Pop Culture dictionary


or Jay Pay [jey-pey]

What does JPay mean?

Jay Pay is a casual way to refer to JPay, a company that offers and facilitates money transfers for inmates as well other services like email and video communication.

Related words:

Where does JPay come from?

Oklahoma Watch

MIT doctoral student Ryan Shapiro founded JPay in 2002 to provide family members of prison inmates with a digital money transfer service, allowing them to send funds to incarcerated loved ones without a physical money order. The company also sells additional services like email, tablets, and video visitations, and reaches almost 2-million inmates in over 30 states.

JPay has created controversy by monopolizing digital prison communications … as well as the small fact that the company profits off prisoners. The company came under particular scrutiny for controlling the intellectual property rights for all content sent through their network, a policy it reversed in 2015.

Controversies aside, many prisoners depend on JPay to stay in contact with family or receive funds from them. The ability for inmates to receive outside funds can make a big difference, as many working inmates receive as little as 12 cents an hour.

The colloquial form of JPay is jay pay and pronounced in the same way. It has been in use since at least 2008.

Examples of JPay

Go send yo nigga some money through jay pay so he can eat
@_YoungOG3, January, 2018
Hi, my husband is is nevada prison I can send him emails and money through this co. called Jay-Pay. can I send money to them through my paypal account?
houndinaround, PayPal forum, December, 2009
@youngchopbeatz. And other producers i have a cousin in prison he is comming home soon he said that you should sell beats on jay pay for inmates to download its a bag in that lane
@IGOTPIMPBONES, February, 2018

Who uses JPay?

When discussing money transfers or communication services for prison inmates, people might casually refer to the company JPay as jay pay. Alternatively, one could also use jay pay as a verb to describe sending money to an inmate. For example, “My brother Joe is in prison, so I’m going to jay pay him some funds to get him through the week.” (Jay payed is sometimes used for the past tense.)

Jay pay can also refer to one’s JPay account or an instance of communication/transaction on the service.

Given its target clients, JPay and jay pay are primarily used by people with connections to corrections industry, from inmates to their family members to staff.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of JPay like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of JPay that will help our users expand their word mastery.