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Bank accused of charging ex-inmates with card fees it doesn’t charge to others

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

PHOENIX — Getting the sweet taste of freedom after being in prison is something most inmates surely think about constantly, but according to one accusation, that taste could be costly.

The Bank of America Corporation was accused of charging extra fees to thousands of ex-inmates of Arizona prisons, and the bank was hit with a proposed class action suit, according to one website.

When inmates get released, they are issued prepaid debit cards to get money back that was taken from them at the time of their arrest, or to receive money that was earned through programs in place.

The Bank of America allegedly was charging ex-inmates with those cards just to withdraw money, even as much as $15 to those who take out money at a bank teller window.

According to Reuters, “More than 19,000 inmates are released each year by the Arizona Department of Corrections … Bank of America can impose whatever terms it wants because it has an exclusive right to provide the debit cards to Arizona inmates, the lawsuit said.”

The lawsuit said those same card fees are not charged to other individuals.

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