View Full Version : Attica -- questions about packages and commissary, plus anecdotes from my visit


JonT
11-10-2006, 02:22 AM
I'm new to this thread and this site. Last week a friend was transferred from Downstate to Attica, and I visited him for the first time yesterday.

I can't seem to get definitive answers about packages, commissary money, etc. I called Attica before my visit and was told that I could bring Money Orders up to $100, however on arrival the guards told me the maximum amount was $50, and that any larger denomination should be sent by mail. So after my visit I drove to the Attica post office and mailed the $100 money order, which I had already filled out. According to my friend who is in Attica, there is actually NO maximum amount for a money order, and inmates can have several thousand dollars in their account. Does anyone have any better information about this?

Regarding packages: When I called in advance, I was told that I could not bring ANY packages with me, and that only 2 packages of 20 lbs could be mailed each year. However, on arrival I got the impression that people could bring packages. During my visit, I spoke with someone in the package room, and was told that my packages could only contain food (no other items like books or toiletries -- is that true?). I was also told that inmates can receive packages from 'approved vendors', but when I asked for a list of approved vendors, all I got was a list of 'dis-approved vendors'. Also, can inmates receive magazine subscriptions?

Luckily, someone mentioned that the local Rite Aid in Attica NY was an 'approved vendor', so after visitation I drove there and was able to send a package containing cigarettes, lotion, and some books of puzzles. The folks at Rite Aid were very nice, and they obviously do this frequently. Does anyone have information about other 'approved vendors', or about packages to Attica in general? My impression is that it's almost better to just send money orders and let my friend by things himself inside.

Aside from that, my visit to Attica wasn't so bad. I arrived with two friends around noon on a Wednesday, and it didn't take long for us to be processed into the place. The guards were a bit gruff, but I really have no complaints -- other than the contradictory information about money orders, and the lack of info about packages.

I drove to Western NY from the Catskill/Hudson region, which was about a 5 hour drive, and stayed at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls. If you're a poker player or you enjoy casinos, this can be a good way to add a little distraction to your trip.

I appreciate any replies, and would be happy to exchange email with anyone who has more experience with Attica. THANKS --Jon

Momma Ann
11-10-2006, 08:59 AM
but you can send by mail any amount (use money orders). You can leave $50.

Attica is a TV facility-meaning they can have a tv in their cell-therefore there are limited package privileges by individual senders. Normally, it is 2-20 lb. food packages per year. However, there are approved vendors-but I seem to recall reading that Attica was trying to limit vendor packages. Let me see if I can find that thread for you.

Please read my disclaimer so other folks do "slam" my advice.

Momma Ann
11-10-2006, 09:10 AM
you will find people looking for rides/giving rides to Attica-which means they have someone in Attica and should know the ropes of packages. Try sending apersonal message to a couple of them.

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=203357&page=2

piecesofme
11-10-2006, 11:42 AM
As far as I know you can either send through mail OR bring in a food package two times per year since they are a TV facility. Thats why you might have seen people bringing in a package. You are correct these can only be food items. I dont know about weight guildelines as I have not brought him a food package since he has been at Attica but when he was at Clinton (which was also a TV facility) the home packages couldnt be more than 20 pounds.

As far as I've ever known, as Momma Ann said you can only leave up to $50 in commisary on a visit, but you can send more through the mail. But I've never sent more than $150 at a time because I'm poor!

Since I cant post links, I sent you a PM with some more info and some links of places I order from.

Like anything else with NYS DOCS sometimes they seem to make up the rules as they go along. Sometimes it depends on who opens the package. Hope I was a little helpful!

brattyvirgo
12-01-2006, 02:44 AM
yeah my cousin is in attica for a couple months and it is hell to get him a package we sent it one and they sent the whole thing back to us cause it didn't come from a vendor...it needs to go though a vendor meaning it needs to come from a store and not a lot of people do it the only place i could find was target and i called up walmart.com to c if they do it but u need to talk to a surpirvior and everything but they will do it...the only bad thing is that when you go to store to do that only one person does it at a store i have no idea y but that is it. u r better off calling places such as walmart and target and asking and if they will get there name and everything go on the computer write down what u want to get them and cal them back up... this women that i talked to was GREAT!!! it takes time but at the end it is fine cause it is goin to a great person that u love... u can also do it over the internet but with the DIN number and everything it is 2 confusing and u r better off talking to someone just to make sure u don't mess up... with the money thing all i do is send him a money order put his name and din number on it
Good luck

Dee'swifey
07-15-2007, 01:29 PM
you can only bring 50 dollars there, but you could send him in the mail how much you like!

saltygal
07-15-2007, 09:27 PM
yeah my cousin is in attica for a couple months and it is hell to get him a package we sent it one and they sent the whole thing back to us cause it didn't come from a vendor...it needs to go though a vendor meaning it needs to come from a store and not a lot of people do it the only place i could find was target and i called up walmart.com to c if they do it but u need to talk to a surpirvior and everything but they will do it...

i haven't had any trouble sending things through several vendors...i've used Amazon.com, Eastbay.com, target.com, Bust the Move, Choice Distributors, UpNorth Services, and some others....no problems yet. most places that you can shop online will send it there b/c it's just sending to a PO Box & most online shops will do that.

tinkny26
07-18-2007, 08:02 PM
The directives are so ambiguous...! If I send packages from vendors, does only the food count toward the 35 lb per month limit? And the Directive says only two packages a month. Does that apply to only food, or only packages I bring or mail myself, not ones I send from vendors?

Why do they make it so confusing? We're only making it easier on our guys so life in "there" isn't so horrible. (as if...):o

Help! I need to get his first package off tonite if possible, as he might be going in the box. I read that he can receive a package 5 days after going in. thanks for any help.

saltygal
07-18-2007, 11:12 PM
The directives are so ambiguous...! If I send packages from vendors, does only the food count toward the 35 lb per month limit? And the Directive says only two packages a month. Does that apply to only food, or only packages I bring or mail myself, not ones I send from vendors?

Why do they make it so confusing? We're only making it easier on our guys so life in "there" isn't so horrible. (as if...):o

Help! I need to get his first package off tonite if possible, as he might be going in the box. I read that he can receive a package 5 days after going in. thanks for any help.

not sure about the amount of packages per month, but the 35lbs only relate to food. you can send 35 lbs of food, then anything else (clohes, books, music, etc).

now that i think about it...you can send more than 2 packages (of regular stuff, not food) a month. i've sent hubby multiple packages from diff vendors AND food.

Ken'sWife
07-19-2007, 07:28 AM
The local grocery store, Quality Market is an approved vendor and you can spend stuff from there. They will send you a list and you can place the order on the phone with a credit/debit card, shop in the store when visiting, or mail with a money order. Shipping it is free and it ie easy and fairly friendly, I have been told. If you need the telephone number because you cannot find it on the net PM me and I will get it to you. I do not have it with me at work.

shaye's wife
07-26-2007, 02:25 PM
From my experience,, you can send a 35lbs. package every month.As for the other things ,such as clothes, it can also be up to 35lbs.I have been sending packages to my husband for a while now and i've never had anything sent back

kdiamondz
07-27-2007, 06:53 AM
Shaye's wife is your husband in Attica?
All packages sent in must be from a vendor. Quality Market in Attica is an approved vendor for 35# food packages.
Otherwise they can have 2 20# food packages from family/friends a year as this is a TV facility

Ken'sWife
07-27-2007, 07:42 AM
There is no weight limit on clothes and shoes, just food.

JIHADSWIFEY4EVA
07-28-2007, 04:51 PM
Kens Wife Is Right Quality Market Is Great I Sent Things Through Them Before And It Was Great They Send The Packages Out Every Thursday. So If You Go Monday Pick Out All Your Stuff Including Toiletries They Will Send It Keep Your Receit Everything Is Sent Fresh Whatever You Pick Out They Will Put Back But Will Repull For Delivery To Ensure Freshness.