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Sending Money to a Loved One in Prison

Sending money to someone

Sending Money to Someone in Prison

Quick Summary:

  • Cash should NEVER be sent through the mail.
  • It is best to call the institution and ask “What is the best way to send my loved one money”.
  • [My opinion] The best way to send money is by sending a Money Order from the Post Office with a tracking number.
  • [My opinion] Send amounts less than $50 so if it is lost in the mail, sending another one is not as much of a costly burden.

NOTE:  This is a personal blog, any views or opinions represented in this blog belong solely to the FedPhoneLine staff.  WE ARE NOT Psychologists or Therapy Professionals, all data and information on these blogs are for informational purposes ONLY. In the comments section, we are hoping that people can outline their experiences and foster communication that will assist others going through similar events.

When someone is arrested or has received their prison sentence they can be sent money from their loved ones outside.

Sending Money to Someone in Provincial Institutions

Canteen Account: 

Funds sent to inmates is put into their canteen account.  Your loved one can use the funds to purchase toiletries or snack items.  Many correctional facilities limit the amount that can be brought in and sent to an inmate at one time (i.e. maximum of $100 that can be sent to an inmate at once).

Many Provincial facilities will take cash (you can drop off cash in-person during visiting hours) and money orders.

Inmates may only be able to spend upto a certain limit per week, call your loved one’s facility to find out more information.

Sending Money to Someone in Federal Institutions

Federal Institutions are beginning to accept cash less and less.  More acceptable forms of payment are:

  • Money Order
  • Cheques (not all institutions accept cheques)
  • Bank Drafts

How money gets from you to your loved one:

  1.  You send a money order to the institution via mail (priority mail is best so you can keep track of the mail via tracking number
  2. V&C issues a receipt for the money and passes a copy of the receipt to your loved one (so he/she is aware that funds have arrived)
  3. All funds received by V&C are put on hold for up to 10 business days, during this time your loved one cannot have access to the fund
  4. All amounts over $500 may be put on hold for increased amounts of time as they may be sent to the Security Intelligence Department for further inquiry

When an inmate receives funds, the majority of funds will be deposited into their “Current Account” (they also have a savings account but we will discuss these accounts in a different article).

Once your loved one receives the funds in their account, they are able to deposit money on their phone card (only once per month), purchase food and other items.

FYI:  Send money at least 30-45 days in advance to compensate for any delays.