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Understanding Where Your Loved One’s Money Goes (Inmate Accounts)

Inmate Money Account

Inmate Money Account

Quick Summary:

  • In Provincial Facilities, money the inmate receives is deposited into a general account
  • In Federal Institutions, the inmate has a current account and a savings account
  • When sending money make sure you have, Name and FPS or OTIS number


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When someone is arrested or has received their prison sentence they can receive funds from their loved ones outside.  These funds go to purchasing canteen items (like snacks in the Provincial Institutions) or adding money to their phone cards (in Federal Institutions).

Inmate Money Account in Provincial Institutions

Canteen Account:

Funds sent to inmates is put into a Trust account.  Your loved one can use the funds from that Trust 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 can be sent to an inmate at once).

There may also be limits to how much the inmate can spend on canteen items each week (contact your loved one’s institution for more information)

Inmate Money Account in Federal Institutions

In Federal Institutions, inmates have 2 accounts, a current account and a savings account:

Savings Account: 

  • Any money sent to an inmate is first deposited into the savings account
  • Money from the savings account can be used to top-up the inmates’ phone card (to save on collect calling or calling card fees click here) or to pay for any schooling fees (to pay for food/toiletries items, funds must be transferred to their current account)
  • Inmates are permitted to transfer up to a maximum of $750.00 from their savings account to their current each year (from April 1st until March 31st of the next year)
  • Transfers from Savings to Current can be in one lump sum or spread out over the year

Current Account:  

  • The current account is used more frequently than savings since it is used to purchase food and toiletries

Inmates are paid based on a pay scale when they work, participate in programs or attend school within the institution.  90% of their pay is deposited into their current account, while 10% is deposited into their savings account (this is true for most inmates, sometimes the portion of pay deposited into current vs. savings may differ).