Credit and Debit Cards Now Being Accepted at the Sarasota County Jail

Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins

Until Wednesday, April 16, 2014, making a bail payment was gravely inconvenient for Sarasota inmates who were granted bail. Inmates who were unfortunate enough to be arrested on a weekend or holiday often had trouble uncovering large amounts of cash due to the fact that many banks were closed. The limited payment options led to unnecessary prison stays as inmates with no access to cash were forced to spend nights, weekends and/or holidays incarcerated while waiting for the banks to open.

A new company catering to government agencies has changed the way future inmates will pay their bail. As of Wednesday, inmates who desire to make bail payments of up to $750 can do so with credit, debit and prepaid cards by visiting the easily accessible company called GovPayNet. This company accepts bail payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. Inmates wishing to post bail for themselves can do so by calling 1-877-EZBAIL5 or logging onto the company’s website. In order to make a payment, inmates will be required to have their credit or debit card number along with the expiration date and security code located on the back of the card and their four digit pay location. The pay location is the four digit Sarasota County Jail location number the company has assigned to the jail. Law enforcement officials should be able to help inmates wishing to post bail in finding this four digit number.

GovPayNet makes it easy for friends and family members to post bail on behalf of their incarcerated loved ones utilizing the above mentioned procedure. In addition to pay location and credit card info, friends and family members will be required to verify inmate information over the phone or on the website. The company has multi-lingual customer service representatives on standby throughout the duration of their business hours, meaning foreign language speaking citizens can receive assistance in posting bail 24-7 and 365 as well. Their customer service reps speak upwards from 170 different languages although the primary languages are English and Spanish.

GovPayNet proudly serves more than 650 correctional facilities and that number continues to escalate over time. The County Sheriff of Sarasota is quite pleased with the service which does not cost the Sarasota County Jail any out of pocket expenses and is expected to save a great deal of taxpayer dollars in the meantime. The new and improved bail payment procedure will help to eliminate prison overcrowding and will also save inmates who have been granted bail from the hassle of spending a night, holiday or weekend in jail.

GovPayNet is currently assisting more than 1,400 government agencies in processing electronic payments. Their elongated list of services includes payment processing for traffic tickets, court fees, fines, property and real estate taxes and of course, bail payments. They provide reporting and tracking at no cost to the agencies who take advantage of their service.