The "prison trade system" on Alipay platform allows prisoners to receive money from their relatives and spend in the prison electronically. (Photo: Zhang Han/GT)
Relatives of prisoners being held at the Beijing Municipal Administration of Prisons (BMAP) can now send up to 1,000 yuan ($148) per month to a prisoner's online account which they can spend electronically at the prison.
The "Prison trade system" aims at providing better service for prisoners and their families. With the help of Alipay and other payment platforms, the prisoners can automatically receive money from their relatives online.
The internal, online platform is automatically supervised and has helped reduce the workload of prison officials. "Guards no longer need to help prisoners withdraw cash. It's a system that benefits everyone," an official of BMAP told the Global Times. Prisoners can make purchases at the prison's tuck shops with the help of a special machine, and keep track of their account balance.
"If receiving 1,000 yuan per month is enough for a prisoner, maybe it's time for me to get in there," said a Weibo user.