JPay announced via email that they would be giving imprisoned people 6 free stamps every week starting this week as a result of COVID-19 restrictions on visitation. Because they’re only giving a few messages to those in prison, though, it’s really more like giving us 50% off our interaction back and forth.
The company has been under fire pretty much from the start for their exploitive prices. Right now, five stamps cost $2, which is about 40 cents per message. But they’re a private company and prisons get a portion of the revenue so that’s they’re incentive to work with them.
Even beyond the new visitation restrictions, it should be free to talk to people who are locked up. Of course, this is a financial burden on friends and family, as well as an additional way to punish those in prison, but their access to communication effects everyone. 93% of people in prison will be released. Everybody knows (now more than ever) how important meaningful social interaction is in our daily lives.