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Parole

Offenders

  • How do I request a hardship transfer?
  • Special consideration for transfer may be made when an offender's family member has medical problems limiting the family member's ability to travel long distances. Requests must come from an immediate family member who is currently listed on the offender’s approved visitors list, and requires documentation from the attending physician of the family member’s inability to travel long distances. Such documentation should be on the physician’s letterhead and signed by the physician. Written requests should be mailed to the TDCJ Classification and Records Department, Attention OCIM, P.O. Box 99, Huntsville, TX, 77342. Although submitting a request does not guarantee the offender will be moved to a unit closer to the family, you can be assured the agency will give careful consideration to the request.

  • What if the offender’s time calculations are not correct?
  • Offenders may file a Time Dispute Resolution form if they feel their time has been incorrectly calculated. Questions from the general public pertaining to time calculations may be submitted to the TDCJ Classification and Records Department, P.O. Box 99, Huntsville, TX 77342 or call (936) 437-6231 by email: classify@tdcj.texas.gov.

  • How do I find out when my family member will be released from TDCJ?
  • Please see Offender Information and perform an “Offender Search” to get the date and location of an offender’s release. If release information is not provided, the offender has not been scheduled for release at this time.

  • Are offenders allowed to make telephone calls?
  • There are two (2) options available for offenders to make telephone calls. The Offender Telephone System (OTS) allows eligible offenders to make pre-paid telephone calls to friends and family. Offenders in certain custodies may be allowed one 5-minute collect phone call every 90 days. Calls are monitored and may be made only to approved individuals. These calls are made on the TDCJ owned unit telephones. For more information concerning OTS or to register, see offender telephone.

  • How do I find out about the use of the Offender Telephone System?
  • Before you can receive calls from a TDCJ offender, you must first register your telephone number. To register, contact the telephone vendor at 1-866-806-7804 or through the vendor’s website at texasprisonphone.com. To register you will be required to confirm that you are the registered owner of the telephone number and will not forward or make three-way calls received from the offender. You must also be at least 18 years old and agree to allow the offender to call.

    The following rules apply to the OTS:
    • Calls are limited in length
    • All calls, except to the Attorney of Record, are recorded and subject to monitoring
    • Calls may only be made to landline telephone numbers and post-paid cell phones; no calls are allowed to pre-paid cell or Internet telephone service or international numbers; and
    • To receive calls, the telephone number owner’s name must match the name on the registrant’s driver’s license or state identification card and the telephone bill listing.

    For more information, including complaints, pertaining to the e-Messaging Service or the Offender Telephone System, please contact the following, in writing:

    TDCJ – Information Technology Division
    Offender Telephone System Contract Manager
    P.O. Box 4016
    Huntsville, TX 77342-4016
    Email: offenderphones@tdcj.texas.gov

    Offenders who are not eligible for the OTS due to custody level shall be authorized access to state-owned telephones designated by the warden, if the offenders have not been found guilty of any major disciplinary violations within the last 90 days (30 days for state jail offenders). Offenders whose medical condition precludes work and who meet all other requirements shall be eligible to participate. To request a telephone call, offenders shall submit an I-60, “Inmate Request to an Official” form for approval by the warden.

  • What must an offender do to get out of a Security Threat Group or gang?
    1. An offender must contact the Security Threat Group Officer (STGO) at the unit level in writing and renounce his membership and affiliation with the STG or gang.
    2. The STGO will then interview and investigate the offender’s claims of disassociation. Upon completion of the investigation, the STGO will submit a recommendation to the STGMO located in Huntsville, Texas.

    The STGMO in Huntsville will make the final decision regarding the eligibility of the offender for placement into the Gang Renouncement and Disassociation (GRAD) process for administrative segregation offenders, the General Population Gang Renouncement and Disassociation (GPGRAD) process for the general population gang member or the Administrative Segregation Diversion Program (ASDP) for offenders returning to the custody of the TDCJ-CID who were previously assigned to administrative segregation as an STG member.

  • Will participation in the GRAD, GPGRAD or ASDP prevent an offender from being paroled?
  • No, an offender in GRAD, GPGRAD or ASDP will not be denied release to parole if they are in the program.

  • How do I get transportation arranged for my loved one being released from TDCJ?
  • When the time for release from prison draws near, the offender who is eligible for parole, is interviewed by the institutional parole officer to determine residence and employment plans. Offenders with special medical or mental health needs receive information from a field services representative about medication and other relevant aftercare plans.

    Most offenders are released from regional release sites, releasing them closer to their county of conviction, residence or approved release county. Regional release sites are located at the Clements Unit (Amarillo), Crain Unit (Gatesville), Huntsville Unit (Huntsville), Hutchins State Jail (Dallas), McConnell Unit (Beeville), and Robertson Unit (Abilene).

    All male offenders with a detainer, classified as sex offenders, have special conditions of Super Intensive Supervision Program (SISP) or Electronic Monitoring imposed by the Board of Pardons and Paroles are released from the Huntsville Unit.

    Female offenders are released from Gatesville. Releases from all facilities occur between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

    Note, scheduled releases may be subject to change.

    Each offender is given a set of civilian clothing and a bus voucher (if traveling by bus), in addition to the remaining balance in the individual’s trust fund account. Offenders released to parole or mandatory supervision receive a $50.00 gate check and will receive another $50.00 check upon reporting to their parole officer. Prison offenders that complete their sentence in the Correctional Institutions Division (flat discharge) receive a $100.00 gate check when released.

    State jail offenders are released from the unit of assignment, or given a bus voucher (if traveling by bus) to the county of residence. State Jail offenders do not receive money upon release (Texas Government Code, Section 501.015 (b)).

    Families may also elect to pick their loved one up at the releasing facility. Family members are encouraged to call the unit to verify the offender’s release prior to traveling.

  • How do I find out about costs and services for offenders requesting a medical appointment?
  • The TDCJ Patient Liaison Program (PLP) Family/Public Hotline number, 936-437-4271, is available for family members and the public to inquire about an incarcerated offender’s health care during business hours, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. A message can be left using the automated voicemail when calling after hours or when experiencing longer than normal hold times. The PLP coordinator or designee for the hotline will return the telephone call on the next business day.

  • How do I find the qualifications to be housed on a faith based dorm?
  • Faith-based dorms were implemented in January 2003 and are now located in many of the correctional facilities. The faith-based dorms offer support and accountability, along with an intensive faith-based curriculum and mentoring services to participants. The programming is conducted by local faith-based community volunteers whose activities are directed by the unit chaplain and unit administration. Offender participation is voluntary, open to all faiths or those of no faith. Offenders are selected in conjunction for participation by members of the unit administration, Classification, and the chaplain.

    Participating offenders must be OT, G1, G2, G3, G4 J1, or J2 minimum custody level.

    The duration of offender participation may not exceed two years.

  • How do I get placed on an offender’s visitation list?
  • During the intake process, each offender will be asked to submit a list of no more than 10 names and addresses of proposed visitors to the warden or designee on the RO-1, Request for Placement on Visitors List. Each name submitted must include the physical address and phone number of the proposed visitor and the visitor’s relationship to the offender. An offender, not a visitor, must request to have a visitor added to the Visitors List. The visitor cannot request to be placed on an offender Visitors List. Offenders do not receive visits until the intake process is complete and offenders are classified and custody assigned.

  • How do I send an Ecomm?
  • The TDCJ has initiated an on-line program (www.texas.gov/eCommDirect) where friends and family may purchase up to $60.00 of certain commissary items every calendar quarter for eligible offenders. The items available for purchase include certain snacks, hygiene products, correspondence supplies and newly packaged items. The amount purchased will not affect the amount that offenders may spend on commissary items from funds deposited into their inmate trust fund accounts. Offenders on commissary restriction, offenders in general population and state jail levels four and five, and administrative segregation levels two and three are not eligible to receive commissary purchases through this program.

  • How do I send a JPAY?
  • Jpay allows you to send money to an offender for services fees starting at $3.95. You may visit their website at www.jpay.com or call 1-800-574-JPAY to send funds using Visa, Discover, or Mastercard credit/debit cards. You may also make cash deposits at MoneyGram locations nationwide using an Express Payment form. You may also make cash deposits from their home after setting up a cash collection account with a Jpay customer service representative.

  • How do I get money to my loved one so they can purchase commissary items?
  • The Inmate Trust Fund, provides a place of safekeeping for funds an offender may have access to, but not physical control of during their incarceration. Several Trust Fund deposit options are now available and include:

    • Money orders or cashier’s checks;
    • Monthly checking account debit (ACH);
    • Western Union Quick Collect;
    • Western Union Convenience Pay
    • America’s Cash Express (ACE)
    • JPay
    • Touchpay
    • Texas.gov

    For more information, please see the General Information Guide for Families: English/Español.

  • What qualifications does my loved one need to attend college and vocational classes?
  • For offenders with a GED or high school diploma, academic and vocational post-secondary educational opportunities are available through the Rehabilitation Programs Division (RPD) which contracts with community colleges and universities. RPD contracts with eight colleges and two universities which provide academic and vocational programs for offenders. Associate (two year), Baccalaureate (four year) and Masters Degrees are awarded upon completion of degree requirements. A certificate of completion is awarded after satisfactory completion of a vocational program. College credit may be awarded for vocational courses. Eligibility requirements to participate in a college academic or vocational program, are set by the TDCJ and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, admission and registration requirements of the college must be met by all students.

  • How do I contact the PREA Ombudsman?
  • Anyone knowledgeable of an offender-on-offender or staff-on-offender sexual abuse or sexual harassment that occurs within a TDCJ correctional facility is encouraged to immediately report the allegation in writing to:

    PREA Ombudsman Office
    P.O. Box 99
    Huntsville, TX 77342-0099
    936-437-2133 (phone)
    936-437-6981 (fax)
    prea.ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov

  • How do I request assistance with reentry resources or employment?
  • Call the reentry hotline at 1-877-887-6151 or contact a reentry case manager at your local parole office if you are on supervision. See also the reentry resource guide.

  • How does an offender appeal a disciplinary case he/she received?
  • As stated in the TDCJ Offender Orientation Handbook, given to each offender upon entry into the prison system, offenders have the right to appeal any disciplinary decision made by the unit. This appeal is done by using the offender grievance procedure and submitted to the warden or unit grievance staff. If the offender is not satisfied with the warden or unit grievance staff's decision, the offender may then file the next level of grievance for appeal purposes. The Counsel Substitute will assist offenders with an appeal if they request assistance. Offenders are encouraged to use informal measures to address concerns at the unit level, where applicable.