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. Yusuf

    February 21, 2018 - 7:56 am

    Why are some audio downloads available in some state but not others. Does the state control content?

  2. Chantelle Lee

    November 24, 2017 - 9:59 am

    How can I upload my music onto JPAY

  3. Whitney Harper

    November 14, 2017 - 11:12 pm

    I am wanting to know how I can get my music on the JP3 Players???

  4. Sammie bailey

    November 10, 2017 - 7:28 pm

    I need to know step by step how to get my music on jpay

  5. Nathan

    November 10, 2017 - 3:03 am

    Where can I find the music I purchased through jpay while I was in prison?

  6. JPayModerator


    November 2, 2017 - 1:53 pm

    Hi Barbara – Please contact our customer support at for more information.

  7. Barbara

    October 31, 2017 - 9:23 pm

    I have a friend incarcerated in Virginia who asked me to upload our music on Jpay. Our music is on Itunes, but not sure how to get it on Jpay so that my friend and others can purchase it. Can you help?
    Music by The Fryed Brothers Band. Thank you

  8. Shante

    October 24, 2017 - 7:01 pm

    Hello I am a independent artist who are looking to upload a few albums along with another artist from my team we called jpa y 1800 number and they told us to e- mail y’all can someone tell us how we can get out albums on jpay

  9. Tiffany

    October 21, 2017 - 8:40 pm

    I would like to know who is the distributor you get your music from so I can contact them.

  10. JPayModerator


    October 4, 2017 - 3:59 pm

    Hi – LG – The music available for download on the kiosk are only provided in Non-Explicit versions. We thank you for your interest.

  11. Marie Matthews

    September 19, 2017 - 1:39 pm

    can you tell me how to add music to jpay for inmates to purchase?

  12. Elle

    September 16, 2017 - 3:04 am

    Does anyone know how I can get my artists music in the Jpay Kiosks

  13. mario

    September 5, 2017 - 9:59 am

    What third party company does jpay get music through and how can i get my music in jpay?

  14. LG

    August 28, 2017 - 11:46 pm

    Hi, can you tell me if the music is only available in clean/ radio versions?

  15. Editor

    August 15, 2017 - 3:19 pm

    Hi Christopher – Congrats on your release! In order to have your JP5 Tablet unlocked, please send it to the following address:

    ATTN: Media Department

    12034 Miramar Pkwy

    Miramar, FL 33025​

    Please make sure to include your name, previous ID #, a phone number to contact you with the status of the JP5 and a mailing address to return the unlocked JP5. Once the JP5 is unlocked, you can then connect it to a computer to upload your media downloads as well as add new media to the device. Please let us know if you have any questions. Have a nice day!

  16. susie

    August 8, 2017 - 12:29 pm

    Hi, can you please help me? I’ve tried so hard to get in contact with someone at JPAY. We are friends with a child whose father will be in prison for many, many years to come. We want him to be able to get something called “Through the Bible” which is a five year Bible Study by J. Vernon McGee. It is something that is shared around the world, has podcasts and audio and more. PLease help, thanks.

  17. Editor

    July 7, 2017 - 2:03 pm

    Hi Brenda – The JP5 tablet is available in Ohio.The best way to find out pricing is to log into your JPay account on and see which options are available for you to purchase on your loved ones’ behalf. If the option to purchase the JP5 tablet is not available from your JPay account, please contact our customer service at 800-574-5729 for assistance. Keep in mind, your loved one can only have one tablet. However, if he/she currently has a JP5 device, only he/she could upgrade or purchase a new tablet from the kiosk. This is often the reason why people don’t see the option to buy a JP5 device on

  18. christopher nichols

    July 3, 2017 - 12:06 pm

    i was recently released and have a jp5 tablet that has now locked up on me. i need to know how do i get the locked removed from it? no answer from the jpay customer service hotline. so could someone please tell me how to get this issue taken care

  19. Brenda Anderson

    June 29, 2017 - 2:32 pm

    Is the JPay 5 available on Ohio? IF so what is the cost?

  20. Editor

    June 21, 2017 - 10:03 am

    Hi Joe, we do not publish the music library that is available to inmates; they can view and browse it on the JPay kiosks in their units.

  21. Joe byam

    June 21, 2017 - 9:09 am

    Hi, is there a way to see what songs and albums are available to inmates? I can’t find any information about this on the internet. Thank you, Joe

  22. Lee Sturdivant

    May 30, 2017 - 4:21 pm

    SlapBoy Muzik Smacc da Trappa

  23. Editor

    April 24, 2017 - 2:44 pm

    Hi Crystal – Yes but very uncommon.

  24. Crystal

    April 24, 2017 - 9:19 am

    Is it possible for an inmate to crack the screen on his tablet ?

  25. Editor

    March 14, 2017 - 10:42 am

    Hi Atheena- Please contact our customer support at

  26. Atheena Goble

    March 12, 2017 - 12:37 pm

    I am an independent artist and want my music to be everywhere. How can I get my music distributed on to JPay for inmates to buy?

  27. Editor

    February 14, 2017 - 10:09 am

    Hi Kc- We are not accepting new music at this time.

  28. Kc

    February 12, 2017 - 5:06 pm

    How can I get my music for sale on jpay

  29. Editor

    December 28, 2016 - 11:41 am

    Hi Thomas – We do not accept music for our kiosk. If you have additional questions, please contact our customer service at 800-574-5729.

  30. Thomas

    December 24, 2016 - 11:33 am

    How do you get your music distributed on Jpay for resale?

  31. Editor

    December 12, 2016 - 11:06 am

    Hi Tarji- We are working on finalizing the details and we will make sure to communicate any updates. Have a great day!

  32. tarji marshall

    December 9, 2016 - 1:58 am

    when will movies and ebooks be available for purchase, the movies are in rumor jpay talks about ebooks just no release date.

  33. Editor

    December 5, 2016 - 10:43 am

    Hi Kris- The JP5 tablet is not available in Kansas.

  34. Kris

    December 1, 2016 - 7:12 pm

    Are the JP media tablets available in El Dorado prison in El Dorado, ks.?

  35. Editor

    December 1, 2016 - 11:48 am

    Hi Jazzy- Please contact our customer support at for more information.

  36. Editor

    December 1, 2016 - 11:38 am

    Hi Corliss- We use a third-party provider for music.

  37. Editor

    November 28, 2016 - 10:11 am

    Hi Julia- Music is not available in the state of North Dakota. Please be aware we are working to bring more services, including music.

  38. Corliss

    November 26, 2016 - 6:48 am

    Where do you get the music from, that’s in the jpay music library?

  39. Julia H.

    November 24, 2016 - 11:58 am

    Why can’t I order music for my son who is at Dakota?

  40. Jazzy

    November 18, 2016 - 4:14 pm

    Hello I am a independent label owner and I’m interested in getting my artist music in the prison system. And I was wondering if you could reply to my email and send me detailed information on how to go about successfully getting all of my artists music in the prison system for sale?

  41. Editor

    October 14, 2016 - 10:36 am

    Hi Mildred- Please have your loved one submit a trouble ticket and our support team will be able to assist him.

  42. mildred

    October 9, 2016 - 5:35 pm

    how does an inmate fix his broken jp5 tablet, the usb cord need to be replaced. he is in the state of Georgia, how can this be fix.

  43. Editor

    September 6, 2016 - 10:57 am

    Hi Monique- We do not accept new music for our kiosks. Thank you for your interest. Have a great day!

  44. Editor

    September 6, 2016 - 10:40 am

    Hi Andre- We do not accept new music for our kiosks. Have a great day!

  45. Andre lamb

    September 4, 2016 - 3:44 pm

    Does JPay receive music from independent artist..If so how can I sell music to Jpay

  46. Monique Taylor

    September 1, 2016 - 4:28 pm

    How can I upload my music to jpay for sale.

  47. Editor

    August 25, 2016 - 1:10 pm

    Hi Dalia- Thank you for interest. At this time we do not any information regarding the availability in the state of Texas but will make sure to communicate any updates. Have a great day!

  48. Dalia

    August 25, 2016 - 8:43 am

    When will the jp3 players will be available to purchase in Huntsville tx

  49. Vincent

    February 15, 2014 - 10:07 am

    This is truly amazing -thank you jpay!

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