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As this article points out, unlike consumer debit cards, prison-issued cards are unregulated and subject to exorbitant fees.

1. What are the typical charges for these cards?
2. For the person that had $120 and was able to use only $70, calculate the percentage of fees.
3. Who is making the money on these release cards and approximately how many states are using them?

Diallo, A. (2015) Release cards’ turn inmates and their families into profit stream. AlJazeera (Retrievable online at