View Full Version : Just curious about policy - What inmates can have

03-17-2002, 04:25 PM
My man is goin' through a little thing right now, because he is currently doing 6 months of segregation time as "punishment" for a ticket he received. In the last prison he was in, he had to go 60 days in segregation without any tickets (which is an "inmate disciplinary report").. and then he would get his audio/visual equipment back (his TV and radio).
He has since been transferred to a different facility and is now being told that he will have to wait ANOTHER 60 days.
In talking to Bella3358, I learned that where her man is incarcerated, the inmates can't have their own televisions at all, that they are only allowed a walkman. I am going to share this with JD, just so he knows that it could be worse (not that I think this will make him any less angry... :) )
I am just curious about the different policies in different prison systems in a few areas, so if anyone is willing to share...
AUDIO/VISUAL Equipment: Are inmates allowed their own TV, radio, etc? Are they allowed tapes or CD's?? Do they have to buy their equipment or tapes, etc. exclusively through the prison and if so how much do they cost?
CLOTHING: Are inmates allowed to wear their own clothing? If not, what is the clothing like that they have to wear? Are they allowed to buy any clothing from the prison, or are they only allowed what DOC provides??
VISITS: How many visits are inmates allowed and what length and form (ie: what kind of contact is allowed)? What kind of procedures do you have to go through to be an "approved" visitor? How many different visitors can they have at one time or on their "approved" list? Are there any restrictions about the relationship of the visitor (ie: immediate family only, age limites, etc)?
I know this is a lot of questions, I am just curious. Perhaps I am hoping to make MYSELF feel better by knowing it could be worse than what we are faced with.... Sometimes it is nice to "compare notes"....
Thanks!!! :)

03-17-2002, 07:22 PM
Well in Texas they are NOT allowed personal TV's or any kind of personal clothes. They have to by everything from the prison and they wear prison whites and that is it.
They can buy a radio but no cd's or tapes. None of that is allowed. When they are in the hole they do not get there stuff for a while either. They move real slow in Texas

Visits are 1 visit every weekend for 2 hours only. They are behind a cage or glass it just depends on where they are. Conact visits are with imediate family only or a spouse if they are on Minium Custody. Any other custody level and they are not allowed any contact visits.

Texas is really strict so again it just depends on where you are.

03-20-2002, 01:27 PM
North Carolina is the same. You have no personal anything except clothes. TV's are in the rec room and every body fights over which program to watch. They can have radio's with headphones but nothing else. They cannot even write to other inmates in the system that they have become close to if they move away from a unit. The libraries are very bare. Some books but mostly old ones and have been read many times by most inmates.

We can mail in books and magazines directly from the publisher but we cannot buy books and take or mail them to inmates. They will be sent back. It's no wonder they get bored.

Good Luck! Hope things are better in Illinois


03-20-2002, 01:46 PM
My husband is in the Atlanta Corrections Detention Center waiting his sentencing and from there we're hoping he gets the Federal Camp here in Atlanta. Currently he can buy a walkman with headphones from the prison along with any type of candy you can think of. They also offer paper, pens, and clothing. He was issued two sets of shirts/pants and that was it. Anything else like more undies/t-shirts/shorts he has to buy.

I try and mail him books from stores, etc but he has a limit of 10 and we're trying to find out now if I can come pick some up so I can send more.

The TV issue is the same as Donna's... tv in the rec area and alot of fights break out because of it.

I really think it's a scam how the prisons make money off the prisoners and their families. I don't understand why we can't send in few items of clothing. Can u imagine trying to wear the same ones every day not like you could wash and dry them every night! UGG

03-20-2002, 02:40 PM
wearing somebody elses clothes is indeed a weird thing to do. if they can buy tv's, like in private prisons in New Mexico, the prize is 3 times the price you'd pay on the streets. For the prisons where you can only get a publisher send in books, try to print of an label or sticker, that says something with 'bookstore'on it and your own address, it might work. It worked for me, they just gave the book to him. leave the price label on it though

03-20-2002, 07:38 PM
Well actually they can wash out their clothes. Anthony washes his out every night and makes a clothes line and hangs them up to dry. He has to be careful because if he does not take it down before breakfast (2:30 am) then he can catch a case.

He often writes me and jokes about just doing the wash. I laugh it's a personal joke. LOL

03-22-2002, 06:09 PM
Thanks everyone for the information.... I will be sending it off to JD to try to convince him things could be worse... I am so frustrated right now... He is so stubborn and while I understand that another 60 days in segregation without a TV or radio will make the time longer, I can't seem to convince him that it is not going to change no matter how much of a fit he has (he has threatened to go on a hunger strike... and hasn't written me all week, which he said is his "distress signal"...) Does anyone else's loved ones think you can fix ANYTHING just because you are the outside?? I know I can advocate for him, but I can't change DOC single-handedly overnight!!

03-23-2002, 12:52 AM
Stepehn feels I think that because I am out here I can accomplish anything..he has even gone as far as telling.."please get me outta here!!" my reply was how do you suppose I do that...I guess they just get frustrated and see us as a ray of hope...Tell JD to keep his head up 60 days will go by and things will be better...FOR THIS TOO SHALL PASS

03-24-2002, 05:41 PM
Thanks... I am once again glad to hear I am not alone... :) I did get to talk to JD this weekend and I did let him know about all the information I had collected in regards to what other inmates COULDN'T have that he did.... This did make him feel a little more grateful for what he does have.... I always like to use one of my favorite sayings on him... "Why complain that roses have thorns, when we can rejoice because thorns have roses??" :)

04-02-2002, 10:40 AM
Well here in California (at least where Jimmy is) I think he can have a radio I haven't heard anything about a TV. I have been told there are several stores, Target etc that you can go in & buy them and Target will mail them directly to the prison and that's the only way they'll accept it.

I have already sent mine T-shirts, I can also send him blue jeans and ALL-White tennies.

His visits are Thursday & Friday from 2:00pm-7:45pm.. We can hug & kiss at the beginning & end of our visits, we can hold hands through the entire visit, sitting at the table (across from each other) or if we walk to the vending machines together. He is able to hold our 3 1/2 mo old son, feed him also.
5 visitors can go in at one time where Jimmy is (including children).


05-31-2002, 06:55 AM
I guess all this depends on whether he's a fed or a state prisoner?

07-06-2002, 01:08 AM
Regarding California prisons. This is how it was when I was in, & from talking to friends it hasn't changed much.

Audio/visual= You can have a walkman radio, or radio/tape player (no recorders).It must have headphones. It must be bought from a catalogue from the prison. You can buy tapes too, but again only through the catalogue.You can buy a boom box but only if it comes with headphones. You can only have TV's if your in a cell, not in dorms. You can also get a small personal fan (I couldn't live without mine), electric typewriters, electric razor, & other misc items. There are no CD's allowed. When you buy things from the catologue they tack on an additional 10% which goes to the inmate welfare fund. You pay the price of the item, taxes, shipping & handling & the inmate welfare fund. Prices aren't too bad but with all the extra cost it adds up.

Prisoners who have a red priviledge card which means they are working & disciplinary free, can get a 30 pound package sent in every 3 months. You get a list of what can be sent in & a label for the box that has your counslor's signiture on it. Your family sends in the package. It can be food, tobacco, clothes, cosmetics (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) in any combonation. There are rules as to what your allowed. Shoes can only be solid black or solid white. No red, or blue. Soles must be solid no gel inserts etc. Needless to say these packages are highly coveted.

I dont do visits, so I can only talk about what I've heard from other people. You send out a visiting application to all the people you want to visit. They fill them out & you are notified who is approved & who isn't. It's up to you to send the approval to the right person, & they must bring the approval slip with them to visits. As long as you don't have any domestic violence in your history, no escape attempts, & are disciplenary free for a certain period of time you can have a contact visit. You get a closed mouth kiss at the beginning & ending of your visit. The visitor can't give the prisoner anything, not even a cigarette. There are a whole bunch of vending machines with food & sodas. The visitor must bring in quarters, there are no change machines. The prisoner can eat & drink any food purchased from the vending machines. Visits I believe are from 8am to 4pm, Sat & Sun, & holidays. I don't know what the limit is for one time, but it's probably 3-4. You can only have one visit per day. A visitor can visit on Sat & again on Sun. If you are working you can use whats called E time (excused time off, accrued at the rate of 1 day a month), & get out of work.

As far as phones go, I don't do phones either, but I did give my phone time to other guys. You are allowed to call anyone you want. Calls are limited to 15 min. & are automatically cut off. They are monitored by a person in some building somewhere on the prison grounds. As long as your working & disciplinary free you can get one call a day, but they don't really sweat it. They have a phone sign up sheet where prisoners can pick out the time they want to use the phone. If there is no one on the phone you can go up & use them & most CO's wont trip on it.

When your 30 days to the house you can have personal clothes sent in called dress outs. These are kept in the release are & are given to you upon release, or if you have your own personal clothes you can wear those out too, or you can buy prison issue clothes.

Most guys give all their stuff to their friends when they leave because it's easier to get stuff on the streets than it is inside.
These items are called floaters, & are traded & sold amongst the prisoners. All items are marked with your name & CDC number, & if a CO wants to get crappy with you they will confiscate floaters. Your not allowed to have things that dont have your name & number on it. It's pretty mandatory for you to leave your tape player behind because thats what they use to make tattoo guns. I always left all my stuff, food, tobacco, cosmetics, dishes, magazines, books, extra clothes, fans, radios, Tvs, etc. All I took out was what I was wearing & all my paper work, & my gate check.

Well I hope that fills you in on California prisons. I'll probably remember things I forgot, but you get the idea.-----Ken

07-06-2002, 08:26 AM
Thanks for all that great info Ken!

07-06-2002, 08:40 AM
Ken - as usual, always enlightening! Great to have you around!

07-07-2002, 05:50 AM
the prison in nc where my pal is, he is not permitted to have any of his own clothing. about a year ago, he had to send all of his shoes home and is only allowed to wear converse sneakers (state must have a contract with them) he must BUY at a ridiculous price, and his state issued prison uniform (gray pants, green belt, white t-shirt). the state issues everyone one uniform and if you want more than that, you have to purchase it (about $2.00 for t-shirt and pants, made by inmates at another facility). he can have a radio with headphones, but no tapes or cds. like budwoman said, there is one tv in the dorm, and i think everyone fights over what to watch! our visits are saturdays from either 1-3 or 2-4. we do have contact visits in the prison cafeteria. this is a medium secruity prison.

my friend in florida on death row is only permitted to wear blue prison-issued pants, a white t-shirt, and an orange top ontop of that to designate him as a death row inmate. you either get those flip flop things issued to you, or, if you're lucky enough to have the funds, you can purchase sneakers through the canteen (again, at an outrageous price). since he is in his cell 23 1/2 hours a day, he is permitted to have a small black and white television, which must be purchased through the canteen, and a radio. his mother got him a subscription to usa today, which is delivered to him most days. he has only had one visitor in the 2 years he has been on death row ~ i think his mother visited last year. surprisingly enough, he is allowed contact visits ~ 6 hours, from 9-3. i am not clear on whether he can have a visitor on Sat OR Sun or Sat AND Sun ~ will have to clear this up shortly!

07-07-2002, 08:36 AM
Where Billy's at...he can't have anything from the outside except paperback books and magazines. Inside, he can buy his own sneakers--reeboks--and he has prison issued clothes. 2 sets of them. He can have a radio with earphones, a photo album, and his art materials. He has a locker to put all of his belongings in. He has to buy his own stamps--he can't get any from the outside.

Visits are Monday, Thursday-Sunday from 8 am to 3 pm. 300 phone minutes a months--8 visitation points a month. One point deducted from a weekday visit--2 deducted from weekend and holiday visits.

07-07-2002, 10:33 AM
Are all Federal Prisons based on 8 points a month for visitation?


07-07-2002, 12:42 PM

I don't think that all federal prisons are like that. They have general guidelines to go by, but it all depends on how the invidiual prison is ran. One lady here said that she had 50 points a month for visitation. The points were deducted from each hour instead of each visit.

You might want to call the prison your loved one is in. They can give you specific details.

Hugs, Denise

07-07-2002, 03:39 PM
my experience here in north carolina is that all the prisons differ on what inmates can have and can't have-even if they are the same security level-ron is in minumum security now but cannot have some of the things he had when he was first in processing (ie-art supplies, etc)--when he gets to work release he can wear street clothes but right now only green pants and white tshirts- vists are once a week for an hour and 45 minues -first weekend of the month you can bring outside food in --is nice-i was able to celebrate the fouth of july with him --ribs and all on july the 6th-

tony's girl
07-07-2002, 04:51 PM
Sounds like you had a nice time with Ron this weekend! Glad you were able to visit with him to celebrate the 4th! I will be going to see Tony again on July 20th. I feel really bad because his 40th birthday will be July 17th and of course that's not a visiting day so I will not be able to see him on his actual birthday. I am bummed out about that!

07-07-2002, 07:15 PM
t's g-- i am sure he will be more than happy to celebrate his birthday three days late if it can be with you :)

ron's birthday is august 10th but in in august his visits change to sundays so i will have to see him on the 11th-

guess we have to be happy for small things-that we get to see them at all--some people dont get contact visits or visits at all--

07-08-2002, 09:24 AM
lucky you, sherri! how neat that you all had a good old-fashioned picnic!!! :) i'm sure that meant the world to both of you.

tony's girl
07-08-2002, 07:05 PM
Yes you are right about that! I am very fortunate for the contact visits! And, August 30th will be here before I know it. That is his scheduled release date. I talked to him today and he told me to keep the faith that we have come to far to let it all fall apart now! I agree 100%!

03-24-2004, 10:16 PM
Oh My Word

03-25-2004, 12:12 PM
What's that mean: "Oh My Word?"

03-29-2004, 02:59 PM
Someone from NC mentioned the stuff inmates can't have; glad to see such great representation on this board. When I was incarerated in NC we had no TVs unless it was in the rec room. Small radios were allowed but you had to buy them straight from DOC, which costs about $15-$16 (overpriced!). A few years ago, they used to allow inmates to by Converse shoes for about $30, but I believe they changed their mind on that. As mentioned, and even in Honor Grade (minimum custody) most inmates could not wear regular clothes unless they had work release or special privileges. Some camps like Tyrrell have jump suits, though I do not know if they still have them. I was there when they instituted it on our camp, and lied to all the inmates by telling them that every camp will be wearing them inside of a year or two. That was a lie to keep inmates from arguing, since they were told to believe that all inmates would be wearing them. I don't even know if Tyrrell is still wearing them. But from what I am gathering from other states, they have it better (???) than other states.