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May 20, 19

Phone Zap: Stand With North Carolina Prisoners Demanding New JPay Policy Be Rescinded

Call for phone-zap on Tuesday, May 21st to tell the North Carolina Department of Public Safety that people stand behind prisoners and demand that the new JPAY policy be rescinded. For more information about JPay in North Carolina prisons, go here and here.

North Carolina prisoners across multiple facilities will be participating in a mass, simultaneous grievance filing day on May 21st, in protest of a newly enacted policy that drastically changes who is allowed to send money to prisoners. See the prisoner statement below.

Ostensibly passed in February to cut down on smuggling, which is typically coordinated by the guards themselves, the rule has reduced prisoners’ resources tremendously, especially for those with gang or security status, those with undocumented family members, and those prison rebels who rely on non-family political support.

Please take a few minutes on Tuesday, May 21st to call NC DPS to tell them you support this protest and wish for the new JPAY policy to be rescinded.

(Ask for Director Kenneth Lassiter)


I’m sure by now every prisoner in NC is aware of the February 5th 2019 policy change in how we can receive money and from who. Anyone who is not an approved visitor on your list can no longer send you money to help you buy essential things that you need such as cosmetics, hygiene, tennis shoes, razors, food items, and phone time.

Some folks are struggling out there and can only send a 20 spot every now and again, so we rely on the sympathy of our friends and neighbors to help us get by. So now what are supposed to do on those weeks when we don’t get money and our prison jobs pay as little as $2.40 a week, when the dining hall serves up the dry breaded chicken patty that tastes like cardboard, or the hamburger turkey patty that tastes like a stink bug smells?

Many of us depend on family members who are elderly, disabled friends or loved ones who live out of state or who simply don’t have a need for an ID. And without an ID, they can’t get on an approved visitors list to be able to send money. What about immigrants with no family in the US, or no documentation, and so can’t be an approved visitor? What about those whose family members have felonies, and can’t be a visitor for that reason?

Many of us have had to devise ways to circumvent this unjust policy just so we can go to the canteen. The truth is, this policy wasn’t put in place to stop gang extortion, the bribery of prison guards, or to prevent the purchase of drugs, contraband, or tobacco. It was a blue collar scheme fascists, JPay, greedy bureaucrats, banking institutions, and a director of prisons who’s drunk on his own power.

In this day and age, most financial transactions are made by debit or credit card. For some of us, like me for instance, my brother can no longer visit me. So with him no longer being an approved visitor, he has to send money to my sister who IS an approved visitor, which costs him an extra $3 transaction fee. Then when she receives it, she in turn uses her debit card, for which her banking institution charges her a $3 fee, plus the $3 JPay fee. In sum, it now costs my family $9 extra dollars every time they send me money.

These greedy corrections-czars toil night and day devising new plans to cause us misery and significant and atypical hardship, as if feeding us horrible food, telling us where to sit in the dining hall, unwanted strip searches, what we can read or who we can write, $10 fees for rule violations, separation from our families, friends, and significant others isn’t bad enough!

Therefore, I propose a statewide grievance filing day for all prisoners. I’m shouting out to all prisoners housed in any NC prisons to pick up your pens on May 21, 2019 and write a grievance on Kenneth Lassiter for implementing this ridiculous and unreasonable new JPay policy. And no matter how your unit managers promise to look into it, appeal it to Raleigh. For those who can’t read or write very well, I encourage all of my brothers and sisters in this struggle to step up and write it for them.

If Raleigh receives a flood of thousands of grievances, not to mention we have outside supporters organizing to bring this to Lassiter with support from all around the country, I think we can beat back the repression and get this rule eradicated.

So show your support by filing your grievances on this particular day, and let’s make the prison-crats do a little administrative work so we can enjoy a fucking honeybun.

In Solidarity,
Pasquotank CI

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