View Full Version : What are dorms like in TDCJ?


December13
11-11-2011, 08:43 PM
I need a prior inmate to answer this question- What are dorms like in TDCJ? I would like a very detailed description, lol.

My babe is in a dorm that houses 40 guys. He tells me there's hardly any privacy & that they must share 3 toilets & 7 sinks. Sounds awful.

I would really enjoy reading diffrent descriptions given from diffrent people, even from those who were in diffrent state prisons, thanks.

Firebrand
11-16-2011, 08:31 PM
What are dorms like, huh? Well….in my opinion, dorms are the worst of all possible settings in places like a transfer facility or a state jail. It’s more a matter of being warehoused than it is being serving time in prison. Simply put, dorms are a place where too many people in too small of a place are made to serve their sentence. There is no privacy and often times when one person contracts a virus or contagious condition, the entire dorm catches it at some point. People are nosy and it’s difficult for that many people to co exist the way they really need to over the long haul to keep their sanity in tact. The lack of privacy that a 2 man cell or even a cubicle that you find on most all trustee camps on larger i.d. units which are a type of dorm can make a world of difference. Those types of living situations should be banned. It is wrong to force men or women to do their time that way.

December13
11-16-2011, 08:42 PM
What are dorms like, huh? Well….in my opinion, dorms are the worst of all possible settings in places like a transfer facility or a state jail. It’s more a matter of being warehoused than it is being serving time in prison. Simply put, dorms are a place where too many people in too small of a place are made to serve their sentence. There is no privacy and often times when one person contracts a virus or contagious condition, the entire dorm catches it at some point. People are nosy and it’s difficult for that many people to co exist the way they really need to over the long haul to keep their sanity in tact. The lack of privacy that a 2 man cell or even a cubicle that you find on most all trustee camps on larger i.d. units which are a type of dorm can make a world of difference. Those types of living situations should be banned. It is wrong to force men or women to do their time that way.

Wow, that sounds awful! Thanks so much Firebrand. I really appreciate it!

Real Checker
11-16-2011, 08:55 PM
I agree with Firebrand about the state jail housing. I spent 8 nightmare months on the Holliday Unit in Huntsville coming back from a bench warrant and it was a zoo. The bunk are two man, one above the other, and they are opened to the dayroom area which means the only time you can find quiet is when everyone is asleep. Privacy is absolutely zero.

Now on the Hughes Unit they had some dorms that sound more like your description with the number of toilets and sinks, only those dorms held considerably more than 40 men. When you walk into the dorm you see it is two levels, the top level overlooks the dayroom area which has four TV's and several game tables plus benches for watching the TV. The lower level is just like the top only your are practically in the dayroom area. There is a chest high wall that separates the dayroom from the bathroom and the toilets are open as is the urinals. There are four showers in the bathroom that are open so there is no privacy there either. The good thing is that every bunk has about a four foot high cubical around it. If you sit on your bunk you can see around the whole building, but if you are lying down you can pretend you're alone ... especially with some earbuds and a radio.

The trusty camp dorms have the same cubical set-up only they are a single floor and the dayroom is in a separate building. These dorms are pretty quiet and are coveted for that reason above any other. The showers are separate from the toilets so you can shower without watching someone relieve themselves.

Some of the older units have dorms that are actually just open wings with cubicals in them. On these units the toilets and sinks are in the dorm, but you have to go to the population shower which is located in another part of the unit. The older X shaped part of the Wynne Unit is like this.

With the exception of state jails, dorms are usually the preferred way to do time for most people ... though some prefer the semi-private living in a cell. I never really like living in a cell because some are ridiculously small (the older ones) and even the larger ones are no bigger than my walk-in closet here at home. Another thing is when you get a celly you don't get along with you're either stuck with them or have to do something to get rid of them.

Real Checker
11-16-2011, 09:07 PM
I should add that I have been on done time on these units and how long on each one.

Ellis (8 months)
Hughes (4 years)
Monford (1 year)
Holliday (8 months)
Wynne (6 years)
Goree (4 months)
Hilltop (3 months)
Hightower (1 year)
Beto I (6 months)
Ramsey III (3 months)
Walls (Huntsville Unit) (1 year and 6 months)

I should point out that the Hilltop unit was for men when I was there, but I did work in the Farm Shop there while it was transitioning to a women's unit.

I eventually got into a dorm on every unit except the Walls, Goree, and Beto I.

December13
11-17-2011, 09:23 PM
I should add that I have been on done time on these units and how long on each one.

Ellis (8 months)
Hughes (4 years)
Monford (1 year)
Holliday (8 months)
Wynne (6 years)
Goree (4 months)
Hilltop (3 months)
Hightower (1 year)
Beto I (6 months)
Ramsey III (3 months)
Walls (Huntsville Unit) (1 year and 6 months)

I should point out that the Hilltop unit was for men when I was there, but I did work in the Farm Shop there while it was transitioning to a women's unit.

I eventually got into a dorm on every unit except the Walls, Goree, and Beto I.

Thanks so much, I really appreciate your help :) My boyfriend said something about a 9x5 cubicle, so what is a cubicle? lol

Real Checker
11-17-2011, 10:39 PM
Thanks so much, I really appreciate your help :) My boyfriend said something about a 9x5 cubicle, so what is a cubicle? lol

It is a metal partition about 3 to 4 feet tall that encloses the area around the bunk and desk which defines your personal living area. The cubical has an opened space so you can walk in and out of the area. If you've ever seen office spaces with workstations enclosed in walls ... it is the same principle.

Typically in the cubical is a bunk and either a built in locker under the bunk or a floor locker next to the bunk, a desk which is usually built into the cubical wall, and an electrical outlet near the desk for a fan or radio. The desk is about 18 inches by 18 inches and close enough to the bunk so you can sit on the edge of the bunk and use it for writing letters or whatever.

A plastic covered mattress and plastic covered pillow is issued and you are given two sheets and a pillow case. Most people tie the corners of the bottom sheet making it like a fitted sheet so it doesn't slip around on the mattress. Everyone hates it when they are issued new sheets because until they are washed a few times they are like sleeping on sandpaper. You are also given a blanket, but some units only issue the blankets during cold weather.

When I was there you could purchase a night light which you could clip on the edge of the cubical wall and shine enough light for reading books or doing art work. I don't know if they still allow nightlights or not. I'm sure they still sell fans and radios though.

Hope I did a good job with that description. If your boyfriend has a cubical then he has some relative comfort and at least a small sense of privacy.

December13
11-17-2011, 11:16 PM
It is a metal partition about 3 to 4 feet tall that encloses the area around the bunk and desk which defines your personal living area. The cubical has an opened space so you can walk in and out of the area. If you've ever seen office spaces with workstations enclosed in walls ... it is the same principle.

Typically in the cubical is a bunk and either a built in locker under the bunk or a floor locker next to the bunk, a desk which is usually built into the cubical wall, and an electrical outlet near the desk for a fan or radio. The desk is about 18 inches by 18 inches and close enough to the bunk so you can sit on the edge of the bunk and use it for writing letters or whatever.

A plastic covered mattress and plastic covered pillow is issued and you are given two sheets and a pillow case. Most people tie the corners of the bottom sheet making it like a fitted sheet so it doesn't slip around on the mattress. Everyone hates it when they are issued new sheets because until they are washed a few times they are like sleeping on sandpaper. You are also given a blanket, but some units only issue the blankets during cold weather.

When I was there you could purchase a night light which you could clip on the edge of the cubical wall and shine enough light for reading books or doing art work. I don't know if they still allow nightlights or not. I'm sure they still sell fans and radios though.

Hope I did a good job with that description. If your boyfriend has a cubical then he has some relative comfort and at least a small sense of privacy.

Your description was beyond amazing! Thanks so much :) My bf isn't that good at describing things, lol, but you did a great job.

Renee
11-20-2011, 09:13 PM
Here is a picture of a cell that another member posted. Hope this helps!

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=556539&highlight=picture

December13
11-21-2011, 08:26 PM
Here is a picture of a cell that another member posted. Hope this helps!

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=556539&highlight=picture

Thanks! :)

Real Checker
11-21-2011, 08:59 PM
Here is a picture of a cell that another member posted. Hope this helps!

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=556539&highlight=picture

The picture on the right shows a red book with a radio sitting on it. Notice how the case of the radio is clear so you can see there is not contraband being kept in it. Don't know why, just thought I'd point that out since not many people would notice it unless you've had one of those radios.

Real Checker
11-21-2011, 09:16 PM
http://www.docs.state.ny.us/images/09budget8.jpg

I snagged this picture off the Internet. I think it is from somewhere in NY. The reason I'm posting it is because these cubicles in the foreground are built the same as many (but not all) of the dorm cubicles here in Texas. Some here are a little more narrow but they are the same height and this is a should give a pretty good idea.

December13
11-22-2011, 02:24 PM
I snagged this picture off the Internet. I think it is from somewhere in NY. The reason I'm posting it is because these cubicles in the foreground are built the same as many (but not all) of the dorm cubicles here in Texas. Some here are a little more narrow but they are the same height and this is a should give a pretty good idea.

Thank you Real Checker! Your information has been very helpful, I really appreciate it. Now I do have a better idea of what a dorm looks like. By the way, my bf is in the Clemens Unit in Brazoria.

The info on the radio was great! I never even thought of that :)
Matter of fact, I didn't even know it was a radio, lol.

Real Checker
11-22-2011, 02:31 PM
Thank you Real Checker! Your information has been very helpful, I really appreciate it. Now I do have a better idea of what a dorm looks like. By the way, my bf is in the Clemens Unit in Brazoria.

The info on the radio was great! I never even thought of that :)
Matter of fact, I didn't even know it was a radio, lol.

Ah, now that tells me a bunch because I spent a lot of time on the Hughes Unit which has the same "floor plan" as the Clemens Unit. Very similar units, so I imagine the dorms (which were added after the main unit) are the same as well.

December13
11-22-2011, 02:44 PM
Ah, now that tells me a bunch because I spent a lot of time on the Hughes Unit which has the same "floor plan" as the Clemens Unit. Very similar units, so I imagine the dorms (which were added after the main unit) are the same as well.

I should have mentioned that before, huh?

shinejun
11-22-2011, 03:09 PM
From what my friend has told me of the Gist unit, it's pretty bad. He has 47 other men in his dorm. He noted there are bunk beds, 2 high, and that they are so close to one another that if the person next to you rolls over in their sleep, they roll on you!

He also mentioned the showers are open, no curtains or partitions and that the toilets are also right there, so you could be showering while someone is using the restroom.

That's the comments I've read directly from him about Gist.

December13
11-22-2011, 05:41 PM
From what my friend has told me of the Gist unit, it's pretty bad. He has 47 other men in his dorm. He noted there are bunk beds, 2 high, and that they are so close to one another that if the person next to you rolls over in their sleep, they roll on you!

He also mentioned the showers are open, no curtains or partitions and that the toilets are also right there, so you could be showering while someone is using the restroom.

That's the comments I've read directly from him about Gist.

That sounds awful!

TDCJ hand
11-22-2011, 06:11 PM
If they roll over they fall on the floor. There is a 30 inch gap between bunks.

shinejun
11-23-2011, 09:49 AM
Haha, maybe he added that part for the "wow" factor. :rolleyes:

TDCJ hand
11-23-2011, 11:05 AM
I guess if one was big enough they wouldn't make it to the floor.:D

shinejun
11-23-2011, 01:14 PM
That's true! I have ended a few letters with, "I hope some big dude doesn't roll over your way tonight and spoon you."

And TDCJ hand, I hope you know that we are thankful for all your insight, advice and answers here! You're appreciated!

MsPrettiJackson
11-23-2011, 09:57 PM
It is a metal partition about 3 to 4 feet tall that encloses the area around the bunk and desk which defines your personal living area. The cubical has an opened space so you can walk in and out of the area. If you've ever seen office spaces with workstations enclosed in walls ... it is the same principle.

Typically in the cubical is a bunk and either a built in locker under the bunk or a floor locker next to the bunk, a desk which is usually built into the cubical wall, and an electrical outlet near the desk for a fan or radio. The desk is about 18 inches by 18 inches and close enough to the bunk so you can sit on the edge of the bunk and use it for writing letters or whatever.

A plastic covered mattress and plastic covered pillow is issued and you are given two sheets and a pillow case. Most people tie the corners of the bottom sheet making it like a fitted sheet so it doesn't slip around on the mattress. Everyone hates it when they are issued new sheets because until they are washed a few times they are like sleeping on sandpaper. You are also given a blanket, but some units only issue the blankets during cold weather.

When I was there you could purchase a night light which you could clip on the edge of the cubical wall and shine enough light for reading books or doing art work. I don't know if they still allow nightlights or not. I'm sure they still sell fans and radios though.

Hope I did a good job with that description. If your boyfriend has a cubical then he has some relative comfort and at least a small sense of privacy.

This is exactly how he described it as well ...thank u so much.

pennydc1
11-24-2011, 05:41 PM
My hubby is in a dorm and has the cubicle described above (the walls are taller tho than the pic that was posted) and said it does give him privacy. He has the night light and radio as well.
I much rather him be in the dorms cuz he says the things that go on in the cell blocks are off the chain so I thank God they moved him there quickly after he got to this unit.