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Send money to someone in prison

Public-facing site for Prisoner Money suite of apps.


  • Unix-like platform with Python 3.6+ and NodeJS 10 (e.g. via nvm)

Running locally

It's recommended that you use a python virtual environment to isolate each application.

The simplest way to do this is using:

python3 -m venv venv    # creates a virtual environment for dependencies; only needed the first time
. venv/bin/activate     # activates the virtual environment; needed every time you use this app

Some build tasks expect the active virtual environment to be at /venv/, but should generally work regardless of its location.

You can copy mtp_send_money/settings/ to to overlay local settings that won't be committed, but it’s not required for a standard setup.

In order to run the application locally, it is necessary to have the API running. Please refer to the money-to-prisoners-api repository.

Once the API has started locally, run

./ serve
# or
./ start

This will build everything and run the local server at http://localhost:8004/. The former also starts browser-sync at http://localhost:3004/.

All build/development actions can be listed with ./ --verbosity 2 help.

Alternative: Docker

In order to run a server that's exactly similar to the production machines, you need to have Docker installed. Run

./ local_docker

and you should be able to connect to the local server.



With the ./ command, you can run a browser-sync server, and get the assets to automatically recompile when changes are made, run ./ serve instead of ./ start. The server is then available at the URL indicated.

./ test

Runs all the application tests.

You can connect a local version of money-to-prisoners-common for development by pre-pending the following task to the run script.

python_dependencies --common-path [path]


Update translation files with ./ make_messages – you need to do this every time any translatable text is updated.

Pull updates from Transifex with ./ translations --pull. You'll need to update translation files afterwards and manually check that the merges occurred correctly.

Push latest English to Transifex with ./ translations --push. NB: you should pull updates before pushing to merge correctly.


This is handled by money-to-prisoners-deploy.

Additional Bespoke Packages

There are several dependencies of the money-to-prisoners-send-money python library which are maintained by this team, so they may require code-changes when the dependencies (e.g. Django) of the money-to-prisoners-send-money python library are incremented.