JPay Blog

Beats Behind Bars – JPay Brings Digital Music to Prison

An introduction to the JP3 player and the JPay media platform

The JP3 PlayerMany of our readers, even those who are longtime JPay customers, are interested in learning more about the products and services available to their incarcerated loved ones.  This post looks at one of the most dynamic (and popular!) products JPay offers: the JP3 player and media platform, which gives inmates in five states access to millions of digital music tracks.

Music In Prison
Access to music in American prisons is not a new phenomenon; as long ago as 1952, academic studies have explored the effect of music on inmate populations. In some departments of correction and individual prison facilities, listening to a transistor radio in either living units or common areas was a desirable privilege.   As personal music devices became available to the public in the late 1970s and early 1980s, prison administrations recognized their potential as behavior modification tools (both as an incentive/privilege and as a way to calm populations).  Personal, portable cassette players – and later personal CD players – with headphones proliferated in America’s prisons.

The inherent challenges with these personal music players is that require a separate media source (a record, cassette, or CD).  Distribution of media, theft, and misuse create substantial issues for facility staff.  Coupled with the fact that a shard of broken plastic, like a shattered CD, can become an improvised weapon, it is clear that devices that reply on external media are not the ideal vehicles for delivering music to inmate populations.

Better Players, Better MusicJP3s tested and ready to go
Technological evolution provided a solution, however, with the introduction of solid-state playback devices.  Many media players available to the public contain no internal moving parts, which makes then difficult to disassemble and misuse.  Most importantly, today’s media players do not rely on external media, but rather play back downloaded digital music.  This makes the MP3-format player uniquely suitable for corrections environments, needing only a few modifications to become the ideal prison music player.

The JP3 player has all of those modifications; it is effectively prison-proof and seamlessly delivered to inmates.  Constructed of clear shatterproof plastic, featuring no moving parts, and a break-resistant screen, the device has been tested time and again in some of the hardest prison environments in the country.

JPay currently offers the JP3 player at facilities in Michigan, Washington, Georgia and Louisiana.  Tens of thousands of inmates in these states can purchase the player –or have their loved ones purchase the player for them through – for $39.99.  The players themselves plug into the JPay kiosks installed in the living units at the facilities, where the inmate can preview, purchase and download music tracks from a library of more than 10 million titles, including hits from many of today’s most popular artists.  Songs can be purchased individually or by album, usually for around $1.99 apiece.

JP3 Players Ready to ShipOnce a JP3 player is purchased, it is registered to the inmate and shipped directly to their facility, which can take a few weeks.  This registration process ensures that the player can only be used in conjunction with that inmate’s password-protected account on the JPay kiosks; this helps prevent theft, since the JP3 player would lock in a non-functioning state if another inmate attempted to use it.

The JP3 is also delivered to the inmate preloaded with three simple games: a Tetris-like block game, Sudoku, and a picture puzzle.  Additional media like audiobooks are available to download to the JP3 in some facilities. JPay’s next generation digital device – the JP4, like a phablet without the phone – will allow inmates to read and compose emails, download saved photo attachments, and even play video.

To learn more about the JP3 player, or to purchase one for your loved one, visit

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  1. JPayJT

    May 7, 2019 - 4:07 pm

    Hi Yusuf – Yes, the state approves the contents they want to be available in the facility. Thanks!

  2. JPayJT

    May 7, 2019 - 2:06 pm

    Hi Samantha – Please email and customer service will direct your email to the appropriate product manager. Thanks!

  3. JPayJT

    May 7, 2019 - 12:46 pm

    Hi Will – Please email and customer service will direct your email to the appropriate product manager. Thanks!

  4. JPayJT

    March 28, 2019 - 3:48 pm

    Hi Shelbi – Please email and customer service will direct your email to the appropriate product manager. Thanks!

  5. Shelbi Johnson

    March 24, 2019 - 1:48 am

    How can we distribute my BMI registered music thru jpay music exclusively with out going through a major distribution platform. I only want to go thru j pay music

  6. JPayJT

    February 20, 2019 - 2:18 pm

    Hi Dexter – Our music vendor provides the catalog the individuals purchase an preview music from. Please email and customer service will direct your email to the appropriate product manager. Thanks!

  7. dexter

    February 11, 2019 - 3:21 pm

    what music catalog does jpay use for inmates to use? for example when an inmate goes to search and buy music what catalog is that?

  8. JPayJT

    January 25, 2019 - 11:31 am

    Hi J – Please email and customer service will direct your email to the appropriate product manager. Thanks!

  9. J

    January 23, 2019 - 8:38 am

    Please direct me on how to get my artist music in the prisons kiosik ..I am finding that a few of these on line companies are scams …asking for money up front to tell you how to do it..

  10. JPayJT

    January 16, 2019 - 12:30 pm

    Hi Milton – Please email; customer service will direct your email to the appropriate product manager. Thanks!

  11. Milton Ashford

    January 13, 2019 - 12:58 pm

    I was wondering how can I get my music put on jpay I have some love ones that want to purchase my music. The name is at dat chu by f.kom u can email me or give me a call @ (567) 322- 2604

  12. JPayJT

    December 14, 2018 - 12:37 pm

    Hi Xrystyne – Your loved one should write a trouble ticket through the JPay kiosk explaining the issues. A Customer Service representative will respond with next steps. Thanks!

  13. Xrystyne

    December 13, 2018 - 7:46 am

    My loved one has a problem with his JP3 mp3 player, it no longer works or turns on. How can this be resolved?

  14. JPayJT

    September 13, 2018 - 1:14 pm

    Hi Lacey – You can see all services available in TX on Thanks!

  15. Lacey

    September 8, 2018 - 6:54 pm

    I need to know of any of the services are there none at all for Texas other then the basics?like email .n such.

  16. Will

    May 21, 2018 - 2:17 pm

    Hi I’m Will and I have music and was interested in uploading music to jpay for inmates to purchase, can you please send me a link or instructions to complete the process.

  17. Samantha

    April 19, 2018 - 3:04 am

    Where can I upload ORIGINAL music so that the incarcerated brother’s & sisters can purchase it?

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