View Full Version : Holidays in Federal Prison

09-02-2003, 10:42 AM
Can anyone tell me about holidays in the federal prison system? Do they get more visitation or phone priveleges at Thanksgiving or Christmas time? Also, what can they receive besides cards and money orders?

09-02-2003, 11:03 AM
From what I've seen during the hoildays is that they use the weekend schedule for visitation, which is longer. I don't know if anything gifts can be sent in (I heard something about religious jewelry being allowed). They also have extra things added to the commisary list, like chocolate covered cherrys and other seasonal items. But that's all I've heard of thus far.

Take care,
Mrs. Joe

09-02-2003, 11:30 AM
Extra visitation at holidays varies from institution to institution. (I've seen extra visiting hours on the holidays and also have seen the visiting points suspended for the month of December.) Extra phone time varies from year to year. Last year, the minutes were increased around xmas for a limited period of time. You never know what to expect! You can order books to be sent in from a bookstore or publisher to prisoners but you have to check on the rules for the institution. Like where my husband is now, it has to come from a bookstore, be sent via U.S. mail only, AND be in a padded envelope (not a box) AND have the word "BOOK" written on the outside. does an excellent job of following these instructions (you put the instructions on the place online where you put "gift note" and that seems to get their attention.) I've had some problems with getting books to him properly. That's my info. Zelda

09-02-2003, 11:54 AM
I know that our phone time for the whole month in December they increased to 100 extra minutes. As far as gifts go I have sent in Books and I sent them in a First class envelope.

I donít know on how visiting goes. Just like Zelda was saying, each place is different.
Where my honeys is at they donít do anything for Thanksgiving. As far as phone time goes.
God Bless :wave:

09-02-2003, 12:46 PM
Each institution will have their own rules on visitation. Normally, all federal holidays are treated just like a normal visitation day. Nothing special is done, or altered. You visit just like you would any other day. It has become customary for additionally phone minutes to be added during the Christmas season; however, the Warden at each individual institution makes that call. There is nothing in policy that requires it.

As for the gifts inmates may receive soft cover books from home, and hard back books directly from a publisher, book club, or book store (including and B& Inmates cannon receive any used book bought over the internet via, B&, etc.. it will be returned as unauthorized. (Or at least should be). Unless your significant other is at a camp, he can no longer receive magazines from home, he/she must subscribe to the specific mag to get it. Do not send food, stamps, candies, musical cards, etc... as they will all be returned.

09-02-2003, 01:08 PM
Marion's rules are that holidays have the weekends visitation schedule, they dont work( my man hates that it makes his days go by sooooo slow) they have there normal phone privledges and the guards rent a couple a movies they play all day. (it was helen of troy and agent codey banks ---- he was so not thrilled an educational movie and a kids flick! but like he said it beets nothing) As far as sending stuff every place is different but my nick can get puzzle books mags with no full nudity in um and soft back books.

09-02-2003, 05:53 PM
At Sheridan FCI in Oregon, they said no more softback books mailed directly - they have to come from a bookstore. So sounds like even that is different place to place. Zelda

09-02-2003, 06:17 PM
Was it in November and December that the phone minutes were uped to 400 a month?
I can't remember , ofcourse a new year brings new rules! We never know! lol

09-03-2003, 06:05 PM
I belive the phone minutes are only raised in December.
I have been reading everyone elses post. So maybe each place is diffrent. My man is at a camp. I thought the minutes were given to everyone in Federal prison.

09-03-2003, 06:23 PM
Gee, at FCI Miami, they shorten the visitation on holidays from normally 6 hours to a measly 2 hours and they will run you at after two hours even if no one else in the visiting room. Because so many people incarcerated here are from the Miami area (lots of drug convictions), the visiting room is almost always full! No books/magazines of any type from home, just a bookstore. I look at all the families in the visiting room and I think "Don't you people have jobs?" I alternate my times & date to coincide with my days off but it seems like its the same people every time. None of my business, I guess.

09-03-2003, 08:42 PM
My husband has told me that at his camp (Forrest City) they get 400 phone minutes in November and December.

John B. Webster
09-04-2003, 06:13 AM
Generally, in a FCI, they increase the amount an inmate can spend in the commissary and increase the telephone time. As to visitation, they usually provide a weekend schedule of 8:00 to 3:00 for visitation. No gifts other than the standard mail in procedures: Hard cover books directly from the publisher; soft cover from anyone. Sorry, but the feds don't really get into the Christmas spirit. Hope this helps. Keep in mind that sometime around November, the CO's begin to look around to issue shots so as to deny an inmate they dont like visitation for the holidays. Tell ypur guy to stay under radar during the annual witch hunt.


09-04-2003, 06:19 PM
Special meals on holidays, usually. A big turkey leg, a grilled burger or hot dogs, maybe a nice(r) dessert. Something beyond the normal slop. That's what most people inside really look forward to. I know that some inmates actually discourage vists because of the special meal, or try to coordinate their visits around them.

I would always discourage holiday visits because of the limited time, additional hassles, and the crowds. I figure maximize the time/quality for all involved.

ps- John B. is right... they look to hand out shots to reduce visitation crowding, so be aware.

09-15-2003, 07:37 PM
At Lewisburg Camp, therer were visiting hours on the 25th, opened to all inmates regardless of their ID number.

As previously posted, only paperbacks can be sent in. Hard covers must be shipped directly from the sources previously posted.

When I was in, there was never a limit on phone time, but I understand that it's now limited.

All inmates were given food baskets containing cookies, candy, cans of tuna and crackers. There was also tournaments scheduled for card games, dominoes, pool, backgammon and horseshoes. The winners received cans of flavored soda. Funny, I wouldn't buy those cheap brands on a bet in the outside but on the inside it was as popular as beer!

There was also a nice turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

09-16-2003, 09:09 PM
Last year the phone minutes were upped to 400 for November and December at my husband's facility in Colorado. I used to be able to send paperbacks, but no longer. I thought it was fed wide. I usually have special photos taken for a special gift. I haven't visited at Christmas or Thanksgiving yet, because I spent it with his parents as a gift to him. He is an only child and it means alot to him. I even skipped fourth of July this year due to the overcrowding that was mentioned above. Depending on the holiday, his facility allows an extra day, but I never know until the last minute and I have to book a flight ahead of time. It is always bittersweet for me.
They get steak sometimes and a nice dinner. The food is pretty good where he is at for the most part, not like what I hear of other facilities. There are some special things to do, poems and pictures seem to mean the most to my husband.

09-17-2003, 08:33 AM
Last year, where Billy is at, they upped the phone minutes in December to 400....Also during the week of Christmas they opened up for visits every day, not just the regular visiting days...they didn't take points away from his visitation either.

Thanksgiving was just the same as always.

10-16-2003, 07:23 PM
Just spoke with my fiance last night, he said that he will get 400 minutes for November and December. He is FCI Ray Brook, NY.

10-16-2003, 10:14 PM

10-17-2003, 06:00 PM
Does anyone know anything about FCI Cumberland Maryland?

10-18-2003, 12:35 AM
They are allowed on chain with a religious medalion on it. I have also sent in a watch and some prescription glasses.

10-18-2003, 08:26 AM
I know in maxwell FPC they have weekend vist and also the hole week for x-mas is a vist each day..those are night vists last year they were from 5-8pm mon-Friday and weekends are normal hours. Also the phone mins went up 100 mins.

10-19-2003, 09:19 AM
We get 400 minutes instead of the usual 300 for both November and December. It is my experience that it's best to use this on Thanksgiving and Christmas, passing the phone around. It isn't much. There is a bill up. see the Fedcure sight for details, asking for the holiday increase to be permenant. The hardest part is going back to 300. The Fed phone systen SUCKS.

12-23-2003, 02:06 PM
Visiting on Christmas day at FCI Sheridan Prison Camp is from 8:30 am until 3:00 pm. No afternoon visits. Count lasts about an hour (usually less) and begins at 9:30. The inmates do indeed enjoy their holiday meals, which start at 11 am, so we try not to arrive in the middle of that. We plan to arrive at noon this year, giving us 3 hours to visit.
I have confirmed the inmates scheduling details this year again, by calling 503-843-7663.
Hope this helps somebody out there, and hope everybody has a good time visiting. Laugh, Love, and know, that we too, Hate to leave 'em...

12-23-2003, 08:43 PM
We had sour cream one Christmas to go with a slice of beef (well, it was supposed to be beef). I ate my little dab of the sour cream straight. It was so, so, good as it had been a long time since having any.

12-24-2003, 01:18 PM
lol! I'm sorry to hear your holiday meal is as sour as everything else in there and can appreciate your message! I suppose a transfer to Sheridan is not an option...May the juju gods poke your
institutions cooks in the side with a sharp stick! I love your signature, I've always been a believer in the philosophy of "Be in the world, but not of it", a.k.a. FTW!