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  #26  
Old 11-18-2015, 10:03 PM
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That what I was thinking Corrlinks would have been better, That is why I feel like he chose JPay for an easy way to get money sent. I mean if he has internet access which he does he could have chose Corrlinks. Makes no sense to me.
He doesn't have Internet access. He has access to a kiosk that let's him get into Jpay. Does his prison also support corrlinks?

So much conclusion jumping going on!
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  #27  
Old 11-19-2015, 12:41 AM
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I agree with WeepingWillow. Maybe his prison only has JPay. If the prison has both services (which I doubt), it would be interesting to find out which one has the cheapest stamps.

The JPay site and procedure can be confusing at first. It was to me! But you sign up yourself for at least one inmate (only linking your name to his name as a contact, really). Then you buy stamps for sending email to him. He cannot see your account details, stamps, or financial details. Just your name. You can later add other inmates to your contact list if you write to more penpals. You can also remove inmates from your contact list if you stop writing to them. If you don't transfer stamps to him, he has to buy the stamps himself.

I find the service convenient and at least it's quicker than snail mail. However, if you are uncomfortable in any way, don't do it just yet. Or if he does start asking for money, or stamps, that would be the time to tell him what you want or don't want. At this stage I would not hold his request against him. Just ask him what he meant by setting him up a JPay account? Maybe he clarifies. Some inmates don't always express themselves in a clear way, besides he probably has not a good idea how the JPay system set-up works for people on the outside.
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Old 11-19-2015, 03:33 AM
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He doesn't have Internet access. He has access to a kiosk that let's him get into Jpay. Does his prison also support corrlinks?

So much conclusion jumping going on!
Let me clear this.. He told me he has "internet access" so no conclusion jumping on that part. However call it what you choose.
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  #29  
Old 11-19-2015, 03:52 AM
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I agree with WeepingWillow. Maybe his prison only has JPay. If the prison has both services (which I doubt), it would be interesting to find out which one has the cheapest stamps.

The JPay site and procedure can be confusing at first. It was to me! But you sign up yourself for at least one inmate (only linking your name to his name as a contact, really). Then you buy stamps for sending email to him. He cannot see your account details, stamps, or financial details. Just your name. You can later add other inmates to your contact list if you write to more penpals. You can also remove inmates from your contact list if you stop writing to them. If you don't transfer stamps to him, he has to buy the stamps himself.

I find the service convenient and at least it's quicker than snail mail. However, if you are uncomfortable in any way, don't do it just yet. Or if he does start asking for money, or stamps, that would be the time to tell him what you want or don't want. At this stage I would not hold his request against him. Just ask him what he meant by setting him up a JPay account? Maybe he clarifies. Some inmates don't always express themselves in a clear way, besides he probably has not a good idea how the JPay system set-up works for people on the outside.
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:30 AM
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Let me clear this.. He told me he has "internet access" so no conclusion jumping on that part. However call it what you choose.
If he is housed in a medium to maximum security facility there is no way that he has "legitimate" access to the internet. The only way that these inmates would have access to the internet is thru a contraband cell phone. If this is the case this is a HUGE red flag.
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  #31  
Old 11-19-2015, 10:51 AM
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What bothers me is with his very first letter he wants you to set up a Jpay account. Maybe I'm reading something more into this. Still, if he had done that to me, asking for something without a "by your leave", I would've ended the correspondence right then and there. Something feels fishy to me.

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Old 11-19-2015, 01:41 PM
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Let me clear this.. He told me he has "internet access" so no conclusion jumping on that part.

it is quite possible that he doesn't understand what the Internet really is.

If he has been incarcerated for a long time he may not have ever actually been on the Internet, used Google to search, had an actual email address or browsed web pages.

The Jpay Kiosk allows him to send and receive messages electronically. So yes, that does provide him with a very limited form of Internet access. But it isn't the same as the access that we have.

If he had managed to get a cell phone or other means of accessing the Internet then Jpay would not be involved. If he is asking you to send him messages via Jpay then it is legit, that is a service that Jpay provides.

You can decide for yourself if sending electronic messages via Jpay is right for you. If the message is short, it costs about the same (or less if you include the cost of paper and envelope) as sending a letter via USPS. If the letter is long, then regular mail is cheaper, plus he can read it at his leisure rather than rushing through in his allotted time slot.

Jpay is also a means of transferring money to an inmate. Again, you will have to decide for yourself if you will provide him with funds if/when that request comes.

What I have read here indicates to me that his primary interest was setting up a form of communication, which could be easier and cheaper for you. If you are not comfortable with Jpay, or simply prefer the good old fashion letter, then don't use it. But I would give him the benefit of the doubt regarding his intentions.

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  #33  
Old 11-19-2015, 02:38 PM
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I am kinda wondering where your level of mistrust comes from at such an early point in writing. He cannot force you to send him money even if it turns out later that was his gameplan. It seems to me that your anxiety level has more to do with your inexperience with JPay than any red flag he is sending.

I often see people recommending that our "gut feeling" is the best thing to go by but I believe that is only helpful under one or both of two conditions. First someone needs to have experience with the situation they are uneasy about and then also, they have to be sure that it isn't a reflection of their own issues.

Knowing that JPay can be used to send money is not the same as having an experience with someone getting manipulated into using it to send money. And I am going to stop now because everything else I want to say is kinda ugly. I hope you don't let your own unfounded fears disappoint this guy.
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  #34  
Old 11-19-2015, 04:06 PM
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Let me clear this.. He told me he has "internet access" so no conclusion jumping on that part. However call it what you choose.
You're assuming he has access to another method of messaging like corrlinks. You're assuming he wants you to have a jpay account to send him money.
Jpay is just a tool. He can't make you use it in any way you don't want to.

I jpay my pen pal. He can't even jpay me back in Texas, but he gets my letters the same day I send them and it makes our turnaround a lot faster. I've never sent him a dime and he's never asked. Nothing nefarious about it.
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Old 11-19-2015, 04:46 PM
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Since he mentioned JPay, more than likely that's the email service his facility uses. You can always check his states Dept. of Corrections website and it will tell you what email service is used.
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  #36  
Old 11-21-2015, 02:24 PM
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A let of misunderstandings on this thread. I agree with rmc50 that the inmate probably doesn't even know how the internet works. Jpay is not internet access. It's a monitored form of electronic messaging for inmates. He can't go on eBay or Facebook with it. All he can do is read a message from someone who has consciously chosen to send him one, and possibly reply. The messages both ways are screened. It costs money to send messages and the person on the outside has to set up an account, purchase stamps to send messages, and add the inmate to their account. That's what I think the inmate meant by "set me up a Jpay account".

Corrlinks is for federal inmates and a few state facilities. The majority of state facilities that have a messaging system use Jpay. It's the big player in the state prisons. Recommending Corrlinks is t much help if the facility does not use it.

Not all states require you to be on the visit list to send money. I know you are nowhere close to the stage of sending money (and may never be at that stage), but I wanted to clarify that point.

Washington stamps are currently the cheapest, but be wary of adding random Washington inmates to your Jpay account just to get cheaper stamps. The inmates in Washington can see who has added them. My husband had dozens of random girls appearing on his Jpay account. It didn't bother him, but I know that some of them who were hoping to get a penpal and had an ad running were very disappointed and felt "used" when they realized they had only been added for someone to save a few cents on their messages to someone else. Occasionally they messaged the people on their list (hoping that they were wanting to be their pen pal) . This cost them a stamp - and on an inmate wage the stamps are a bigger cost than they are to us.

OP this thread is a classic example of how things vary greatly from state to state. It might be helpful to post in the section specific to the state in question to avoid any more mis-information. Even Jpay varies from state to state. Texas inmates can only receive a print out of the message, and have to reply by regular US mail. Washington inmates have the facility to send electronic replies. They can also buy handheld mini tablet devices to type their replies in their cells. These are just some examples.
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  #37  
Old 11-22-2015, 05:26 AM
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What bothers me is with his very first letter he wants you to set up a Jpay account. Maybe I'm reading something more into this. Still, if he had done that to me, asking for something without a "by your leave", I would've ended the correspondence right then and there. Something feels fishy to me.



Michele

What are your true thoughts on him asking.. what do you mean by "By your leave"?
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:29 AM
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A let of misunderstandings on this thread. I agree with rmc50 that the inmate probably doesn't even know how the internet works. Jpay is not internet access. It's a monitored form of electronic messaging for inmates. He can't go on eBay or Facebook with it. All he can do is read a message from someone who has consciously chosen to send him one, and possibly reply. The messages both ways are screened. It costs money to send messages and the person on the outside has to set up an account, purchase stamps to send messages, and add the inmate to their account. That's what I think the inmate meant by "set me up a Jpay account".

Corrlinks is for federal inmates and a few state facilities. The majority of state facilities that have a messaging system use Jpay. It's the big player in the state prisons. Recommending Corrlinks is t much help if the facility does not use it.

Not all states require you to be on the visit list to send money. I know you are nowhere close to the stage of sending money (and may never be at that stage), but I wanted to clarify that point.

Washington stamps are currently the cheapest, but be wary of adding random Washington inmates to your Jpay account just to get cheaper stamps. The inmates in Washington can see who has added them. My husband had dozens of random girls appearing on his Jpay account. It didn't bother him, but I know that some of them who were hoping to get a penpal and had an ad running were very disappointed and felt "used" when they realized they had only been added for someone to save a few cents on their messages to someone else. Occasionally they messaged the people on their list (hoping that they were wanting to be their pen pal) . This cost them a stamp - and on an inmate wage the stamps are a bigger cost than they are to us.

OP this thread is a classic example of how things vary greatly from state to state. It might be helpful to post in the section specific to the state in question to avoid any more mis-information. Even Jpay varies from state to state. Texas inmates can only receive a print out of the message, and have to reply by regular US mail. Washington inmates have the facility to send electronic replies. They can also buy handheld mini tablet devices to type their replies in their cells. These are just some examples.
I got a typed letter from an inmate, how do you think he typed it??
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  #39  
Old 11-22-2015, 07:21 AM
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JMO but if someone asks me for postage, money, whatever in a first letter I would tell them NO!!! Its a huge RED FLAG!!! But then I'm a pessimist and believe most people have an agenda.
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Old 11-22-2015, 07:58 AM
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Can you not use corrlinks with his facility? It is an email service that requires you to put money on YOUR account so that YOU can send emails to him.

We have corrlinks at my guys facility. It only costs like .10 cents to send an email to him. At this time though he is unable to respond via email. That kind of sucks but I guess his facility doesn't want the hassle of having to review inmate emails or deal w/any problems that the inmates might have using corrlinks.

I put $10.00 on my account and still have a balance. But I don't use it very often to email him, we like sending letters better.
I have NEVER had to pay for a single email sent via Corrlinks to any of my pen pals...they pay 5c a minute to read and reply to emails, but they have a set time limit they can be on the kiosk for. Not sure which facility your guy is at, but like I said, I've got 4 guys on my Corrlinks account, did have a 5th, and I've never paid for sending emails to ANY of them.


To the original poster though...If he hasn't asked you to put money onto his books, then I wouldn't panic about setting up a Jpay account in order to email him...for the most part, it's cheap and quick, and you can send him ecards, pics and emails...1 stamp a piece. It's your choice whether you include a reply paid stamp to him, but it's a cheap, secure way of communicating with them...if you've only ever added them via Jpay, they won't have any information about you, other than what you provide them with in the body of the email (except for your name which is provided on the email pro forma they receive I believe) so it's safe/secure. You choose whether you send a reply paid stamp to them...which they can only use to write to you....if you physically send them stamps, then they can use those to write to anyone on their Jpay friends list.

Good luck and if there's any warning signs about him, then you can delete him...simple.

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  #41  
Old 11-22-2015, 12:38 PM
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I got a typed letter from an inmate, how do you think he typed it??
You don't have to have the Internet to type? If he did, I assume he would've sent it to you electronically, not through mail. I know at Texas prisons they sell typewriters. It's possible other places have word processors on computers...not sure.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:08 PM
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but corrlink is most of the time for federeal not for state. it dont mean tht if a guy can jpay that the guy can use corrlink. it depends.
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Old 11-22-2015, 11:16 PM
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but corrlink is most of the time for federeal not for state. it dont mean tht if a guy can jpay that the guy can use corrlink. it depends.
We are at a state facility. Here the only thing I can use Jpay for is to send money. Corrlinks is the only way to send emails, and as I explained before the inmates cannot send emails only receive them. Seems kind of shortsighted for them to not be able to send them as it would mean another source of revenue for the facility.
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Old 11-23-2015, 11:02 AM
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I have NEVER had to pay for a single email sent via Corrlinks to any of my pen pals...they pay 5c a minute to read and reply to emails, but they have a set time limit they can be on the kiosk for. Not sure which facility your guy is at, but like I said, I've got 4 guys on my Corrlinks account, did have a 5th, and I've never paid for sending emails to ANY of them.


To the original poster though...If he hasn't asked you to put money onto his books, then I wouldn't panic about setting up a Jpay account in order to email him...for the most part, it's cheap and quick, and you can send him ecards, pics and emails...1 stamp a piece. It's your choice whether you include a reply paid stamp to him, but it's a cheap, secure way of communicating with them...if you've only ever added them via Jpay, they won't have any information about you, other than what you provide them with in the body of the email (except for your name which is provided on the email pro forma they receive I believe) so it's safe/secure. You choose whether you send a reply paid stamp to them...which they can only use to write to you....if you physically send them stamps, then they can use those to write to anyone on their Jpay friends list.

Good luck and if there's any warning signs about him, then you can delete him...simple.

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Some state facilities ( maybe Iowa i think) uses Corrlinks and you do have to pay. You're thinking feds lady
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:02 PM
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I got a typed letter from an inmate, how do you think he typed it??

One of my inmate penpals from Pennsylvania has a typewriter and his letters are always typed. The "e" key doesn't work right, they come out looking like a smudge 'a', so the letters are interesting to read sometimes . . .

I noticed that another inmate penpal had typewriters available for purchase on their quarterly property "boxes".

I have heard of some facilities that have typewriters available to the inmates in the library.

Having access to a typewriter is much more likely than having access to the Internet.

R. Mc.
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Old 11-27-2015, 08:11 PM
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My penpal told me about the JPay email system and when Ihave not written him in a while, I send him a Jpay email just to touch base because it gets there faster. He always writes paper letters to me. I have put money on the account for him once for his birthday and it was my idea, total surprise. I have known this person three years. He told me about the JPay right away and it was not a red flag nor was it because he wanted money. It was because they have so little instant gratification in there and when you email through Jpay they get it that day or the next day the mail is given out, which is often much much faster than snail mail. I would not hold it against him. Whether regular postage or Jpay mail, you are going to have to invest the price of a stamp in order to communicate with him.
I understand being cautious, but making up scenarios inwhich you are being taken advantage of in the future is a waste of time and is not conducive to fostering a genuine friendship. If you are that worried, maybe you should write a soldier or a missionary.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:08 PM
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I have received my first letter from PP. He asked me to set him up a Jpay account. Thus said something about its better than letters.�� It kinda threw me off. But I figured he said it was for emails so. I went to the web site,and signed him up. I tried to browse the site, and clicked email. It say I had to pay for stamps online and for him to reply. Im guessing I have to put my debit card on file?. It thought it was a free website. I dont know much about the site, but had an associate. Who use to send her brother money on there. I am feeling like this may be an early "red flag" for him to soon start asking for money. I am uncomfortable sending him money, dont know him and honestly unable to. Should I address this with him before we go any further? Also inform me on how the site Jpay works,if you are familiar.
As far as I knew you could set yourself up a JPay account to use for your own personal correspondences with inmates but they have to do their own account on their end with the correctional institution they are in. You do have to pay for the "stamps" with JPay to send emails but you can purchase the visa and mastercard gift cards and use on the site if you do not feel comfortable with your credit card information being out there. He is capable of loading his JPay account with his own money and providing his stamps if he has the funds but there is an option when you email him at the bottom that you can send him one stamp so he can respond to you. Yes JPay does provide an option that you can send money to him but you do not have too. The benefits of JPay is that the emails do get to the inmates faster and it makes writing and getting to know each other quicker. Perhaps you misunderstood him when he told you to create a JPay account? Maybe his intention was for you to make one and add him as a contact so he could email you. Maybe he does not get much mail and thinks this will be a good way to get to know you and receive responses from you quicker.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:22 PM
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I have NEVER had to pay for a single email sent via Corrlinks to any of my pen pals...they pay 5c a minute to read and reply to emails, but they have a set time limit they can be on the kiosk for. Not sure which facility your guy is at, but like I said, I've got 4 guys on my Corrlinks account, did have a 5th, and I've never paid for sending emails to ANY of them.


To the original poster though...If he hasn't asked you to put money onto his books, then I wouldn't panic about setting up a Jpay account in order to email him...for the most part, it's cheap and quick, and you can send him ecards, pics and emails...1 stamp a piece. It's your choice whether you include a reply paid stamp to him, but it's a cheap, secure way of communicating with them...if you've only ever added them via Jpay, they won't have any information about you, other than what you provide them with in the body of the email (except for your name which is provided on the email pro forma they receive I believe) so it's safe/secure. You choose whether you send a reply paid stamp to them...which they can only use to write to you....if you physically send them stamps, then they can use those to write to anyone on their Jpay friends list.

Good luck and if there's any warning signs about him, then you can delete him...simple.

Hugs
Naomi
Iowa and Oklahoma definitely charge fees to send to inmates a corrlinks message. But they also state that charges will be applied based on the agreements with the correctional institution. So the charges depends on where they are at and what the facility determines should be charged if anything.
My man is in locked up in FCI-Fairton and I don't have to pay to email him but he has to pay to read and write to me which charges him 5 cents per minute.
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tangerinedream View Post
Let me clear this.. He told me he has "internet access" so no conclusion jumping on that part. However call it what you choose.
When he says internet access he is referring to JPay on the kiosk. The Kiosk is set up for them to access the internet and use the Jpay system but they have limitations on what they can do (only go to the email site) and everything is monitored by the CO's before it get's processed out and received. My man refers to it as internet access too and all he is allowed to do is get on the corrlinks website and email me. I really do think that you are having a miscommunication with your pen pal and should possibly write him and ask him to clarify what he means instead of jumping to conclusions. To me it sounds like he wants you to add him to JPay so he can email you and interact with you faster then it would take to snail mail.
I am sure if he was trying to run a scam on you and had real internet access that was unmonitored he would be asking you to add him to facebook or something that the CO's couldn't monitor and he could say and do whatever he wished. Inmate emails are just like hand written letters the have to be approved before they are delivered to ensure no hidden messages, escape plans, or illegal activities are taking place.
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  #50  
Old 12-28-2015, 01:22 AM
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THIS IS TOTALLY NORMAL! I first learned about jpay from the very first letter of my very first penpal and we've been writing for years. It's simply a way to write emails and I love it. It's cheap and convenient for me and I've always sent my penpals jpay stamps. What's the big deal? They write me and that's what I want them to do, win-win!

You will know when they are asking for money because they will say, "Can I have some money?" then you say yes or no. This is not brain surgery here. It's common for penpals to ask for or need stamps. They make about $20-40 per month with prison jobs (which often also needs to go to food, hygiene products, etc) so this is a big charge for them to handle. For me, I make 100 times this amount and it's chump change. I also send them gifts occasionally (maybe every 3-4 months). Ideally you will be making a friend. It's ok if you give gifts to your friends. I actually enjoy it. Everyone has different boundaries/idea of exchange and inmates have no way of knowing what you want to do or not so sometimes it's trial and error, until they know you well (and vice versa). So there's no need to get your panties in a bunch over being taken advantage of right now.

He's actually not even asking for ANYTHING (stamps, gifts, money). He's just introducing the very common access of email. It is NOT a red flag, TOTALLY normal, and something that you may REALLY LIKE.

Btw, I've written over 500+ jpay emails and never had a problem with them having my card number. It's a legitimate service that's linked to the DOC (department of corrections since you seem really new around here!) My advice is to check it out and enjoy it
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