JPay takes kickbacks and uses lobbyists in order to promote their program for institutions. The system has plenty of room for corruption, as it influences many correctional organizations with lavish parties.
JPay's fees also put pressure on the poorest families; this is especially true if one of the parents is in prison. Many people in prison are from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, and though the JPay system ensures that an incarcerated parent can stay in touch with their loved ones on the outside, it can also contribute further to their poverty.
JPay also operates as a monopoly in many states. Privatized prisons often use their own set of vendors, thus prohibiting prisoners from receiving goods from the outside so that the prisons can make more money by selling goods in the prison store. JPay is another example of a monopoly that provides a means for prisoners to buy goods with fees. The prisoners are not free to pursue other options; this gives JPay an unfair advantage.
JPay has also been hacked, and since the company has a monopoly, it has little reason to innovate. Prisoners in an Idaho penitentiary have hacked the system in order to gain several thousand dollars worth of free credits. JPay provides motivation for prisoners to learn how to commit cyber crime.
With JPay, it is possible for prisoners to spend too much of their money on videos and music. Two problems inmates face are impulse control and boredom. Impulse control is often what got prisoners into trouble in the first place. If one has little to do in one's spare time and is given a tablet to buy music, one might spend too much time buying music just to pass the time. Prisoners do not make much money at their jobs, so this may create a hardship for prisoners who lack financial discipline.
JPay services can also be abused by inmates. For example, music downloaded by some inmates can be offensive to others. Emails and video services can also be abused if they are not closely monitored. Since many privately owned prisons are not adequately staffed, the possibility of abuse of the system is even greater.