Emails, photos to prisoners will soon go through new vendor
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has ended a contract with JPay, which allowed incarcerated people to receive emails on almost a daily basis.
Beginning July 1, 2022, prisoners are no longer allowed to receive emails through JPay, but a CDCR spokesperson said a new contract is currently in effect.
“The emails have not been discontinued,” Krissi Khokhobashvili wrote in an email to the San Quentin News. “They are transitioning to a different vendor, Viapath, but they have to deliver the printers and toner to the institutions and there have been some supply-chain issues. As soon as the printers arrive the service will be back up.”
Khokhobashvili is Chief of Strategic Communications and External Affairs for CDCR.
Since the contract with JPay ended, many prisoners have complained that their mail has either stopped completely or slowed to a snail’s pace. This disruption in communication with family and friends has been frustrating, especially during a pandemic that has seriously curtailed contact and family visiting.
Khokhobashvili is unable to say when these supply chain issues will be resolved and when each institution will again be generating the emails.
However, CDCR says that it remains committed to providing the incarcerated population and their support systems with the ability to keep in touch through electronic messaging services.
“We recognize the impact families’ support has on incarcerated people’s success,” CDCR’s Secretary wrote at the start of the pandemic. “In our understanding of how vitally important it is for family and friends to stay connected for emotional well-being, these efforts were designed to keep families in touch.”