Friday September 24, 2021



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Inmate Release Payments
Electronic Disbursements

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Paper Check Facts

In 2003, the Federal Reserve System reported that electronic payments surpassed paper check volumes for the first time.

The sharp decline in check volume has caused the Federal Reserve System to close 23 of its 45 check-processing offices.

The National Automated Clearing House Association estimates that it is 10 times more costly to issue and process paper checks than electronic payments.


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Inmate Release Payments - Paper Disbursements

The current paper-based system for disbursing inmate release funds is grossly inefficient, labor-intensive and cost prohibitive.  Whether these disbursements are made using cash or checks, the entire process requires human involvement from beginning to end.  Paper checks also require a high degree of human intervention to manage exceptions, which can be time-consuming, complex and difficult to quantify.  These activities include checks returned as undeliverable, stale-dated or lost checks, replacement checks and check fraud.

The Dismal Future of Paper Checks

The future of paper checks must be considered in any decision involving their continued use.  The current migration from paper to electronic payments and the resulting downward spiral in check volume, as illustrated in this graph, is drastically changing the payments landscape.  With literally billions of fewer checks moving through the system, each cost component associated with paper checks will rise.  Rising costs will fuel further migration followed by higher costs.  As this vicious cycle runs its course, it will become increasingly difficult to justify the continued use of paper checks for inmate release disbursements.    

Paper Checks Can Be Difficult To Cash

For many offenders, cashing a paper check immediately upon their release from prison can be extremely difficult and costly.  In instances where the offender lacks sufficient identification, cashing a check is next to impossible.  Without immediate and unhindered access to these funds, successful re-entry is further challenged.  Consequently, there is a need for a payment that is more conducive to the needs of offenders leaving prison.


Product Overview

Electronic Disbursements