View Full Version : Tutwiler Women's Prison - Alabama - General Information

08-06-2003, 11:59 AM
Here is some general information about Tutwiler Women's Prison. George's wife Lisa sent me this and agreed to allow me to post it so that maybe it will help others along the way.

As far as the regular dorms go, there are nine in the regular prison. One is #3, it's an honor dorm, and you have to be here over a year without any trouble to be put in there. There are two drug dorms, one is #5, where the 6 month crime bill is, and the other is #10, it has two SAP classes (eight week drug programs). Most of the other dorms have around 60 people in them best I can figure. Except for #9 (it's called "the jungle") it has around 150 women in it. It's the biggest one.

As far as the other inmates, some are okay, some are terrible, some are in for life and they don't give a damn, some are institutionalized and it's all they know. You'll be able to tell who's who pretty much and if they are someone you want or need to be around. If not, just stay to yourself. There's absolutely no privacy so you might as well accept that, but as far as worrying about anyone messing with you sexually, don't. They might ask you but if you don't want to just be up front with them. I haven't had anyone bother me. I've had a couple ask, but that's it. Also, you may see some of it going on in the showers and stuff, but just mind your own business and you'll be okay. There are guards in every dormitory and in Central Hall. There are two guards in #9. Some of the guards are assholes (well, most) But they won't bother you unless you're doing something wrong usually.

You can make as many collect calls as you like after your list is approved. They'll tell you at the beginning of each call how much it's going to cost for the first minute and then every minute after that, the phone cuts off after 15 minutes, but you can hang up and call again. It will give you a 1 minute warning.

Some inmates have jobs, some go to trade school, some attend drug programs, some get their GED's, it just depends on your sentence and how long you're going to be here, or if you have any court-ordered programs. If you're eligible and don't have any programs, they might send you to Birmingham to work release. There are also some different programs across the road. It's another part of the prison. They have an SIR program, another SAP, and I'm not sure what else. I don't know what the SIR program is, sorry. Your classification officer, the warden, and one of the officers will call you after you've been moved into a regular dorm and let you know what you are elegible for. They will also call you to a job fair, where they will assign you a job, unless you get into a program. They have several jobs, kitchen workers, back gate workers, recycle workers, canteen workers, gate runners, and they have a factory where they make our uniforms and gowns. They also have housekeeping and some I probably don't even know about. The only job you actually get paid for is in the factory, you make 15-25 cents an hour.

As far as tolietries, they issue you 6 rolls of toliet paper, 2 bars of state soap, 30 sanitary pads, and a tube of state toothpaste every month. Also a razor most of the time, but you have to trade in your old razor each month to get a new one, after the first time. You can buy other stuff through the store. There will be a store list in each dorm, you get to put in a store list on Wednesday and get your stuff the next Monday.

As far as visitation, you can have 8 people on your list, and you get a visit every two weeks. One week you visit on Saturday, then the next time on Sunday. Visiting hours are from 7:00am - 1:00pm.

As far as being here, of course it's bad, but it's not as horrible as I thought it would be. I think the best saying I can give you is "do your time, don't let your time do you". It gets a little easier day by day, but it is hard. It's lonely and it's very hot. There are no air conditioners, each dorm has big floor fans and they have to be rotated between a certain number of beds every 4 hours. The days can be as short or as long as you want to make them. Fortunately, I read a lot and that helps. You'll get to go to the library once a week and check out 4 books. Mostly just follow the rules, mind your own business, don't be too soft-hearted or generous (inmates will take advantage of you very quickly) learn to say "no" nicely, and keep to yourself.

Many thanks to Lisa for sharing this with us. I wish her the very best.


08-06-2003, 06:39 PM
More very valuable information.

P. S.

The SIR program is a program where prisoners are released on house arrest to finish out their sentences. It stands for "Supervised Intensive Restitution" program. They're allowed to hold a job and otherwise are expected to be at home. The requirements are similar to parole.

10-08-2004, 07:33 PM
I just had a "loved one" sent to Tutwiler this week. She is being processed in. At the present she is in Dorm #6. Is that a processing dorm? I would like to know what ever anyone can share with me about what she is being faced with on a day to day basis. Her time is supposed to be up next summer. How long will it take for them to consider her for parole? She is in for violation of probation, not staying drug free. She has never been in any kind of trouble before and before she left the county jail she had been made a trustee.

All comments and information would be appreciated. I have been quite "down" today after reading some of the above information, but then I talked to her family today and she had called them collect. One of the things she said was that it was better there than it had been in the county jail she just left. Comments?

10-09-2004, 01:31 AM
Hi Raven
My Daughter has been at Tutweler since April of 2003. Right now she is "down the Hill" as they call the annex. Your friend is in what is called Recieving/Classification. This is where everyone goes in the beginning. They are assigned a classification officer who reviews their records and based on the paperwork and interviews she will decide where your friend will be sent into main population.
You mention her time will be up next summer. Does that mean that she was given probation when she first went to court and since she failed her drug test she was violated and sent to county until she was moved to State? Did the judge order her to attend Drug Counseling on the outside? If there is a stipulation that she take Substance Aubuse Prgram in Prison she needs to sign up for it ASAP. Also tell her to sign up for any and all classes she can take. First this will keep her busy and out of trouble and second will help in her adjust to prison.
The prison is very crowded and space is very limited...most bunks are within arms reach of each other and there are lots of women in a dorm.
When you write her you can only send her paper or envelopes. If you want to talk to her or send her money you need to let her know as soon as possible so she can put you on her list. Other wise you will have to depend on second hand info and give money to her family to send..both of which come with no guarantees.
All you need is her Name, AIS# and Dorm 6 on the envelope ,and 8966 US HWY 231 North, Wetumpka, AL 36092.
Understand that the collect calls if you chose to accept them can range from 6.35 and higher for a 15 minute call. And in some areas of AL a certain phone service can limit your calls or make you pay up front.
I hope this has answered your questions so far. Oh and if she smokes..Cig are like $45 a carton and roll ups are limited to 2 packs per person in their possession at all times. They must order food and hygene and snack and candy and writing material from the canteen with money that is put into their account from authorized senders and only in the form of a US Postal money order only.
If you need anything else PM me and I will try and answer or post here so others can see.
Maybe Katmat will come by and add to anything I missed.


10-13-2004, 07:16 AM
Thank you so much for your answer.

She told me that I would not be able to visit her at Tutwiler. I was able to at the County jail. Is that a rule that will change after she leaves classification or is it only family members who can visit?

I think you are correct in saying that she "was given probation when she first went to court and since she failed her drug test she was violated and sent to county until she was moved to State". I will write tell her what you told me about signing up for the drug abuse program.

I do feel some better about her than I did when I did the post because afterwards she called her father and told him that things were not as bad there as they had been in the jail she just left. Of course, that may only be because of being in classification.

Her family lives out of state and I offered my home as an in state residence she could be paroled to if they would consider parole. (I used to be her mother-in-law; we still have the same last name.) Do you have any idea what criteria they will use to judge whether my home is acceptable?

10-17-2004, 08:54 PM
All I can say is she shold be able to put you on her visitation list esp if she has children from her marriage to your son. If not and you have to same last name she can list you as Motherinlaw. Call the Warden at the prison and ask if there is a possiblility of a vist between you and her that you are close and almost l;ike a mother to her. And the fact that her family is out of state. Also explain to the warden that you have offered you home for parole placement in the event she gets a hearing. Call your County parole office and talk to one of the officers there..they should be able to answer any questions you have regarding that question.
If she is short term they may send her up the hill for a few weeks and then to the annex. Pm me her name and I will send it to my daughter to get her friends to help her out.

10-17-2004, 08:58 PM
PS besure she puts you on her funds list ASAP so that you can help out with money, and remember it is on Postal Money Orders acceppted at the Womens Prison and only stamps in your envelopes. The giorls can buy just about anything they need from the store but the prices are extremely high and $10 from us is only equivlent to $5 on the outside.

((((HUGS))) GSPack