View Full Version : Apalachee C.I. - east unit


KKCasey50
09-10-2006, 10:58 AM
My dad has just been sent to ACI - East. I have sent in the paperwork for visitation for me and my children (ages 8 and 14). We live in S. Florida so we will have to plan a weekend visit when we get approved. Can anyone give me advice about going there with the children, any obvious visitation rules I should be aware of. I saw one post that said you are allowed one hug and a kiss, will my daughter be able to sit with him or anything like that?

Does anyone know how far it is from Tallahassee? I guess that is best place for us to stay overnight?
Also, how is the food there and how much money is needed for the canteen.
Thanks for any information. It is much appreciated

HLR
09-10-2006, 02:08 PM
My son was there for a year. The visitation room at Apalachee Correctional Institution East Unit is very large and there is a nice roomy outside visitation area. When my son was there we could stay out there the entire visit. However the guards, for the most part, are very curt, especially the female guards. You can take $50 with you and I encourage you to do so. The food that is served to the inmates is not very good and is never adequate. Encourage your father to allow you to buy him several items. When my son was there we donated cards, checkers, chess sets, etc for the visitation room but never saw them. There are no games for the kids and it will a long day for them. You may want to call ahead and see if they can take books in with them for entertainment. I must tell you that the east unit is a very rough place for the inmate. When he is able to transfer I would encourage him to do so. The new regional director is like the former one. A member of the good old boy society.

KKCasey50
09-10-2006, 02:43 PM
Thanks for the information. He just got sent there and we have not been able to visit him before as he was at the Lake Butler medical center. He just started serving his sentence the end of July ,so this will be a first for all of us. When I take the 50.00 should it be in small bills? Can he take back the food I buy him to his cell/dorm room? Does visitation last all day? I am sorry for so many questions, I just want to know as much as possible for my own sake and my children's. In your opinion why is the East unit rough? Thanks!

HLR
09-10-2006, 05:22 PM
There is a canteen in the visitation area where you can purchase items, but they are not permitted to take it outside that area. Also, when you leave you cannot take anything with you. I usually take a variety of bills and also change. I found a small clear bag similar to a makeup bag to put my money in. It is quite handle. Visitors can start checking in at 8:30 EST and the inmates start coming over at 9am. They first must submit to a search and depending on how many people are ahead of him it will take a few minutes, but the guard who used to conduct the searches tries to move it along quickly. Visitation ends at 2:30 EST. Your first visit will take some time because of the information that must be obtained from you (i.e., driver's license number (I think) and they will also take your picture. Be sure and take your car tag number in with you and also a single car key. No key rings permitted.

You asked why I think the East Unit is rough. I am not trying to scare you, but you need to know what your father will be exposed to. My son was threatened by several guards when he first arrived and there is also a guard by the last name of Turner who likes to feel of the inmates private area when searching them. At one time Turner was in charge of a group who worked in the kitchen. My son was also threatened by a group of inmates. Another inmate agreed to "watch his back for a price" so we made sure he had money to pay. After a while that quit. Also there have been 3 killings there this year. These killings have been inmates killing inmates, but not sure what brought that on. I was told that one inmate owed another inmate money and didn't pay up so he was killed. Other than that I don't know the details of the other killings.

It is important that you keep a line of communication open with your father. Write and visit often. It really helps to know that someone cares. Also, start a journal of things that he tells you. I set up a table in a wordprocessing program and entered dates and details of events that my son shared with me. Don't hestiate to write the new secretary of the DOC with concerns you may have and give as many details as you can should you do this. I have written him several times and always gotten a reply. He has quite a job and has made some positive changes since assuming that role in February. Good luck to you and your family.

KKCasey50
09-10-2006, 05:52 PM
Well, this is beginning to be worse than even my imagination. My dad is such a kind, caring person, that he would never tell me of horrible things. If he can't call, he will say, "lightening struck and noone could call." I know he doesn't want me to worry, but I am worried and I will be worried as long as he is not with us. 3 killings and have they been investigated? whay has noone heard of them? This is a point of contention with me, "their sentence was prison, why make it more miserable." "why are all these people control freaks?"

How much money can we put in that canteen? I heard there is a limit of a certain amount a week, and I know all the phone calls are recorded. how much money can we send to make sure he is safe? He is not young, but old.

Thanks again!!!!

APRILALUVTONY
09-10-2006, 07:44 PM
Hi KChild63...

My hun is at this facility and sadly yes there are some bad stories from this place that my hun does not like to tell me since it only worries me more about his safety...

Visitation is not so bad...I always get there at 8 am so I can ensure we have plenty of time to visit...there would be a line basically so the wait is anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes, depending how crowded it is...although...it is hardly crowded...I always bring in 50 bucks a day in 1 dollar bills...it makes it so much easier than wondering how am i going to get change for it...once you get inside....the officer at the desk in the visit room would tell you where to sit...yes there are assigned seatings...when your dad comes out, you are able to hug and kiss him and when you leave, you are able to hug and kiss again...keep your hands on the table at all times.....visit is from 9 am till 3 pm...it is a very long drive from miami to tallahassee so sometimes i drive or fly...depending how the money is at the time. I usually drive which takes me almost 10 hours to get there...I always stay at the Holiday Inn in Marianna which is only a 20 minute drive from the prison on US 90...it takes 45 minutes to an hour to get to Sneads from Tallahassee so I prefer to be much closer to him...

Please feel free to PM me any time with any questions or places you might want to know about in Marianna.... It is always really hard for anyone such as myself in having a loved one so far away...its been over a year since he was transferred there and it has become much harder for us since then. I will keep you in my prayers

Ross811
09-11-2006, 10:25 AM
My fiance has been at ACI East for 5 years now. I hate that place more than you will ever know. I know the names of many of the guards, which ones don't mess with the inmates, and then the ones that obviously do not have a life outside those walls. ACI is the number one prison in region #1 that is under the DOC microscope. Now that they have a new Warden, he is under a lot of pressure to get that place in order. I am not aware of three killings, but I know there were two over the summer. There was a suicide a while back though. Tallahassee was having very many complaints from the families regarding issues at visitation, so back in May most of the staff was changed around. For the most part, most of them are alright. But the sgt. that runs the visitor park is very anal about children's behavior. My fiance and her have had words a few times about remarks she has made. When you go outside to smoke, keep them off the top of the tables and off the rails that surround the pavilion. You can use any denomination of bills, up to $50.00 like the other ladies told you. I usually take the whole $50.00 because my fiance eats the whole time we are there. They can't take anything back with them, and you are not allowed to take anything as well. A few times my daughter has been able to take the pictures she colored home with her... They have a few very old coloring books, a few crayons and some child card games. But if you don't get there early, they will be gone by the time you get in. I have never seen any problems with kids hanging on the inmates, sitting in their laps ect.. When we go outside, my fiance throws mine in the air and everything else...It's just the wives that have to keep their hands to themselves... hehe. Marianna is closer than Tallahasee. Sneads has a very small, not fancy at all lodge that holds about 10 rooms. It would be a lot cheaper for you, but again, nothing fancy. If you need any other info, let me know...If I don't know I can find out....like I said, we've been there for 5 years now. But hopefully, a transfer is in our near future... Good Luck and God Bless

KKCasey50
09-12-2006, 09:18 PM
thanks so much for the information, I really appreciate it. Can my son, who is 14, bring his own money to eat with? He eats me out of house and home as it is now!!! I am near WPB, not too far from Miami, so I appreciate the info on that and most likely I will drive when we get approved. Sounds like Marianna is the place to stay that is closest. Honestly, do we just sit there from 9-3 or are we given a certain time period like one hour or two hours or whatever????

APRILALUVTONY
09-12-2006, 10:48 PM
Kchild...u can sit with him all day from 9 to 3 pm...each visitor can bring up to 50 dollars so yes your son can bring his own money...Marianna would be the best place to stay at since its much closer...I always stay at the Holiday Inn Express since its the cleanest hotel there is and in a busy area as well....walmart is right across the street..but the pricing is a little high from 65 a night to 99 a night...I always pay between 70 to 79 a night to get a suite with the microwave and refrigerator and a jacuzzi tub! Its always worth it! There are local restaurants and fast food places in that area like Ruby Tuesday or KFC, etc. If you need directions to get there...Ill be happy to give it to you...it is actually very easy that I know it by heart already!! Ive driven up by myself 7 times in the last year and I always make stops in familiar places so I dont get stuck in a bad area...I can always tell you where to stop.

KKCasey50
09-13-2006, 07:59 AM
April, thanks so much. That is very good to know. I remember touring those Marianna caverns as a I child, no older than 12 probably with my parents. When approved I will have to really plan, with the kids in school and all their activities and working full time on my end. I read the post where sometimes they just cancel visitation, I would just be sick if that happened, but then again, what can I do? Once they are behind those doors, everyone is at a loss.

APRILALUVTONY
09-13-2006, 02:18 PM
Kchild, your welcome...yes sometimes they cancel visits for whatever reasons it may be....you can check on the florida department of corrections site on the first page, more than likely it will let you know if the visits has been suspended but so far it has not yet happened to me.

I have never been to the caverns...I didn't know and it might be something I would like to do while Im up there for 2 weeks...it will keep me busy since there is hardly anything to do up there. Plus my hun doesn't want me to wander around alone in a strange place.

I understand about work and kids...It is tough I am sure. It is always a good idea to plan ahead of time. Sometimes I fly into Tallahassee and the cost is not so bad...better than driving of course. I spend no more than $400 for airfare, hotel room and a car rental together. I always look on travelocity for deals in the beginning of the year it is cheapest. Right now, its more money and can't afford it at this time of the year. Im at the process of saving for my 2 week trip and of course driving up as well. It gets really cold up there at that time. Last year it dipped down to 19 degrees and that is the coldest I've ever been!!! Luckily I had shopped ahead of time for warm clothes and bought a nice heavy jacket....I am so not used to the cold being a Miamian!

KKCasey50
09-13-2006, 02:31 PM
Aprila, I think you should visit the canverns while there. My sister took her kids this year and she said it was still a really neat thing to do. When I do get to visit my dad, I will make an effort to take my kids there too. I just got the call from Vine where they say they moved him to West Unit.
I know, I don't like the cold much either!!! I like our "so called" winters in South Florida. That is a good idea about travelocity deals, I hadn't even thought about flying really. Maybe if it is just me, I think it would be too costly for the 3 of us though.

APRILALUVTONY
09-15-2006, 12:21 AM
Kchild...if you can PM me about the Marianna Caverns and where it is located, I would love it to try to go and visit it and take some pictures. I think that would be an awesome thing to do. Also, Im glad your dad was transferred to the West unit. It is more low key or so I've heard. It is only about a block west of the East Unit.

Yes you can try flying up there by yourself if money is an issue...the flight is only 1 hour and 20 something minutes which is not so bad and a whole lot easier than driving all day! I would suggest renting from Budget since it is so much cheaper than the other car rental place...when you land and you walk through to the front...turn right, you would see a booth of different car rental counters...across from it is a phone for you to call Budget to be picked up. They would be outside within 10 minute to pick you up. The budget rental place is right down the road from the airport. I can give you directions on how to get out of Tallahassee from there.

Who know's? We might "bump" into eachother up there! Hope all is well and my BF finally called me yesterday. His phones in his dorm building was down till yesterday. He said the weather has been bad up there and they've been stuck inside all week...He was feeling cooped up and bored so he kept calling me alot yesterday and today. I feel bad for everyone being stuck inside...I know its not so much fun doing nothing all day long. :0(

KKCasey50
09-15-2006, 06:04 PM
aprila, I sent you a PM about the caverns, if you don't get it let me know as I wasn't exactly sure if it went through. I have a really dumb question, is the visitation open all day long from 9 - 3, meaning you check in all day, or you have to check in early for the whole day??? thanks!

Pauliesue
04-12-2007, 08:11 AM
Need some information on Gadsden Correctional Institute. My daughter is there and when we are approved, I will go see her. my question is my husband is crippled and needs a cane. Does anyone know if he can take his cane with him. Do I need a physicans letter?

Mabel30m
07-06-2007, 08:29 PM
The visitation rules at Apalachee East are strict. It would be best to have the children wear pants or at least long shorts. Do not let them wear anything kaki. When I was visiting a few months ago the guards would not let a lady in w/her children because the kids had on kaki shorts and they were only 3 and 5. You can take $50.00 in cash in for canteen purchases. Make sure that when you go in you have the childrens original birth certificates, your drivers license. the tag number on your car and one key. Put all of this in a clear plastic bag. You can take on unopened pack of cigarettes and one clear lighter. No purses, etc. Depending where you live in S. Fla. it is a good 8 - 9 hour drive. They are building one hotel in Sneads but as of last week it was not yet opened. The closes place to stay until that hotel is open is either in Quincey or Marianna. Quincey is about 15 miles before you get to Sneads, Marianna is about 20 miles past Sneads but has more hotels and restaurants. So far, I have always stayed in Sneads. If you are leaving on a Friday and driving through the night, if you get off at Quincy there is a Fly-N-J Truck stop on the left where you can stop and take a shower and clean up. It costs about $5.00 or so for the shower. Visitation times are from about 8:45 until 3:00. Do not wear short sleeves, anything revealing, or a white shirt that you can even remotely see through. You cannot take any food in for the kids but they have canteen items you can buy. NONE of it is healthy but it will do in a pinch. Just stuff you put in a microwave. You can have one hug when you get there and one when you leave. DO NOT SPEAK TO ANYONE ELSE IN THE VISITATION ROOM. This will get you in trouble. Good luck and I hope your application gets processed soon.

Mabel30m
07-06-2007, 08:38 PM
April - what airport do you fly out of to go to Tallahassee and what airline do you use?

ChicosLiLMaMa
07-16-2007, 02:43 PM
Just got back from visiting at Apalachee and everything that Mabel30m said is pretty much right...Although they have opened up a new motel in Sneads down the road from the prison.

tigger6272
07-19-2007, 12:21 PM
This was my first experience with the system and well the officers were ok there. I stayed at the motel by the lake and it was nice. Did they finally let you stay outside all day long there?

beejana
08-02-2009, 06:47 PM
Hi everyone I'm new to posting my brother has been at ACI-E for a little over a week.We have not been able to see him yet.My mother is 76 and I know it will be a hard day for her. I been reaging all the post seems like a bad place.Someone came up to my brother today asking if he needed protection.He told them no.I'm praying for him all the time.

pbandk
08-03-2009, 05:29 PM
My guy has been at Apalachee for nine months. He really hates it. It is dingy and hot and he seems to always have some issue. As for visitation, I thought it was ok. The guards are usually friendly enough. Just be nice and respectful. Follow the rules and it should be an ok experience for you.

Freelatosha
09-04-2009, 06:45 AM
the best way handle that isif u have relative in ACi East unit..tell them if they want transfer they have prove the are okay be in population at more laid back prison...i was there 2 1/2 years...first year in a half i spend most my time in solitary confidement becuase the guards stayed messing with my for nor cutting my nails,they used call me little nigger and anything to provoke me intill i spitt in they face and etc..but aci east unit is a mental insitution if you loved one there he must stayed in trouble in county or he has short temper or suicidial or some kind of mental issue...but the key is stay out trouble and ignore them and show them u are able to be around other inimates and your transfer with come through in time..but if u stay in trouble you are not leaving there but 2 enought mental prison....so best advice try stay out trouble for a 3 months and then write to clemency and request a transfer..please dont call the prison u only making it worster for your inmate cuz its corrupt prison they only on gonna mess with him even worster...but u gotta take ot state doc...complain intill they investigate 1 unsolved killing when i was there so u get the point ya loved one can get killed and the guards will turn they head like the aint see nothin....and ive seen so much in there im afraid tell because i dont want anybody worry bout they loved one but if you want 2 know email me at (email address removed per PTO policy) and will tell u too protect the sentitive people i want talk about but if want knows what like at aci east unit daily then email me..

wifeofMichael
09-05-2009, 10:42 AM
the best way handle that isif u have relative in ACi East unit..tell them if they want transfer they have prove the are okay be in population at more laid back prison...i was there 2 1/2 years...first year in a half i spend most my time in solitary confidement becuase the guards stayed messing with my for nor cutting my nails,they used call me little nigger and anything to provoke me intill i spitt in they face and etc..but aci east unit is a mental insitution if you loved one there he must stayed in trouble in county or he has short temper or suicidial or some kind of mental issue...but the key is stay out trouble and ignore them and show them u are able to be around other inimates and your transfer with come through in time..but if u stay in trouble you are not leaving there but 2 enought mental prison....so best advice try stay out trouble for a 3 months and then write to clemency and request a transfer..please dont call the prison u only making it worster for your inmate cuz its corrupt prison they only on gonna mess with him even worster...but u gotta take ot state doc...complain intill they investigate 1 unsolved killing when i was there so u get the point ya loved one can get killed and the guards will turn they head like the aint see nothin....and ive seen so much in there im afraid tell because i dont want anybody worry bout they loved one but if you want 2 know email me at (email address removed per PTO policy) and will tell u too protect the sentitive people i want talk about but if want knows what like at aci east unit daily then email me..

Ok, East is not a "mental prison". It is, however, approved for those with a level 1-3 psych. My husband was moved there yesterday. He is a level three psych because he was on Zoloft and Wellbutrin for depression when he went in. He has since come off both meds and his level will drop to a 2 in Nov. and a 1 in Dec. He also got an Above Satisfactory behavior report when he was at the Reception Center (he was there five weeks) and when he was in the County Jail he was first a trustee and then the only non-sentenced outside worker they had. So, nope, he does not have a short temper nor is he suicidal.

But the place is bad. My husband was placed in M dorm at 1:00 yesterday. By the time I spoke to him he was getting concerned. First he's minimum custody in a controlled movement camp which means he cannot exercise his custody. Then he is told by the nurse and by his bunky they write you up for piddly shit and work to make you do your full time. Also there are a bunch of thieves who will snatch and run when you go to canteen. Also the camp is rampant with HIV. He saw one sex act before he called and another was going on when I was on the phone and the guard just ignored it. He was getting looks and it was making him nervous. We have homosexual friends and family members so it's not that he's homophobic. After we hung up he was threatened TWICE. He called me back to tell me he was going to request PC. We hung up and I did call. And the Captain was jerk. But they did move him to P dorm. Though he also said he'd probably do his full time as "this is ACI". Yeah it's looking corrupt. I'm already working on getting him transferred. Emails sent and Tuesday the phone campaign begins. I'm not even screwing with the institution. I've gone to straight to Tallahassee.

And when he's out of their custody I'm going to press for reform in that place. You don't mess with me and mine.

wifeofMichael
09-07-2009, 08:43 AM
When you said "short sleeves" did you mean no sleeves? I don't wear long sleeves unless it is cold.