Profiting from Prisoners

Published — October 15, 2014

How Bank of America and JPMorgan locked down a captive market



Bank of America’s original, no-bid deal with the Treasury Department was to manage federal inmates’ accounts and prison store inventory. It was worth $14.4 million. In 14 years, the contract has expanded to include electronic money transfers, phone technology and e-messaging and grown to at least $76.3 million.

JPMorgan’s first contract to issue government debit cards was awarded in 1998. Treasury says the initial agreement is no longer available. A 2008 contract provided by Treasury was also awarded without competitive bidding.

This timeline tracks how the two deals broadened and became more lucrative as together they were amended at least 40 times. Dollar figures reflect the total value of the contract as of that contract amendment.

Read more in Inequality, Opportunity and Poverty

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