Q:

What is an inmate trust fund, and how does it work?

A:

Quick Answer

An inmate trust fund is a forced savings account managed by a state department of corrections to pay for the inmate's institutional fees, supplies and obligations while incarcerated, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections. Inmates earn wages working within the corrections facility that are deposited into the trust.

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Full Answer

In many states, income an inmate earns while working in prisons is subject to payments of court-ordered garnishments for child support, room and board, civil filing fees, subpoena fees and processing fees for identification, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections. Inmate financial obligations must be paid before the inmate is able to use inmate trust funds to purchase allowable items at the prison's store.

With the inmate trust fund, inmates can purchase personal hygiene products, radios, televisions, shoes, snacks, postage and items approved by the warden at the canteen store within the prison, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections. Inmates may also use the inmate trust fund to pay outstanding medical and legal fees. Once inmates are released from incarceration, all remaining funds plus interest are disbursed to them upon release.

Private parties, relatives and friends can deposit funds into the inmate's account, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections. Many state institutions feature electronic transfer of funds online or in person at the facility.

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