The information below provides complete instructions regarding the Rikers Island - West Facility Inmate Accounts and Deposits, Commissary Information, Depositing Money Online (where available), Mailing Inmate Money or Care Packages to the jail in East Elmhurt, New York.
Follow these instructions exactly to help ensure that your inmate has access to commissary, and in some cases medical and bail money, as soon as possible.
Since inmates are not allowed to possess cash money while in custody in the Rikers Island - West Facility, the jail maintains a 'bank account' for the inmate to purchase products and services from their commissary (canteen) store.
Inmates at this facility use their commissary funds to purchase items such as personal hygiene products, snacks and stationery supplies from the jail store.
Inmates can also use money from their account to purchase phone time to make outside phone calls to friends and family members.
Anybody can contribute to an inmate's books or commissary fund as long as there isn't a no-contact order in place.
This facility offers several methods for putting money on an inmate’s account, including by phone, online, in person or by mail. Because of the available methods, friends and family can send money from anywhere in the world.
There are usually four choices for putting money on an inmate's books:
Dropping Money at the Jail
Bring commissary money to the Cash Center on Rikers Island. There is no fee to deposit cash/money orders at the Cash Center - which is open 24 hours a day. It is housed in a separate building than the jail buildings.
You can also use kiosks that are placed in jail lobbies throughout the island. Some of the kiosks accept cash while others accept debit/credit cards. There are fees for using the vendor kiosks. (The fee goes to the vendor, not the Department of Corrections). Fees vary depending on which vendor kiosk you use to make the deposit.
If you can't get your questions answered online call the Rikers Island - West Facility at 212-266-1500.
Rikers Island - West Facility allows inmate deposits to be processed through Western Union. This can be done online or in person at a Western Union agent. You must use the code NYCITY and must know the inmate’s first and last name and booking number. Click here to locate the booking number. Click here to reach the website for sending money or locate an agent near you.
To get started, type in the amount you wish to send in the box on the right center of the page. When the next page opens, follow the steps.
This facility also accepts commissary money sent online through JPay. You will have to register for an account. You must know the inmate’s booking number and first and last name. It is free to register an account. Click here to get started.
Mailing a deposit takes more time to process than the other methods but can be done if you live too far away to bring it in person and you don't have a debit/credit card for online deposits. Never send cash. Always send a Money Order from the US Post Office.
Make the Money Order out to the inmate's name and booking number. Address the envelope as follows:
Inmate name and booking number
Rikers Island – West Facility
16-06 Hazen Street
East Elmhurst, NY 11370
Call Rikers Island - West Facility at 212-266-1500 to confirm the address to send the money order to and how they want it made out.
There is no limit to how much you can send.
Failure to do this properly will delay your inmate getting his account credited and may require you to have to resubmit a second money order.
This facility allows you to make deposits to an inmate’s account by phone.
Call JPay - (800) 574-JPAY or Western Union - (800) 325-6000 to deposit money over the phone using a debit or credit card. You must have the inmate’s first and last name and booking number.
Click here to find out about making a deposit over the phone.
People who have never been to jail would be surprised by the large amount of candy, snacks, art supplies, playing cards, hygiene products and clothing that can be purchased through a jail's commissary. Some jails have several hundred different items.
The Rikers Island - West Facility Commissary Instructions and Information can be found here or here. If you need more information contact the jail by calling 212-266-1500.
Some jails have contract agreements with third party Commissary companies that ship predetermined Care Packages of candy and snacks.
These can be ordered by you online and are delivered directly to the inmate.
Click here to see if this facility participates in a care package program.
This facility does not limit the amount of money an inmate can have on his or her commissary account.
Inmates have a weekly spending limit of $125.
There is no limit on how much money can be sent at a time.
Call Rikers Island - West Facility at 212-266-1500 or click here to learn the Inmate Account deposit limits and other rules regarding depositing money on an inmate's books.
A quick call to the Rikers Island - West Facility at 212-266-1500 will let you know if the policy has changed.
This facility does not charge inmates for medical visits, medications, jail fees, etc.
Call the Rikers Island - West Facility at 212-266-1500 and ask how you can view a commissary list. This gives you an idea of what things cost the inmate and you can make an informed decision regarding how much to deposit.
Not surprisingly much of an inmate's commissary money is used to purchase item's to pay gambling debts or purchase prescription medicine from another inmate. If your inmate is spending more than $3-4.00 a day on commissary items, you are paying for him or her to gamble or buy drugs.
Put your financial needs first and the inmate's second. Don't forget, the inmate is getting three free 2,000 calorie meals a day. The food may not be of the highest quality, but the commissary food is generally much less nutritious.
Click here to view the jail website for additional information.