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Inmates hack prison tablets, transfer nearly $225k into own accounts

In a prepared statement, prison officials in Boise, Idaho said that as many as 364 inmates hacked JPay tablets and collectively transferred nearly a quarter of a million dollars into their own accounts.

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Idaho Department of Correction spokesman Jeff Ray says the department’s special investigations unit discovered the problem earlier this month, and the improper conduct involved no taxpayer dollars.

JPay is a corrections-related service that provides technology including money transfer, email and video visitation. The service can deposit money via electronic payment which includes credit and debit payments into an inmate’s account.

The handheld computer tablets are popular in prisons across the country, and are made available to Idaho inmates through a contract with CenturyLink and JPay. Neither company immediately responded to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

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Ray said in a prepared statement that the inmates were “intentionally exploiting a vulnerability within JPay to improperly increase their JPay account balances.” He said 50 inmates credited their accounts in amounts exceeding $1,000; the largest amount credited by a single inmate was just under $10,000.

The total amount was nearly $225,000.

The inmates involved are housed at the Idaho State Correctional Institution, Idaho State Correctional Center, Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino, South Idaho Correctional Institution and the Correctional Alternative Placement Plan facility operated by private prison company MTC Inc.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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