View Full Version : Surrendering to Carswell Medical Facility 7/23


ljw023
06-29-2009, 09:24 AM
I just found this site and it seems to be helpful in answering some of my questions. Does anyone out there have advice on what I can take with me? how much money I should take in with me to start? I was ordered restitution of 25% per month, how does this effect the money I earn, receive from family members, etc? Does anyone have a commissary list they can share? Thank you!:D

AllThrtl
06-30-2009, 04:17 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but that restitution that is ordered in your jundgement, won't start till probably 60 days after your release. While you inside, you'll be expected to voluntarily participate in the Inmate Financial Responsibilty Program, IFRP. There are volumes written in these forums that spell out exactly how this works. http://prisontalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=274 This is a good place to start reading. Reading these forums helped a great deal in reducing my wife anxiety about what was about to happen to her...

ljw023
06-30-2009, 05:56 PM
Does anyone know if they offer early release for good behavior, or if your committed for your entire sentence? Thanks

AllThrtl
06-30-2009, 06:44 PM
If you are doing more than 12 months, you are eligible for 15% good time credit. Depending on the length of your sentence, you likely spend 1-6 months or more at a halfway house. How long is your sentence? Have you received your designation papers yet? The judge saying your going to Carswell doesn't mean much, although my wife says they have lots of empty beds, way more going out than coming in...

ljw023
06-30-2009, 07:07 PM
I was sentenced 28 months for taking money from my employer; I received my letter to SS on 7/23 to Carswell Medical Center. I live in Ohio, so it is quite a distance from my home and family. Do you know what documents are necessary for me to bring, drivers license, social security card, etc? Its good to see you stuck with your wife through this, my husband of 13 years divorced and left me... after sharing the wealth.

AllThrtl
06-30-2009, 07:47 PM
I'm sorry to hear that about your husband. I did not "share the wealth" of my wifes crimes, but it took some soul searching and a few times when I didn't support her as I should have before I made my desicion.... "for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do us part"....but I cannot judge.

Ohio,...yeah, that's a long way from home..thats the hardest part.

I wouldn't take anything other than your Drivers License.

ljw023
06-30-2009, 08:47 PM
Thank you for all your information, it helps to know a little bit about what to expect... better than the unknown.

mommaof5
07-03-2009, 08:48 AM
When you went to your sentencing did they give you some paperwork? Thats what you take with you, your list for visitation and contacts, you can take a bible, and cash or a postal money order to get your commissary setup...and if they put you in the financial responsibility program yes you will pay restitution while your inside. They will use your income of 12 cents an hour and whatever is put in your account...use caution with that.

The first quarter was $25 and it has been no less than $700 every quarter since and they show no mercy. If they have seized any assests, retirement etc...get a receipt from the court and that should help satisfy one of your payments. Wish I had more positive news.

And yes we know all to well about when the goin got tuff hubby got goin...now he wants her back. What an a**!!!!

If you have any questions feel free to pm me

Keep your chin up and god bless

AllThrtl
07-03-2009, 09:28 AM
$700 a quarter...WTH!!

We are very careful about what money I send and she doesn't spend on anything but what she absolutely has to have... We've never had to pay over $25 a quarter.

Don't take your PSR...

ljw023
07-03-2009, 10:08 AM
mommaof5 and allthrtl, thank you for your information, it is so helpful to have some knowledge of what to expect. The sites that you (allthrtl) have recommended, have been informative and helpful as well.

Do you know if I can mail myself soft covered books to Carswell? I have several that I would like to have with me to help "pass the time"; but have read mixed information about the policy.

Also, do you know what type of exercise facility/equipment/classes are available?

Does anyone have a commissary list I could get a copy of? This way I will know how much money to take with me, exactly.

Thank you again!

AllThrtl
07-03-2009, 10:13 AM
I don't think you can mail yourself softcover books, but I don't know for sure. My wife had made a list of books she wanted me to send her, but once inside she told me not to worry about it. She says the library has LOTS of books and she doesn't need any from the outside. She read a bunch and says she will not run out of things to read...FWIW

I will scan that commissary list and email it to you this weekend, so I haven't gotten around to it yet...

ljw023
07-03-2009, 10:16 AM
That's good to know, I guess I won't worry about sending the books then.

I appreciate your taking the time to send me the commissary list!

Have a great weekend and Happy 4th of July!

mommaof5
07-03-2009, 01:13 PM
It wasnt the PSR that she took when we went to court for sentencing the court clerk gave her a receipt of some kind and told her to take that. I asked mom what if she forgot it what were they going to do send her back home? Hey it was a thought!!

NorTex
07-03-2009, 01:51 PM
It's so strange to me the constant non-conformity, for example the restitution issue, my GF went in with $700 cash, 90% of which was given to her from the church & friends as we had read she would have to buy virtually everything needed including stamps,phone & email.....this was bad mistake taking in that money. The 1st quarter her FRP was established at $25/per qtr.....3rd month increased to $156 per MONTH then following month went to $200 per MONTH.......there just seems to be NO standard....it's whatever the counselor believes he can suck from the family.

mommaof5
07-03-2009, 01:58 PM
NorTex..I totally agree...We send on an average $150 including phone card sometimes a little more for luxury items...lol...but her payment has been as high as $900 for a quarter. I agree I think they see what they can suck out of the families. Im just glad we are on the downhill slide of this entire nightmare! They must have the same counselor he is a real butt!

ljw023
07-03-2009, 02:05 PM
WOW, I cannot believe how inconsistent it is. Well, good luck to them trying to suck anything from my family.... it just isn't there. I will probably spend most of my time "restricted" because aside from what I am putting together to take with me, there will not be much more to follow. I don't have much family left... I have two children (27 & 17), my oldest child will be taking care of my younger one until he goes to college, so all my money is going to go to them.

NorTex, how long is your GF in for? Is she at the medical facility?

NorTex
07-03-2009, 04:10 PM
Sounds like same counselor and don't even get me started on that guy....bet he drives a hummer or corvette to make up for the other "shorts" he has been dealt in life !!
I have virtually memorized the federal regulations regarding FRP and realize they are playing the game by bending the rules to make it work within some sort of guidelines.
The bottomline is that they will suck & suck until something breaks then enforce the involuntary "refusal" status which penalizes the inmate, re-calculate FRP terms, and start the process all over again until they once again reach that breaking point. It is apparent that there is credit given to these counselors (oxymoron of a term) for how much they're able to collect....the more money that their assigned inmates bring in makes their employment review more favorable....this is my belief .
Our probation officer was appalled when he learned of this during home inspection visit which (again) leads me to wonder where that big disconnect is between him and the prison system.....he almost argued with me that the above was not possible or legal...of course I did'nt argue with him but, well, go figure ! OK...ranted enough (LOL).

NorTex
07-03-2009, 04:16 PM
ljw.....in for 2 years & on the camp side. Advice...go in with little and after you're established within few days then send word to family to send just only what you need via Western Union.....do not use the snail mail system of mailing postal check to BOP, that sometimes takes almost 2 weeks to get posted to your account (if they don't accidentally lose it, that is).

ljw023
07-03-2009, 06:05 PM
NorTex - Thank you for the advice. I saw my PO yesterday and asked him about the way the restitution thing worked and told him about the information from others on this sight, and he had absolutely no clue. He told me that I would not be expected to pay restituion while incarcerated, that it would only start after I was released.

When I told him that I was ordered to pay 25% of any income while in prison, he still insisted that it would not start until I got out. I just don't think they have a clue! (at least he did not.)

Have a good holiday!

AllThrtl
07-03-2009, 08:33 PM
Just like Nortex said, and I can't stress this enough, DO NOT take all the money you save up in with you, it will make your IFRP payment go thru the roof. You'll need about $300 when first go in, but after that, only have sent in what you absoluetely have to have, and only when you need it. My wife knows a lady who brought in all she could come up with, about $1500, because she had no one to help her and a relatively short sentence, like 12 mos.... Her IFRP payment was $700, now she has nothing to buy what she needs, only what she earns at .12 an hour....

As a rule, PO's have no idea what goes on in prison.... not in my experience anyway. It really doesn't appear that most attorney's or even Federal Judges know what goes on inside the walls of the prisons...

NorTex
07-04-2009, 09:11 AM
I've gotta say one thing about our PO, seems to be pretty decent guy & laid back. Said due to type of crime & previous history of not so much as receiving any type of traffic fine he's not worried about anything.
He WAS concerned though about this FRP thing...said that's not legal and he would call "counselor" asap and straighten that sh*t out.....well, he did call within 48 hours, called back and wasn't so Gung-Ho....simply said he had done all he could do & issue was totally in hands of counselor & case manager.....sounded as if that dog had his bark taken away !!
All of this has just yet another amazement to me....the PO has no idea what happens on the "inside" so makes me ask, "What else is there he has no idea about?"

AllThrtl
07-04-2009, 10:24 AM
Your PO is right, your ordered restitution shouldn't start until after you are released....

Here's a post from TxRhino where he pretty much breaks down the whole process. So far, my wife's experience has been exactly like this... HTH



Federal Inmates that have restitution will be asked to volluntarily enroll in the IFRP (Inmate Financial Responsibility Program). When I say vollunteer, I do so tongue in cheek as the BOP will make life a living hell on those who opt out of it.

Here is a reprint of a post concerning IFRP (Inmate Financial Responsibility Program) I posted a while back:

As to your questions concerning money, this is a trickey issue. Like goof balls we had no idea we would have to pay resititution inside. In fact the Judge had said at sentencing that there would be no restitution payment until 6 mnths post sentence completion. What we found out the hard way is... BOP does as it damn well pleases and will ignore the judges order.

Now for the good part (tongue in cheek), I will try and explain to you how this all goes down. Within your first 30 days of arrival you will have a "Team Meeting". This will consist of you and the "powers that be" ie... counselor, unit manager, staff supervisor for your job at BOP. You will have these Team Meetings every 6 mnths thereafter until your final year in custody and then will increase them to every 3 mnths. One of the topics you guys will discuss is your IFRP (Inmate Financial Responsibility Program) or Resistitution Payment. The first payment for the first 6 mnth period is reasonable however there after it will be calculated as follows. The way BOP determines your payment is add together all the funds in your account over the previous 6 mnths. They will then deduct $75.00/mnth or $450.00 from this total. From the balance, they will divide this by 6 and then access you up to 65%/mnth as your payment.

So lets say you max out your account and deposit $290.00/mnth (max commissary/mnth) and deposit an additional $69.00/mnth for phones, and add say another $40.00/mnth stamps. This would bring your monthly total contribution for commisary account to roughly $400.00/mnth. Let us also say that at your first team meeting BOP accesses you a $25.00/mnth IFRP to bring the total to $425.00/mnth.

$425.00 x 6 = $2550.00

Now subtract the $75.00/mnth or ($450) phones.

$2550.00 - $450.00 = $2100.00

Divide by 6

$2100 divided 6 = $350.00

Now multiple by 0.65

$350 x .65 = $227.50

Your new IFRP Payment is now $227.50 leaving you $122.50 /mnth (left for you after depositng over 400/mnth in your account) for phones, food, stamps. Who do you suppose BOP is punishing here... the inmate... or the loved one on the outside trying to do their best to take care of the one inside by providing funds. The down side is... The more you deposit in your account... the higher the IFRP becomes each mnth. Sucks huh? Top this off by the fact that the BOP retains up to 10% as a collection fee.

Since you will no doubt be participating in the IFRP I put together a few suggestions on how to keep your contribution as small as possible. Here is another reprint of another post I made.

The first and most obvious solution is to have the Judge wave your participation in the IFRP and not have to begin repayment until a set time after your incarceration. It seems painfully simple, but it has worked for others.

Upon Surrender if you will deposit only enough money for a couple of items, some stamps and phone, and wait at least 30 days (or until after your first team meeting) befor depositing any thing substantial, BOP will access you a releatively inconsequential payment for your first 6 mnths inside.

The next solution is to try and hang on to as much of your money inside as possible. This can be done by depositing your monthly funds later than the first of the month. Much will depend on your surrender date and when your team meetings are held. If you have your first team meeting on say the 7th of the month... your subsequent team meetings will be close to that date. Based on that your next team meeting (were your IFRP is calculated) will fall on a date close to that, 6 mnths down the line. If you do not deposit your money into your account until after that next team meeting, you will still get until the end of the month to spend it, but the money will not show on your account for IFRP accounting purposes when the BOP calculates your monthly payment based on your average balance. Essentially they will make your payment based on 5 months worth of funds rather than 6 months.... Did I loose you yet?

The next thing you can do is save money by using the phone system. As you will recall, BOP will deduct $75.00/mnth from your monthly balance to allow you to purchase max phone time and stamps to maintain your "Community Relations". If you only have a couple of folks on your call list as we do... simple go to your local cell phone company and ask about a "shared plan". Many Cell Phone companies allow their users to add a second line that shares the minutes in youtr current plan. Most of the time they will even give you a free basic phone for this service. Simply have the Cell Phone company assign a phone number that is local to your facility and call it from Inside. By doing this, you will be billed on your prison account as if you are making a local call as opposed to a long distance call. * Remember: local calls cost inmates .06 cents a minute as opposed to .23 cents/min for long distance. Do the math. 300 min x .06 cents = $18.00. 300 min x .23 cents = $69.00 . That saves you $51.00 a mnth you can use as you see fit and BOP cannot touch it.

These are just a couple of things to consider. I have a few more savings tips and will pass them on as time permits. Hope this helps.

Finally, once your loved one is out of BOP Custody, all restitution will be handled by the FLU (Federal Litigation Unit). If you click on the following link you will find more information on how this is handled:

http://www.afda.org/afda/news/outline_restitution.htm (http://www.afda.org/afda/news/outline_restitution.htm)

The information is still current even though it was compiled a while back.

Keep the Faith

Michael :thumbsup:
__________________

"You have to go through the rain to get to the rainbow"

NorTex
07-04-2009, 10:55 AM
Thrtl...thanks for the above and I believe I have all that understood....the prob has been (still is currently) that she was teamed 30 days after entering, again at the 3month mark, again at 6 month mark (every 3 months in other words) but told back last February it would switch from 3 month to 6 month teams and was due in June for that 6 month team but never happened...FRP calculations have been (still are) stuck at the February rate which is inclusive of the money she came in with that was the big mistake.....all this sounds confusing (and believe me it is) and this week a$$hole told her that it will probably remain same now that her hwh date has been set (What??!!).....nowhere in the regs does it say that once your hwh date is set that your current FRP is locked in......and this is what I mean by non-conformance and bending of guidelines.

AllThrtl
07-04-2009, 10:56 AM
Also, I found that I couldn't add an add'l line to my family plan that would have a local number to the prison, different markets.... But, I and my inlaws, purchase Boost Mobile phones and have been able to get phone numbers that are local to the prison, which is determined by the area code and prefix. Not all 817 area code numbers are local calls from the prison, the prefix is also an issue. 817-538-xxxx is a local call from the prison. I went with boost because it's a straight .10 a minute and the money is good for 90 days. Most other plans have per day charges or minutes expire in 30 days or both... I buy minutes for the phone, but it only costs her $18 which helps for her IFRP. Also, the stamp prices have increased so you get a little more credit there.

It's complicated, but if you work it right and realize your gonna have to do without many of the snacks and makeup and luxuries like that. My wife is amazed how many girls get up and put makeup on everyday....who are they trying to impress? It's funny really, because my wife wouldn't dare go get the paper without makeup and fixing her hair before she went in, now she says she only wears the minimum amount of makeup and curls her hair ONLY when I come to visit...once a month...Some ladies buy the expensive laundry detergeant instead of the free stuff (she doesn't like it, but she tolerates it because it's free)... you just have to change your mindset, which has also helped open her eyes as to the events that led her to where she's at now...

AllThrtl
07-04-2009, 11:00 AM
Thrtl...thanks for the above and I believe I have all that understood....the prob has been (still is currently) that she was teamed 30 days after entering, again at the 3month mark, again at 6 month mark (every 3 months in other words) but told back last February it would switch from 3 month to 6 month teams and was due in June for that 6 month team but never happened...FRP calculations have been (still are) stuck at the February rate which is inclusive of the money she came in with that was the big mistake.....all this sounds confusing (and believe me it is) and this week a$$hole told her that it will probably remain same now that her hwh date has been set (What??!!).....nowhere in the regs does it say that once your hwh date is set that your current FRP is locked in......and this is what I mean by non-conformance and bending of guidelines.


Wow, that does suck... My wife had a meeting at the 30 day mark, March 3rd, set FRP to $25/qtr, then three months later, June 3rd, again set at $25, but she had her HWH date by this point....

The only thing consistant is the in-consistancy....

NorTex
07-04-2009, 11:03 AM
Thrtl.....also forgot to mention above that payments originated on a "per quarter" basis and at 3rd month team was changed to "per monthly" basis which, from what I can tell, is NOT per fed guidelines and no reasonable justification but remains the case to this day and better be there on the 1st day of the month (not last day of previous month) prior to noon or when they go to pull from the account and it not there then problems will arise.....to me it's a form of blackmail to the family...we don't pay and our loved one will pay one way or another.

ljw023
07-04-2009, 12:07 PM
Thank you both for the information, it certainly is helpful!

conley87
08-16-2009, 11:27 PM
I will be surrendering to Carswell on August 20th, is there anyway you could send me a copy of the commissary list as well. I have no idea what to expect. My restitution report states that I will not have to repay any money until 60 days after I am released, is this not true? I keep reading that they take money each quarter.

AllThrtl
08-17-2009, 07:18 AM
PM me your email address and I'll send it to you...

I've heard stories of people getting out of paying FRP without consequence, but I wouldn't hold my breath... My wifes judgement says the same as yours, she still has to pay FRP. From what I understand, if you don't pay FRP, you go into FRP refusal which makes it so you can't buy anything from commissay except the essentials and may loose HWH eligibility....

conley87
08-17-2009, 02:22 PM
Thanks, I sent it to you. I hope it worked I am new to this.

NorTex
08-17-2009, 02:50 PM
I will throw in my 2-cents worth regarding the FRP.....although the sentencing papers had no mention of any delayed restitution payments we have paid quarterly, monthly, and now back to quarterly payments. Amount started at a fairly low quarterly payment then after 2 months it jumped to a monthly payment and increased in value 10-fold !!
So here is the moral to the above story (Allthrtl will agree).....when you surrender do not take much money with you, maybe $250 max to begin with then have your outside folks send you additional funds only on as-need basis.

romans828
08-17-2009, 05:31 PM
I don't think you can mail yourself softcover books, but I don't know for sure. My wife had made a list of books she wanted me to send her, but once inside she told me not to worry about it. She says the library has LOTS of books and she doesn't need any from the outside. She read a bunch and says she will not run out of things to read...FWIW

I will scan that commissary list and email it to you this weekend, so I haven't gotten around to it yet...

Hi, would you be able to send me that comm. list also. thx

AllThrtl
08-17-2009, 08:49 PM
Sure, just pm me your email address...

click on my name at the top of this post, then click on "send a private message to allthrtl"

I agree completely with Nortex. FRP is a pain.... The upside, the wonderful Mr. Barnes is supposed to be gone the first of October!!! Lets keep our fingers crossed... She heard this from Ms. Boyd who is also supposed to be going at the same time... She's a bitch sometimes, but at least she gets her job done and does what she says she'll do...You new girls may get lucky!!!

dasy100
03-06-2010, 09:44 PM
WOW, I cannot believe how inconsistent it is. Well, good luck to them trying to suck anything from my family.... it just isn't there. I will probably spend most of my time "restricted" because aside from what I am putting together to take with me, there will not be much more to follow. I don't have much family left... I have two children (27 & 17), my oldest child will be taking care of my younger one until he goes to college, so all my money is going to go to them.

NorTex, how long is your GF in for? Is she at the medical facility?



I found it really hard to accept the way Prisons in America are run. I'm in Canada and our prison system is nothing like the US. We have never heard of paying restitution in jail or paying for stamps and phone calls from inside. Our people accepts ALL collect calls local or long distance.

This is really destructive for inmates. Bad enough it's difficult to survive outside imagine surviving inside. I feel really bad for those guys in prison.

Ask to be relocated to a Canadian Prison!