The ATM machine in the lobby of the Orange County Detention Center, operated by OASIS Management, will no longer assess any direct fees for cash deposits made on behalf of incarcerated individuals by their friends and loved ones. This change follows an agreement signed last month between OASIS and the Sheriff’s Office.
“Orange County government is committed to reducing excessive fees assessed against justice-involved individuals and their families. Eliminating transaction fees for cash deposits is a small, but important, step toward this goal,” said Caitlin Fenhagen, Criminal Justice Resource Director for Orange County.
The detention center is cashless; when a person is booked into the facility, he or she must deposit any money they have on their person into an account. To do this, the inmate uses a kiosk inside the detention center in the booking room. The inmate receives the full value of his or her initial deposit. The money is then available for haircuts or to purchase snacks, preferred personal hygiene supplies, or items such as stamps, art pads and Bibles.
However, inmates may have little or no money with them at the time they are booked into the detention center. Therefore, family and friends often deposit funds into the account of their loved one during his or her stay at the facility. Fees will still be assessed for credit and debit deposits made at the ATM in the lobby or online, but individuals depositing cash at the ATM in the lobby of the detention center will no longer incur a $3 transaction fee.
OASIS operates both the booking center kiosk and the lobby ATM. The presence of these machines allows Detention Center staff to focus on maintaining a safe, clean environment; they do not have to collect, count, secure, or oversee the financial affairs of inmates. OASIS provides and maintains the machines and provides 24/7 support.
“Incarcerated individuals are obviously unable to work,” said Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood. “That loss of income already creates a hardship for the person and their family. Bills still need to be paid; children still need to be fed. When loved ones have to pay high transaction fees, it unduly adds an additional financial burden to them during a time that is already stressful and difficult. When the Criminal Justice Resource Department approached me about this initiative, I had no objection and the county agreed to fund the program. It is important to remember that inmates in the detention center have not been convicted of a crime. Punishment should begin at conviction, not arrest.”