It makes sense to give money to people who won’t necessarily be released from custody soon.
Prisons and jails have shifted more and more costs onto incarcerated people — costs for things like hygiene supplies, medical copayments, and communication with loved ones.
Since incarcerated people have little ability to earn money, they tend to rely on money transfers from friends and family to pay for basic necessities. But as family members on the outside (who are often low-income to begin with) lose their jobs in the pandemic-induced economic collapse, families will be increasingly less able to send money to loved ones inside.
Providing stimulus funds to incarcerated people helps protect the health and well-being of those behind bars and provides relief to their loved ones at home.