look to see if I can find that percent. I have a commissary list for PA, that should help you determine (roughly) how much money you might need on a monthly basis:

EDIT: Found it! Collection of Inmate Debts

Berky 09-16-2019 07:33 PM

Thank you. I'll take the advise and live and modestly, lay low and mind my own business.

waitinguntil001 09-19-2019 05:11 AM


I'll take the advise and live and modestly, lay low and mind my own business.
These two methods are very recommended; doing these will really help your stay - Especially minding your own business.

And don't forget the Number One Rule of - "Respect your fellow inmate". Respect to both COs and inmates goes a very very long way in state.

bobble60 09-22-2019 06:19 AM

In a word: YES.

The DOC will make an assessment of all possible financial obligations:
Fines & restitution;
Court costs/fees
Child support;
Assessments by county facilities for theft, damages, etc.

Once they have determined your obligations in these four categories, you will be given a notice for the initial deduction. You have 15 days to file a written challenge. Once you exhaust this administrative procedure or you fail to challenge within 15 days, they make the deduction. For fines & restitution, they can take as much as you have as long as they leave you with $10. For costs and fees, they can take 20% of the account balance above $10.

After this initial deduction, they will escrow from all money deposited from prison wages or family/friends. (They can't deduct from benefit checks, refunds, etc.)

So, you can either go in with $3000 and see most of it sent to your sentencing court, or you can make those payments slowly by having your money sent to you periodically. I advise the latter.

realestateman1 10-28-2019 08:07 AM

It's all a and friends pay the price....20%at a time. I send $50 it costs me $4.95 on my end ,then they take $10 on his end...the only way to half way beat it is 2 send quarterly packages......the whole system needs a overhaul!!! The other way to beat it is ......not go to prison.....ok I'm stepping down off my soap box

Ms Sunny 10-28-2019 03:41 PM

Or just pay the stuff off before you go in. Go to the court that levied the fees/ fines.

bobble60 11-03-2019 07:06 AM

Frankly, the last two posts offer good advice but miss the point. While it would be great if every defendant either a) never committed a crime or b) paid off all fines, costs and restitution before sentencing, neither is likely to happen.

Suggesting that the person "not go to prison" is not a supportive comment and thus violates PTO policy, but I'll let it stand.

This issue is under serious review as we speak. Pennsylvania has, for the past thirty years or so, passed legislation which incrementally heaps on more costs and fees. Every time the State needs to balance the budget, someone adds a fee to either criminal court, civil court or traffic tickets. Most of the money goes into the court system itself (the AOPC). Also, the county-level courts are under pressure never to waive or absorb these amounts, even for indigent defendants. Finally, many counties are abusing probation as a means of enforcing collection.

There are efforts underway. Among them would be that anyone who financially qualifies for a public defender would not be assessed court costs. Another is that people sent to jail would not also be fined. these are common-sense changes.

No one is suggesting that defendants shroud not pay restitution. In fact, restitution should be a core concept behind our criminal justice system. That being said, the process for determining restitution is terrible. If my vehicle is burglarized and I decide I had $1,000 in cash in the glove box, I can claim it for restitution and no proof is required. Costs for "counseling" are double-dipped because it's often covered by insurance. Efforts are underway to increase the required documentation of actual losses so that restitution is honest.

As for the DOC's statutory duty to assist in the collection of these debts, they're kind of stuck in the middle. Efforts to have roll back the percentages taken have largely failed, as have effort to raise the inmate wage structure. In the end, the process often collects a small amount of what is due but creates a large impact on the inmate. If the DOC were to increase inmate wages, eliminate the medical co-pay and provide larger meal portions, the "demand" on families and friends would decrease, but these would also hit the DOC budget pretty hard. (A one-cent wage increase across the board amounts to millions of dollars per year.)

My advice to any prisoner is to live frugally and to earn your keep. I have met far too many inmates who contentedly "work" at the bottom of the pay scale because they have people sending them hundreds of dollars per month. Some of them then gripe because money is taken for overdue child support. At the other end of the spectrum are those who forego a TV and a locker filled with junk food while working in a CI shop and sending the money home to the mother of their children (or their own mother.) Which one looks better to the Parole Board?

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:42 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2001- 2019 Prison Talk Online