The Atlantic County Jail issues inmates certain items, such as jail uniforms. However, it goes without saying that correctional facilities and detention centers don’t exactly come furnished with all the comforts of home. To make things a little more pleasant and comfortable for themselves, inmates can purchase a variety of goods from the jail commissary, which is similar to a convenience store. Of course, in order to make a purchase, the inmate will need to have sufficient funds first. Toward that end, this article explains how to deposit money to an inmate’s account. If your loved one is being held while awaiting trial, you might also be interested in our article about how to post bail at the Atlantic County Jail.
How to Deposit Funds to an Inmate Account at the Atlantic County Jail
Inmates are prohibited from possessing cash money while they are incarcerated at the Atlantic County Jail. Therefore, friends and family members may want to contribute funds of their own.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to add money to an inmate’s commissary account. Anyone is free to add funds, regardless of their relationship to the inmate, provided that no “no-contact” order is in place.
There are two easy ways to make a deposit:
- Make a cash deposit directly at the jail. The jail is located at 5060 Atlantic Avenue, Mays Landing, NJ 08330. Please note the jail cannot accept credit cards, debit cards, or other non-cash methods of payment. You should bring the exact amount you wish to deposit, since the jail cannot make change.
- Send a money order via mail. If you don’t live near the jail, this method is probably more convenient (albeit a little slower). Mail your money order to the same address listed above: 5060 Atlantic Avenue, Mays Landing, NJ 08330. Make sure to include the inmate’s first name, last name, and county ID number as part of the mailing address.
Funds will be credited to the inmate’s account as soon as the payment is processed. The inmate will also receive a receipt in case there were any errors.
What Sort of Items Can Be Purchased Through the Commissary?
Once the funds have been credited to the inmate’s account, he or she can use them to purchase goods at the commissary. While exact inventory varies – and items sometimes sell out or become temporarily unavailable – commissaries generally sell goods like snacks, candy, hair care products, toothpaste and toothbrushes, socks, clothing, deodorant, toiletries, stamps, paper, pens, cards, and other basic, useful supplies.
If you have any questions about the specific items that are available for sale through the Atlantic County Jail commissary, you can contact the facility by calling (609) 645-5855. As of February 2016, the Warden of the jail is Geraldine Cohen.
As a word of caution, please do not attempt to send supplies, food, or care packages directly to your loved one. Many items are considered contraband, and jail policies explicitly state that packages will not be accepted. (You may, however, send a letter to the Atlantic County Jail by writing to the address provided above.)
Monthly Fees and Criminal Fines
If no charges have been filed against your loved one, meaning the prosecutor is still in the process of determining whether to file charges, the following does not apply. Otherwise, all inmates are charged a monthly “user fee” of $50 to stay at the jail. Yes, you read that correctly – you actually have to pay to be incarcerated.
The $50 fee is assessed each month, so the total cost for a full year would be $600. This money can go toward any outstanding costs the inmate might owe, such as criminal fines which have not been paid (in situations where the inmate has already been convicted and is there serving a sentence). For reference, New Jersey criminal fines are:
- DP Offense – Up to $1,000. Examples include simple assault, disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana (50 grams or less), and possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Fourth Degree Crimes – Up to $10,000. Examples include stalking, forgery, and certain DWI offenses.
- Third Degree Crimes – Up to $15,000. Examples include certain burglary and aggravated assault
- Second Degree Crimes – Up to $150,000. Examples include robbery and manslaughter.
- First Degree Crimes – Up to $200,000. Examples include aggravated sexual assault and murder.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer that can Defend Your Rights
If one of your loved ones is being held at the Atlantic County Jail, it’s in their best interest to have an experienced criminal attorney visit as soon as possible. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 to set up a visit and review your loved one’s legal options in a free, completely confidential legal consultation. Our Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience representing clients charged with a wide range of serious criminal offenses. We also handle Atlantic County criminal appeals, which is the process of challenging a conviction or sentence. Se habla español.