The information below provides complete instructions regarding the Lancaster County Prison Inmate Accounts and Deposits, Commissary Information, Depositing Money Online (where available), Mailing Inmate Money or Care Packages to the jail in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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 Lancaster County Prison, the jail maintains a 'bank account' for the inmate to purchase products and services from their commissary (canteen) store.
Commissary funds allow inmates to purchase items such as personal hygiene products, snacks and stationery supplies from the jail store.
Inmates can use money from their account to purchase phone time credits or prepaid phone cards in order to make outside phone calls to friends and family members.
Many jails also allow an inmate to bail himself out of jail if he has the funds in his account. The bail amount is typically 10-15% of the bond amount set by the court.
Inmate accounts are also used to pay the co-payment for medication and visits to the jail's medical clinic should they become ill.
Anybody can contribute to an inmate's books or commissary fund as long as there isn't a no-contact order in place.
Because of the ability for family members and friends to deposit money online using a credit or debit card, jail inmates can now receive funds from anywhere in the world.
There are usually four choices for putting money on an inmate's books:
Dropping Money at the Jail
There are self-serve kiosks located in the jail lobby for your use. They accept credit, debit cards and cash. Bring the exact amount of cash you wish to deposit as the machine will not provide change.
You can also bring a money order or cashier’s check to the jail business window between 6:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. to deposit on an inmate’s account.
The staff will not accept cash or credit cards. You must use the kiosks for those deposits.
The kiosks will not process money orders or cashier’s checks. You must use the business window for those deposits.
Lancaster County Prison does not contract with a third-party company to process online deposits to inmate accounts. While you cannot make online deposits at this time, the policy can change in the future. Click here to see if the jail has begun accepting online deposits and if so, how to make one.
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 or cashier’s check from the US Post Office, a reputable bank or Western Union.
Make the Money Order out to the inmate's name and put their Inmate ID# in memo section of the Money Order.
Call Lancaster County Prison at (717) 299-7800 to confirm the address to send the money order to and how they want it made out.
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.
Click here or here to view online how to make the money order out and where to send it.
This jail does not accept deposits to inmate accounts by 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 Lancaster County Prison Commissary Instructions and Information can be found here. If you need more information contact the jail by calling (717) 299-7800.
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.
You are not limited in the amount of money you can deposit, but the inmates are limited in what they can spend each week.
Call Lancaster County Prison at (717) 299-7800 or click here to learn the Inmate Account deposit limits and other rules regarding depositing money on an inmate's books.
Inmates at this jail are immediately charged $25 for booking.
Each nurse visit is $3
Each doctor visit if the nurse did not believe it necessary but the inmate asked anyway is $5
If it is shown the inmate should have been referred to the doctor, the $5 will not be charged.
Treatment for chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, AIDS, changing of bandages, etc. are provided at no charge.
No inmate is refused services due to lack of money.
If the inmate cannot pay the booking fee or for medical services, a negative balance will accumulate in his or her account.
As deposits are made to the account, 50 percent of each deposit will be taken for the accumulated fees until all fees have been paid. The remaining 50 percent of each deposit will be provided to the inmate for use.
Call the Lancaster County Prison at (717) 299-7800 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.
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.