View Full Version : Money and Visitation forms

06-05-2005, 10:38 AM
HI there, I'm new to this forum but I try to get around. I'm from NC and I was an inmate there. It appears the rules for Ohio and North Carolina are different as far as sending money to an inmate, and I wanted to find out what the specifics are here in Ohio.

In North Carolina, the visitation list and the money orders are separate. By that I mean that I can have 5 people on my visitation list but anyone who knows me can send me money, in theory (I wish I had it so good).

For example, if I transferred to a NC prison, I have about 10 days to make out a visitation list. Let's say I put my mom, two brothers, a cousin and two friends on it. But let's say a friend not on the list, and from another state, wants to send me money. If they send it, then I can receive it, not problem.

But it seems that is not the case here in Ohio, and I wanted some clarification on it. It seems (and I could be wrong) that in order to send money to an inmate, you have to first be on the approved visitation list. I went to the Ohio Department of Corrections to look this up, and apparently this is true. But why should a person who wants to send money have to be on a visitation form? What if the person can't visit? What if he or she is 1000 miles away in another state? What this seems to be implying is that if I for example wanted to send a friend in Ohio some money, I have to submit my personal information to the prison to go through and decide if I am worthy enough to send money to a friend. What if I was incarcerated before (in my case that is true)? What if for example my grandfather wanted to send money, and he was in prison for 6 months back in 1950 (an example)? Does that bear on the decisions of Ohio prisons whether an inmate can receive money or not?

This is pretty interesting because it almost looks to me that a citizen can't send money to an inmate unless the prison says they can. It's not so much taking a privilege from an inmate as it might be invasion of privacy to the citizen. I just don't see why a person has to be put on a visitation form in order to send money. Maybe you guys can help me out here. When I was in NC prison I was kicked out (tranferred) of several prisons because I looked at the letter of the rule, and it didn't make sense as the prison interpreted it. IF it makes sense, then fine, I can live with it. But if it does not make sense, then something is wrong with the rule because it almost seems like additional punishment to inmates. I know as in inmate you lose SOME rights, like the right to privacy, and in some states the right to vote, but the right to have money or have money sent to you I can't understand. Hoping to get some feedback on that here. Thanks guys.

06-05-2005, 11:01 AM
:wave: (((Masonik4))) Welcome to OHIO's Forum...I love your spirit!! :thumbsup:

[B]*** I'll be referring to STATE of OHIO INMATES *** (not Federal Prisoners)

Unfortunately, OHIO has no ryhme or reason for their madness. :mad: JUST Rules! Like them or not, we must oblige, or our incarcerated loved ones suffer the consequences. :blah:

As far as why or even who's bright idea that inmates can ONLY receive money from approved visitors on his/her list :confused: I've never thought that made any sense :no: But this rule is enforced in OHIO!

Here's another mind boggler :confused: Did you know that in OHIO if the inmate did not know you prior to being incarcerated that you could never get approved as a visitor?

For the most part OHIO follows the same guidelines at each State Prison in OHIO but they add on other rules at the discretion of the Warden :(

I'm curious to see the other comments that come in. :thumbsup: Sabrena

06-05-2005, 11:08 AM
Your right you cant send money to an inmate if you are not on their visitation....and have actually visited at least one time....BUT I was told that if you are a close relative, mother or father than you can send it in from out of state even if you have not visited. My baby, is in an Ohio prison as well. I am in Texas. I dont send him money because he would rather me not but if i wanted to I could use his dads address and just send it in. I am having a hard enough time getting on his permanent visitation list to begin with. They have to go to the case manager and request the person to be put on there and bring a stamped envelope so that the case mngr can send the forms out. But, Bobby is having a hard time getting his case mngr to send me one? It is really frustrating. Becasue I know in Florida anyone can print a vistiation form and send it in. And also anyone may send money in as well. I agree with you...I think you should be able to get money from anyone you want. Every penny counts so who cares where it comes from?! It is very stressfull to have to deal with this.

06-05-2005, 11:21 AM
I don't understand the logic behind this rule either. I just got off the phone with my fiance and told him about this thread and asked him why we have to be approved visitors before we can send money, or anything else besides letters for that matter. He said he doesn't understand the reasoning behind it either. He also said there are so many guys who have nothing (excluding the pennies they make per month for the work they do) because they have no family or friends in the area to even put on their visiting lists. He has told me before that when new guys come in, they have nothing on their books for months because no one can send anything until they complete this whole process and actually make a visit first, so he will give them food, shirts, envelopes, etc. when he has it to give.
It's sad...but like I've said before, ODOC never ceases to amaze me. :no:

06-05-2005, 11:32 AM
((((Sabrena and Steph))))....As you two know, I am new to all of OHIOS Bull**** :blah: but I am on the same boat about not understanding their REASONS FOR ANYTHING!!!!

I swear they make stuff up day by day as well! You cant get the same answer twice from anyone at LeCI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:angry:

When I finish school next year maybe I will just become a politician to change all their crap rules!!!!!:thumbsup:

06-05-2005, 02:11 PM
WOW, you know, when I first heard about this situation, it reminded me of when I was in NC prisons and the NCDOC. There are a lot of rules and policies that I remember butting heads with when I was in prison. I was kicked out of Pasquotank Correctional in Elizabeth City, Tyrrell Prison Work Farm in Columbia, Sanford Correctional in Sanford and Robeson Correctional in Lumberton (all in NC). The basic reason I was kicked out (transferred) was because there was indeed flaws with the rules.

Let's understand something, if a rule is VALID, then no inmate can challenge it. But if a rule is unreasonable, what it actually results in is an additional form of punishment. I am no lawyer (gosh, I wish I was), but when I was in prison I ran across several inmates with law books, and in those books explains many situations where the prison was wrongfully punishing inmates with rules that were not reasonable....I think this is one of them.

Most of my arguments when I was in prison revolved around the grievance procedure, but I went after anything that wasn't fair. Now I know it is easy to say that inmates deserve whatever they get (that's what many "citizens" would say), but these people are still human and expect fair treatment.

Let me give you an example of a fair checks. I DO NOT LIKE THEM, but I understand the reasoning for it. Try to follow me here. When an inmate enters the prison system, he loses some of his basic rights, one being privacy. That means I am subject to a search at any particular time by any officer. That does not mean I have one every day, but if that is what they want, then that is what they can do. As long as I am on prison grounds, I am subject to a search. The reasoning, amongst other things, includes safety. I don't want to be around a dorm where every guy has a shank in their locker (although many do). Security is a very high priority which is why such searches are done. Again, I don't like it at all, but I never argued when it happened, that is part of the prison life.

But that has reasoning. I can live with it if it has reasoning. This particular rule that apparently restricts loved one from sending money has no reasoning at all. That does not mean there IS no reason, I charge that there is no VALID reason to restrict inmates from having a few dollars. What is Ohio prisons trying to deter when they tell people from out of state that they have to sign and be approved for a visitation list before they can send money? Are they doing background checks on citizens just to send money? If there is no valid reason, this can be seen as cruel and unusual punishment to the inmate because the state is aggressively restricting them from receiving money.

This is a very interesting subject, and I'd like to know the prison's side of it. Has anyone written to Ohio DOC, or Ohio government officials, or is it written anywhere in the prison rules? One thing I learned as a fact, just because it is a rule does NOT mean it's constitutional.

Gosh, now my juices are going again! Now I feel like I did in NC prisons. But there has to be a valid answer, if there is no valid or reasonable answer to this rule, it is in fact additional punishment to the inmate, which isn't fair to him at all.

06-05-2005, 07:06 PM
I've never written in regards to the Visitor's ONLY policy about sending money. But I have written about other issues. But your point is well taken and well said. :thumbsup: Thank you. Sabrena :)

06-06-2005, 11:49 AM
It's my understanding that the logic for only having people who are on your visiting list send you money stems from the inside. Meaning that there are several inmates who gamble, and do other things that in order for "payment" have the family and friends send money to put on their books. Since only approved visitors are the only ones that can send money, it makes it a little hard for these guys who run gambling rings, drug rings, etc in prison. Now instead of having who ever "owes" them money just send it and put it on their books, they have to find anotehr way to make it happen. So basically, it's a deterent or at least that's how I understood the rule.

Many of the "policies and procedures" that the prisons have are relayed from the Prison to the inmate and then it is their resonsilibilty to communicate it to their family and friends....can anyone say the game telephone??? I, like you, want it in writing and I want to see these rules. Only problem is good luck trying to get it. The problem with the inmate telling you the info is that it can be misunderstood and sometimes that is the case. I've learned to get several different sources of my info so that I can tell what is true and what is rumor. I can't tell you how many "rumors" that I have been able to disspell.

06-06-2005, 01:43 PM
With my son at CRC (Ohio) only immediate family members can be on his visiting list and send him money. And, when I visit I have to show proof that I am his mother. Dah?

06-06-2005, 04:53 PM
You know, I can't see the logic in that rule. When I was in prison in NC, I had no problem abiding by rules if there was a reason for it. If the reasoning isn't valid, I didn't agree with it. Now, does that mean I was fist-fighting with officers or cursing at them all day long...of course not.

I think the problems of prison abuse stem basically from prisons knowing that most people are too afraid to do anything about it. Unfortunately there is a lot of truth to this, on both sides of the prison walls. Inmates are afraid of retaliation (which is UNCONSTITUTIONAL), and loved ones outside don't know all the rules. Some believe that if they just leave things alone, then their loved ones will be ok. This is not always true, in fact, without some form of check against prisons, it will continue to get worse. The reason I say this is that society in general thinks that inmates deserve whatever they get, so if things get a little "tougher" then so be it. To most people, that's what inmates get.

But in that line of thinking they lose the meaning of humanity. Most inmates will be coming back to society, and you will get out of him what you put in. If you treat him like a dog, then don't expect an angel. I say these things because from a guy that has been there, I have see what a little bit of kindness can do for an inmate. Granted there are those who take advantage of generosity, but not all of them.

So, what can happen next? Well, if there is no resistance, then Ohio prisons will think that they can push the punishments further. What if they put a lower limit on the how much they can spend, what if they start taking out more money (some states don't take out any). What if they start cutting back on visits, for example, an hour visit to 45 minutes, or an half hour?

My point here is when no one does anything, it does NOT get gets worse. Prisons are going to always go on the feelings of the public, and if the public is allowed to run prisons, then every inmate will be busting rocks and having the "bread and water" treatment.

For me, when I look at this visitation/money situation, it really sounds very silly, and unreasonable. I think about how I might have attacked this situation when I was in NC prisons. The very first thing that has to be done is GET IT IN WRITING!

Without the letter of the law, no argument is valid. For example, here in NC there are basically 3 books about prisons rules and procedures. There is the green book, which gives the inmates the very basics about prison rules. The blue book is the SOP, or Standard Operation Procedure, which is different from one prison to another, and then there is the Red book, which is the NCAC, or North Carolina Administrative Code, which is based on laws that prisons must go by. If there is any contridiction between any rules and the red book, the Red book is the ultimate authority. From that we have rules set where we can check and see if something is valid or not. For example, I could challenge the grievance procedure on many levels by the fact that NC prisons aggressively try to destroy grievances, which is against policy. That's why they keep shredders in their offices.

But I will be the first to tell you that this is not an easy process. Sometimes you can fail, believe me, I know. I have been the result of several prison retaliations for what I tried to do. It isn't easy, but when something is wrong every person has a responsibility to try to change it. If not, people will continue to suffer by prison rules. But the first step is to get the letter.

Someone on the PTO forum should be able to get some documentation about this rule to share with others, so we can all see the real reasoning. Maybe we can come up with some real answers, which may help those in prison. I know that sounds like a corny speech, but I remember too much how prisons often overstep their authority against other people, and often times that also hurts you as well.

06-06-2005, 06:04 PM

(((Masonik4))) I know your question is about the enforced rule on ONLY approved Visitors being able to send an Inmate money in OHIO. But I'm thinking about other restrictions that Prisons get away with like:

Specifically At LaECI

No holding hands.
No sitting beside the inmate. Chairs have to remain behind lines.
Allowed only One kiss & hug upon arriving and leaving (no tongue)
No touching the inmate during the visit.
Inmate may not get out of his chair without permission. Therefore, he can't walk up to the vending machine for over a year now.
They prohibited us from wearing a sweater or jacket in the visiting room again. Only God knows the reason. And it's usually FREEZING.
Inmate can't get up and look out the window with his visitor.
No chewing gum.
Small visiting area, visits always being terminated abruptly
only 2-Microwaves and lines for several minutes, which already cuts into your short time available!
Most of the Officers are very Petty
No money allowed inside so have to by a debit card

I'm sure they'll be some very fine print under the Big Red Book, that say, "Rules are subject to change at the Institutions descretion." I just can't see a win for us without retaliation (unconstitutional or not) There's already prejudice inside the prison walls. And though we may blow off steam amongst each other right here on PTO. Who will actually put their Loved One under even more scrutiny?

I just want my husband to do his time and come his A$$ home!! In 2 yrs. he's scheduled to go before the Parole Board and he can't afford to get caught up in no BS and risk getting unjust tickets. GOD please protect OUR loved ones behind the walls of Hell...The prison may have their physical bodies but they will not have their spirit and souls too.

Since I'm such a fire ball, I promised my husband that I would always discuss any major issues before jumping in. But one thing I know for sure, he'll tell me "DO NOT ROCK THE BOAT" And I have to respect his wishes. :(

06-06-2005, 07:47 PM
You make a good point, and it is one that I cannot argue from the side of concern. I see your point very well, and I understand the issue of not wanting to rock the boat and just wanting the loved ones to come home. And without a doubt, prisons can and DO retaliate, even if it's illegal. Gosh, I am an example of that. No parent or loved one wants their inmate to go through any more difficult time than prison already is.

But I think to NOT do anything almost undermines the very existance of places like PTO. Is is possible that the reason why so many inmates end up back in prison is because they never learned to respect themselves? It's very hard to respect yourself when prison teaches you to give up. And that's what happens in every prison in this country. Inmates are being beaten emotionally to believe that they are worthless, and their very thoughs are worthless. Inmates are conditioned to fail because even if they wanted to stand up for themselves, the prison will bend the rules to make them wrong. Then these same officals will lie to the press and the media, always blaming the inmates for any problems. Then society eats it up, and see every single inmate as a complete loser, making it so much harder for them to get a decent job when they get out. The tag of "felon" is worn like the Scarlet Letter, and inmates have to hang their head low, feeling inferior.

Most people don't realize the damage this is doing to inmates, because as loved ones all we want is our loved one back home. And there is no problem with be careful for what you ask for. I try to say this as sincerely as I can, because I have seen what prisons do to inmates as far as their belief in themselves. If you can't stand up for yourself in prison, you won't do it when you get out, and when troubled times come, they will usually resort to what they only remember. They don't learn that they are just as much equal as another human being. They don't learn that they have every chance as anyone else to make it in life. They only learn that if the "enemy" wants to slap them around, there is nothing they can do.

And for the most part, most loved ones are willing to take that, just as long as their loved ones come home. By far, that is the most important thing, to simply have their loved ones come home. But is that REALLY what you want.

The purpose of prison is to first punish by incarceration, but to also REHABILITATE the inmate. Prisons have a responsibilty to put better people back in society than those that went in. That means you have a right to expect your loved one to come out of prison BETTER...not the same.

What happens when you get an inmate back who has not bettered himself? The chances of going back to prison are increased because now he has that big strike of "felon" on his back. Inmates sit in prison only doing time, very rarely bettering themselves because prisons don't see them as human beings. This is why conditions like this visitation/money exist, because the prisons don't respect the inmates, NOR do they respect their loved ones.

Gosh, I know there are things I am missing here, and I also know that for many of you the bottom line is to get your loved ones back home, but I assure you, doing nothing does better him. If a man cannot stand up for himself, then he has lost his strength in himself...that will carry when he gets out.

But I run my mouth too much, and I know how difficult it is to stand up for something; it isn't easy. But if we don't factor in the damage prisons do to inmates, and how this may have a direct effect on how they readjust to society, then we are folding our hands on a situation we could at least try to deal with.

This is a very difficult situation, and again, I do see the side of "doing nothing" or "not rocking the boat", but from where I was, I saw that doing nothing does not help any rehabilitation of the inmate, in fact, it makes the prison's job easier to push inmates around, further treating them like animals, rather than men.

06-06-2005, 08:52 PM
(((Masonik4))) Thank you for your well thought out words. You're like beautiful poet. I admire you dedication and and most importantly your style of getting your point accross. Indeed, I wish I could jump on the bandwagon. But I sent you a PM instead. I so appreciate your attempts. Sincerely. Sabrena :grouphug:

06-07-2005, 01:11 AM

I understand where you are coming from and agree with several of the points that you have mentioned. However, I believe in picking and choosing your battles wisely. And I also believein making sure that you have the facts, information and the proof in order to substantiate the claim. The funny thing about the Ohio Prison system is that it is incredibly hard to get the policies and procedures in writing.

I think that if the problem is approached thoughtful and factually, one has a better chance of making a difference. AND I BELIEVE THAT WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. But, getting to the right person and not worry about the retailation for the loved one is the main concern. One I have also been bitten by and am reluctant to have happen again. Hopefully, this time I will get smarter about my approach and they will not come down on him.

07-03-2005, 09:51 AM
Well, it seems that there are a lot of very concerned people here, from the threads written...that is always a great thing. I really hope no one took what I said the wrong way, I was just trying to show another side to this situation. But you guys are quite knowledgable on this situation, and more importantly, you have a great concern for your loved ones. I think that is the highest priority.

No doubt it is a risk to stand up when something is wrong; life isn't like a 60 minute drama, where at the end of the hour everything is resolved. Unfortunately there are times where after months you may still not have any more answers than when you first started. Belive me, I know, and I am sure many of you know that as well.

By far, my greatest wish is for each of your loved ones to come home. Period. I remember when I was kicked out (transferred) from one prison to another after writing grievances about certain very questionable rules. I remember calling my mom, and letting her know that my address had changed...again. She was so worried about me, because she knew that if I didn't see something as fair, I would challenge it to find an answer. Up to that point I had already been kicked out of about 2 other prisons, and was starting to bounce around the state of NC.

Mom told me to be careful because you never know what the prison system will do. She said, "I just want you home". I understood what she said, and I knew that the prison system could "find a way" to persecute an inmate if they wanted...but something stronger kicked self esteem.

I explained to mom that I can't sit here and do time while these people continue to destroy my faith, or anyone elses. What they are doing is clearly deliberate and they don't care about any inmate at all. The rules must be applied both ways, and it must make sense, otherwise it is cruel and unusual punishment to every inmate. I just could not sit there being a drone, pushed around by the prison. Mom understood, but she told me to be careful. She didn't sound disappointed, after all, she probably knew I would say that anyway.

My point is that there is no "on" or "off" switch to anyone; society is unfair if they think that an inmate subject to these unfair rules can "turn off" the behavior while in prison and obey every single rule without fail, and on the day of release, "turn on" the "good behavior" and act like the average person. It is nearly impossible to do without self esteem. And usually when a person in in jail or prison, they always talk about what they're going to do when they get out. The tell the officers that they're gonna get a lawyer, they're going to sue, they're going to tell people what's really going on in prison...and the officers laugh. Why?

Because they know those inmates aren't going to do anything. They'll be happy just to be free again, and they'll forget everything they said they would do. So the problem continues because the inmates before don't help those that are in, so the problems continue. After all, who wants to look back on troubled days?

This situation is a tricky one, and sometimes the solutions aren't as easy as I'd like to say, but I think the highest priority is getting your loved ones home...but I also caution you to seriously consider what his mindframe will be when he comes home. A person with low self esteem will have a very,VERY hard climb back to normalacy. We all want our loved ones back, but I think we also want our loved ones to have the best chance to succeed when they get out...if not, they may end up back in prison. And none of us wants that.

Continue to check on those rules, it has to be published somewhere, otherwise that is a problem within itself. Hope someone can shed some light soon.

07-03-2005, 04:58 PM
Hi and welcome!

Masonik you have no idea how little sense this system makes until you have to deal with it.

As far as I know once you are on the visiting list you CAN send money without visiting first if you are out of state, which i am and I haven't visited but am allowed to send him money orders, but this was not true at the last place he was. I just ordered a CD and guitar strings for my boyfriend, and since I haven't done this before at this place I'm holding my breath till I know they get there.

I get frustrated about the medical care. I would like to see him take vitamins and an aspirin a day to ward off later heart disease and see him use sunscreen this is stuff they reasonably should provide EVERY inmate for their own good as well as ours, yet they don't do it. Ohio is being sued as we type over the health care but I'm not holding my breath about it.

Here in California a San Francisco judge just took over the prison health care system this week cause it is awful. Judges find over and over and the US Supreme Court has ruled over and over that inmates are absolutely entitled to much better care than they get in Ohio.

It's not just inmates in prisons that Ohio doesn't care about, it has a policy as a state of belief in standing on your own two feet and if you can't do that completely for any reason, the state has a "the Hell with you" attitude.

I grew up there and hated it and left at my first chance. I may be back someday for a short time if my boyfriend has to do post release supervision there I sure wouldn't leave anyone I care that much about to go through that alone, I'd be afraid they'd trump up something else, but it's not a nice state, sorry to have to say it.

It's a very corrupt state in many ways, there are good people there, lots of them, but the prevailing power structure is corrupt. :blah:

Like Sabrena, I have to watch rocking the boat. I don't want to make things worse and I can't tell you how many times and by how many people I've been told that retaliation happens in that system, and I believe it. I've observed it first hand. I never thought I'd be someone who would be subject to all these arbitrary and cruel rules and do comparatively little about it, but that's reality when you have a loved one in an Ohio prison. I'm pretty sure it's no coincidence that we are punished right along with them.

Again, welcome to the group

Doc's Sis
07-04-2005, 07:02 PM
RE sending money. I send money to my brother and have not visited the institution. However, I am on the approved visitors list - pending a visit. The case manager was awful and 'forgot' to send me the form to begin with so I ended up calling and speaking with the Unit Manager. Explained to her that I wanted to send money to my brother and also send a few items to him but that I'm over 600 miles away and couldn't get there for an interview. I'd sent in my completed form by then. She read it and asked a couple of questions and as I listened, she approved me and entered it onto their computer! We plan to go to Ohio in a few weeks and I can then have my so called 'interview' to be a permanent visitor!

I would imagine their reason for not letting people send money to inmates is because many inmates use the money for things other than their own commissary use. Someone in a previous message talked about this. Sorry, but they have to make certain rules thanks to those who have abused the original rules....

07-06-2005, 10:51 AM
I am so glad that I continued to read and research - Ohio Dept. Corr. is something else - very over the top with rules and regulations as far as visiting sending money, etc.

My question is (and I should probably be asking my friend) is what about books. Do you have to be an approved visitor in order to send books that are being sent directly from a bookstore - and other items such as a care package, are they allowed to receive them?

I sure would appreciate any info.


07-08-2005, 11:37 PM
My youngest son is ross correctional and I just found less then two months ago. Yep. you have to be approve for visitation in order to send money. lucky me my son is working a job there and says he don't need any more. i have the forms to fill out for visitation. i have to have marriage certifcate cause my name is different and his birth certificate. I can't really afford to buys those so hope they are around. then I could probably see him some day. I am way out in oregon. never even been in ohio.. he is be 19 this month the 24.
I sorta a wits ends cause I haven't heard from since the first week of contact. I have written him three letters. and no reply. so I am really concern. I am not use being up early and I would have to in order to call them. I have emotional problems. myself oN disability for life unless I can start my own business.. I hope. any ways. best to you and yours.
oh yeah. his case on appeal. which I don't know what's going on there. cause the other family would have tell the truth. I hope that they are using
real evidence instead of what some says out of fear.

best to you and your again

:wave: (((Masonik4))) Welcome to OHIO's Forum...I love your spirit!! :thumbsup:

[B]*** I'll be referring to STATE of OHIO INMATES *** (not Federal Prisoners)

Unfortunately, OHIO has no ryhme or reason for their madness. :mad: JUST Rules! Like them or not, we must oblige, or our incarcerated loved ones suffer the consequences. :blah:

As far as why or even who's bright idea that inmates can ONLY receive money from approved visitors on his/her list :confused: I've never thought that made any sense :no: But this rule is enforced in OHIO!

Here's another mind boggler :confused: Did you know that in OHIO if the inmate did not know you prior to being incarcerated that you could never get approved as a visitor?

For the most part OHIO follows the same guidelines at each State Prison in OHIO but they add on other rules at the discretion of the Warden :(

I'm curious to see the other comments that come in. :thumbsup: Sabrena