A minitrust account is opened by filling out our application form and then going through our review process. For now, this is restricted to newly released ex-felons, usually parolees.
Once a mintrust account is established, anyone can contribute into it. This can be friends, family, employers, or any supporter of the parolee.
In the case of Access2online Inc, the business model calls for a seamless transition from working for the in-prison unit to the outside unit. To support that transition, the written job offer made to inmates about to release includes a hiring bonus (aka relocation expense) of $1,000. After release and acceptance of the job offer, Access2online transitions the hiring bonus into a minitrust where the parolee will be the beneficiary and Access2online no longer manages the signup bonus. Other parolee supporters may contribute into the minitrust. All funds will be distributed against allowable expenses as covered by trustee instructions drafted by our attorney as summarized below.
How it Works for the Parolee
Minitrust beneficiaries are required to provide complete information regarding each funding request, typically via an online form, which may be completed by the payment recipient. The trustee will make a determination as to the likelihood of a payment being appropriate to the beneficiary’s successful return to lawful society. The following conditions apply:
- The amount requested must be equal to or less than the net minitrust funds available.
- The payment is not to be made directly to the parolee. The parolee may carry a check to the vendor of the desired products or services, but preferable is a payment mailed or made online directly to the vendor.
- It must be a request for:
- child care
- medical care
- work-related tools or resources, including for self-employment
- documentation support such as getting a drivers license, birth certificate, Social Security card, etc
- credit repair services
- treatment (substance abuse, anger management, etc)
- The trustee will request confirmation from the beneficiary’s Parole Officer (if one is available) that the expense is allowable under the parolee’s case plan, and a similar option is not available through alternate resources such as public assistance. Housing that supports teleworking, for example, is allowed since it is not similar to group housing where computer resources are unavailable or the group includes many who are unemployed and prone to manipulate or exploit.
- If a request is for transportation such as a car purchase, monthly bus pass, car insurance, or Uber account refill, the trustee will confirm its need to travel to employment, medical care, or treatment.
- If a request is for education (academic or vocational), the trustee will discuss the requirements for completion with the parolee’s school counselor and be satisfied that such completion is likely, effective for career development, and the least expensive way to achieve the desired results.