View Full Version : Information, & Q&A: Inmate Care Packages - eCommDirect Service


Rachel
09-18-2012, 06:22 PM
Dear all,

Finally, it looks as though we will be able to send care packages to our loved ones in TDCJ. :thumbsup:

To make the sharing of information a little bit easier, I have created this new sub-forum for us to use on PTO.

We have been told that the eCommDirect service will become operational on 25th September 2012.

This is the link to the eCommDirect service: https://tdcj-ecommdirect.portal.texas.gov/

If we all share what information and experiences we have with this new venture, it may help others to make the best use of the service.
Please use this new forum for any discussion about Texas Care Packages.

Many thanks,


Rachel

Rachel
10-31-2012, 07:37 PM
Lastest from TDCJ site:

Announcements

eCommDirect - Offender Commissary Purchases

The TDCJ Commissary and Trust Fund Department has initiated an on-line program where friends and family may purchase up to $50 of commissary items every calendar quarter for eligible offenders. The items available for purchase include the top 100 selling items which include snacks, hygiene products, correspondence supplies as well as some new packaged items. The amount purchased will not affect the amount that offenders may spend on commissary items from funds deposited in their inmate trust fund account. In addition to offenders on commissary restriction, offenders in General Population and State Jail levels 4 and 5, Protective Custody levels 5 and 6 and Administrative Segregation levels 2 and 3, are not eligible to receive commissary purchases through this program.
Website Link: www.texas.gov/eCommDirect (http://www.texas.gov/eCommDirect)
Implementation of the on-line purchase program will be phased in over the next 30 days, with the Region I offenders at the following units able to participate in this program effective October 31, 2012: Byrd, Duncan, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Ferguson, Goodman, Goree, Holliday, Huntsville, Lewis, Polunksy, and Wynne.
Throughout November, we will update the status of the participating facilities as the program is expanded to all units.


Announcement here: http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/announcements/announce_2012_ecommdirect.html

Rachel
12-23-2012, 03:31 AM
Please use this thread to ask questions about the TDCJ Inmate Care Packages/eComm service.

The original thread can be found here: Inmate Package Program? (http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=561492)

Thanks.

Rachel

johnnysgirl1225
12-24-2012, 10:28 AM
I just used ecomm direct for the first time today. I didnt purchase a care pack though. It said my LO could only get deposits.. so I made a depost to his trust fund acct. My question is.. is this the best way to send them money? Will they know about it quickly? Or should I use jpay?

Thanks

tedsgal
02-21-2013, 11:11 AM
My daughter is new in TDCJ so I've been looking for a way to put money on her books while I wait for Huntsville to send deposit slips. For personal reasons I don't want JPay appearing on my bank statement. I purchased a Visa gift card for use online. Tried to use it for JPay but they will not accept a gift card for fund transfer. However I tried it on the eCommDirect & IT WORKED! I'm so excited I just thought I would pass it on!

wandamaloy
04-20-2013, 06:32 PM
how do get to E COMM DIRECT AND IS THERE A LIST OF THINGS YOU CAN SEND

Renee
04-20-2013, 07:18 PM
This is the link to the eCommDirect service: https://tdcj-ecommdirect.portal.texas.gov/ (https://tdcj-ecommdirect.portal.texas.gov/)

I'm guessing there's a list once you log in. Good luck!

ska
04-26-2013, 11:28 AM
Got a problemand I hope this is the right place to post it. Just went online to purchase some things for my son who was at the middleton unit. Sent him an email and found out that he has been moved not once but twice. So, now that he's in the BYRD Unit, it said deposts only. My question is, will he get the items I got for him or not? To make matters worse, the phone has not rung in over a month, so I have not talked to him or got to have a visit in over a month. What a mess. Need some advise, please. Thanks for any and all the help. SKA

TDCJ Commissary
04-26-2013, 01:43 PM
Got a problemand I hope this is the right place to post it. Just went online to purchase some things for my son who was at the middleton unit. Sent him an email and found out that he has been moved not once but twice. So, now that he's in the BYRD Unit, it said deposts only. My question is, will he get the items I got for him or not? To make matters worse, the phone has not rung in over a month, so I have not talked to him or got to have a visit in over a month. What a mess. Need some advise, please. Thanks for any and all the help. SKA


Please email me his name and number to eric.johnston@tdcj.state.tx.us and I will find out what his status is. We can transfer his order to him at whatever unit he has landed at. Just let me know and we can get him fixed up. Also send me the date and purchase amount on the eComm order you placed.

TDCJ Commissary
04-26-2013, 02:01 PM
We are working on a "Quick Link" on the TDCJ homepage to make it easier to drill down to the Commissary & Trust Fund department information. We have an eComm item list and commissary price list there along with some frequently asked questions. Here is a link to this landing spot where there is some good commissary information:

http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/divisions/finance/finance_comm_trust.html

KSmith
04-29-2013, 09:35 PM
I need to cancel and get my money back for the order that was placed earlier in the day due to him being moved to another facility. How do I go about doing this?

Virgofemme73
05-11-2013, 02:51 PM
Just wondering if my LO can receive a package if the unit is currently on lock down. Thanks!

CenTexLyn
05-11-2013, 05:39 PM
I need to cancel and get my money back for the order that was placed earlier in the day due to him being moved to another facility. How do I go about doing this?

As long as he is still in TDCJ custody, the order will follow to the new unit- that has been discussed previously.

CenTexLyn
05-11-2013, 05:40 PM
Just wondering if my LO can receive a package if the unit is currently on lock down. Thanks!

Lockdown of any part of the unit will result in being able to do deposits only...once the unit is off of lockdown, then ordering will resume online.

Sunflow
07-05-2013, 12:35 PM
Have they done reset for this quarter July-September already? I can't seem to be able to order anything right now, and I wonder if it's lockdown or if reset is not done yet?

KSmith
07-05-2013, 12:58 PM
When I.called last Monday I was told it would not reset until 12am Tuesday morning. I was able to place my order Tuesday afternoon.

KSmith
07-05-2013, 01:02 PM
Call 936-437-6071

TDCJ Commissary
07-08-2013, 10:02 AM
Call 936-437-6071

Not sure why this was posted on this thread.

This # is not related to eComm in any manner. eComm questions may be directed to 936-437-4777.

KSmith
07-08-2013, 10:21 AM
Not sure why this was posted on this thread.

This # is not related to eComm in any manner. eComm questions may be directed to 936-437-4777.

It was given to me directly from Huntsville to speak to someone who helped resolve my questions on placing an eComm order.

TDCJ Commissary
07-08-2013, 01:56 PM
It was given to me directly from Huntsville to speak to someone who helped resolve my questions on placing an eComm order.

Ok, just wanting to avoid any mis-directed calls to the wrong department and then have you get bounced around until finally making it to our department. Ironically, that number is to the "Prison Store" where units and departments order their supplies...

EDD FLORES
07-15-2013, 11:31 AM
hello my ? is my husband sent me a list of foods he needed but i looked in the ecomm and some of the items are not on there like loaf of bread, mac o rolls, hot pickles, some kind of chicken and some more things is there any other website that i need to go to find them!!! thank u

mrs.esparza69
07-16-2013, 12:27 PM
EDDFLORES download and print out the 2013 commissary list..You will see items that have an E on them or a EK on them those are the things you can order thru the website. The rest he will have to order....

EDD FLORES
07-16-2013, 04:15 PM
Where do I download it from?

dphalaska
07-24-2013, 07:17 PM
Where do I download it from?

this one is probably not current prices but the items are probably..

http://www.minutesbeforesix.com/MB6Files/2010/Commissary%20Price%20List.pdf

dphalaska
07-24-2013, 07:29 PM
this one is not current prices but the items are probably..

http://www.minutesbeforesix.com/MB6Files/2010/Commissary%20Price%20List.pdf


current list...

http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/documents/finance/Commissary_Price_List_07-11-2013.pdf

ska
08-04-2013, 01:55 PM
Do we have any more information about when radios will be at the units? Son has been waiting since April for one

Ska

christina1989
01-06-2014, 04:38 PM
Hey just wondering.. I sent an EComm on Friday the 3rd. When will that be delivered to the inmate? Clemens unit.

satx18
01-06-2014, 04:51 PM
Hey just wondering.. I sent an EComm on Friday the 3rd. When will that be delivered to the inmate? Clemens unit.

They are supposed to be delivered within 3 days. Mine have usually been delivered sooner than that--sometimes as soon as the next day. He's not at Clemens, so I don't know if that will make a difference.

OnlyInTexas
01-06-2014, 05:48 PM
Hey just wondering.. I sent an EComm on Friday the 3rd. When will that be delivered to the inmate? Clemens unit.

I agree. He should have it by end of day tmrw if not already. That's been my experience. Seems the only time my hub had to wait 3 days was a holiday plus a weekend combined.

christina1989
01-06-2014, 07:40 PM
What happens if they don't run commissary. Are ecomms specially delivered? Sorry for the questions.. my friend/pen pal forgets to answer my questions!

satx18
01-06-2014, 07:49 PM
Not sure what you are asking......ecomm runs through commissary, but they get a lay-in to go to commissary and pick up an ecomm.

christina1989
01-08-2014, 08:01 AM
Sorry what I meant was, if they only run commissary once a week or whatever, are Ecomms delivered even if the commissary is shut for the other inmates. I know my friend said they only run it once a week or fortnight, does he just get it when commissary is open or is it given preference.

christina1989
01-08-2014, 08:06 AM
I think that my friend must be on a restriction or lock down.. he can only receive deposits at this time :(

satx18
01-08-2014, 10:37 PM
I think that my friend must be on a restriction or lock down.. he can only receive deposits at this time :(


I'm not sure I can answer your commissary question. At my LOs unit, they run commissary everyday, but not everyone can go everyday--it's certain blocks today, another tomorrow, etc., but it's open for some area everyday. Does that make sense? Even when it's not his building/wing/dorm's commissary time, he still gets the ecomm--he doesn't have to wait for it to come back around to his block.

If the unit is on lockdown, commissary is restricted and that means no ecomm. Also, if he's on restriction, the same thing applies. If it's saying deposits only and he's not maxed out of his allowable spend, or his account isn't locked because of exiting the site incorrectly, it sounds like it's either restriction or lockdown. If it's an incorrect exit from the site, it'll reset overnight.

OnlyInTexas
01-09-2014, 02:18 PM
Or it could mean that he was not in Tdc custody before the new quarter started. However since today is Jan 9, that's unlikely.

christina1989
01-09-2014, 11:19 PM
Thanks for your replies/help... he has been at the same prison for 10 years now so it must be locked down... because I live so far away it takes a while to hear from him, he gets my JPay everyday though.

christina1989
01-23-2014, 11:00 PM
Hi. I am just wondering my loved one just came off a lock down last week and I sent one ecomm before lock down. I just found out he did not get it. He said to me that the COs tell him the money is refunded back to me. This has not happened and neither has the ecomm limit reverted. Would he have gotten the ecomm after lock down?

Thanks.

satx18
01-23-2014, 11:14 PM
Can't give you a specific answer on that, but the ecomm site says if it can't be delivered within 30 days, the amount will be transferred into his trust fund. I've never seen anywhere that it indicates it'll come back to you. Ecomms are supposed to be delivered with 3 business days of TDCJ getting the order, but of course, lockdowns will alter that. Maybe they are just a little backed up from lockdown, or maybe part of the unit is still on lockdown and that would keep him from getting the package, too.

christina1989
08-04-2014, 09:09 PM
Hi I am just trying to work something out. I was able to send am Ecomm to my friend in Clemens Unit but he is claiming he has been on a lock down for a month? I've gone back to the Ecomm website and have been able to log in every time without any issues telling mehe is restricted. Do you know anything about a lock down there? Thanks.

satx18
08-05-2014, 06:47 PM
He says he's on lockdown now, and you sent it yesterday?

christina1989
08-06-2014, 02:12 AM
Sorry. He says he has been on lock down for the last month. I sent it straight after the new quarter started. I have been able to access the Ecomm portal this whole "lock down".

satx18
08-06-2014, 07:01 PM
Just making sure I understand.......You've been able to order and your records show the order went through, but he hasn't gotten it due to lockdown? Is his available balance on ecomm reflecting a previous purchase?

Hmmm.......don't know what to suggest about that. The ecomm policy says if it can't be delivered within 30 days the amount goes onto their account.

Chapel
08-06-2014, 07:06 PM
Hi I am just trying to work something out. I was able to send am Ecomm to my friend in Clemens Unit but he is claiming he has been on a lock down for a month? I've gone back to the Ecomm website and have been able to log in every time without any issues telling mehe is restricted. Do you know anything about a lock down there? Thanks.

Anytime R's unit or one in his building is on lockdown the ability to send an Ecomm package is disabled. I don't send packages often but if I don't get a call when I'm supposed to that is the first place I check. Every time he's locked down it says "offender can only receive deposits at this time".

If you were able to send an Ecomm I doubt they were on lockdown but I don't have experience with every prison in Texas.

christina1989
08-07-2014, 04:37 AM
Thanks. That is exactly what I wanted to know if he was indeed on a lockdown. As I think he is having me on. Yes I've been able to access the portal and the shop all month.

TDCJ Commissary
09-08-2016, 09:02 AM
We have had numerous requests to put fans on eComm since we started the program. With fans being a registered property item, subject to purchase approval at the unit level, it was not a good fit for eComm. However, we rolled out a new program called FanDirect.

Friends and family can print an order form and mail a money order to our administrative offices and we will reach out to the unit to check an offender's property records to see if they have a fan. If they don't, we will notify the unit that the offender has a prepaid fan and to call them out to receive their fan. Here is a link to the program on our website:

https://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/divisions/finance/finance_comm_FanDirect_Purchase_Program.html

We set this up about a week ago and have already received some orders. Not all units are eligible due to the lack of individual power outlets and there is a list of eligible units on the website.

As with any new program, there may be some glitches and bugs initially, but this is fairly straightforward and we are hoping for the best.

Let me know if you have any questions or need anything else.

Eric

edjuko
09-08-2016, 02:29 PM
We have had numerous requests to put fans on eComm since we started the program. With fans being a registered property item, subject to purchase approval at the unit level, it was not a good fit for eComm. However, we rolled out a new program called FanDirect.

Friends and family can print an order form and mail a money order to our administrative offices and we will reach out to the unit to check an offender's property records to see if they have a fan. If they don't, we will notify the unit that the offender has a prepaid fan and to call them out to receive their fan. Here is a link to the program on our website:

https://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/divisions/finance/finance_comm_FanDirect_Purchase_Program.html

We set this up about a week ago and have already received some orders. Not all units are eligible due to the lack of individual power outlets and there is a list of eligible units on the website.

As with any new program, there may be some glitches and bugs initially, but this is fairly straightforward and we are hoping for the best.

Let me know if you have any questions or need anything else.

Eric

Thanks, Eric, to you and other who have been so responsive to these requests. I have shared with several other groups, as well. Great news!

cmh1013
09-08-2016, 05:36 PM
My LO already has a fan; however, just a question...if you reach out to the unit and the request is denied (maybe they already have a fan or another reason) do you return the money order? I could see this being a headache for you and I hope it's not!

Ecomm is great! Thank you for continuing to roll out programs like this!

CenTexLyn
09-08-2016, 07:29 PM
While the idea of the program is laudable, I sadly see fans as the new tool for either extortion or the payment of gambling debts. What provisions are going to be put into place to cross-check the purchaser and ensure there is some meaningful link to the offender in question?

TDCJ Commissary
09-12-2016, 02:45 PM
While the idea of the program is laudable, I sadly see fans as the new tool for either extortion or the payment of gambling debts. What provisions are going to be put into place to cross-check the purchaser and ensure there is some meaningful link to the offender in question?

We will maintain a database of all fan transactions. We have some very good intelligence web tools that identify potential relationship linkages that have busted up some pretty elaborate schemes. We will do what we can but we will still get beat on some - like everything else. However, I try not to have the typical knee-jerk reaction and just pull the plug on the whole thing. Like eComm, there will be some lessons learned and we will do what we can to mitigate the risks and keep the program rolling.

TDCJ Commissary
09-12-2016, 02:47 PM
My LO already has a fan; however, just a question...if you reach out to the unit and the request is denied (maybe they already have a fan or another reason) do you return the money order? I could see this being a headache for you and I hope it's not!

Ecomm is great! Thank you for continuing to roll out programs like this!

If we identify the offender as not eligible for a fan, we will simply mail the money order back to the sender. It's a headache, but I think it's worth it to get some fans out there to some guys that would otherwise not be able to get one. We have already delivered our first fan!

cmh1013
09-12-2016, 05:55 PM
Sorry to piggy back on the fan topic...but I was curious, have you considered having accounts available? Like we sign up within Ecomm with a username and password. Then we can view our order history and even save payment information (if you have those security levels in place.)

I just thought when I ordered the other day it would be nice to see what we've ordered before. Or even have a "repeat order" function! My Husband pretty much has the same order every quarter. One click would be nice.

I am certainly not complaining though. It's just nice in general to have Ecomm. I was even happy when it first rolled out and it took an hour to complete an order. It was just nice to have.

Thanks again!

TDCJ Commissary
09-14-2016, 02:23 PM
Sorry to piggy back on the fan topic...but I was curious, have you considered having accounts available? Like we sign up within Ecomm with a username and password. Then we can view our order history and even save payment information (if you have those security levels in place.)

I just thought when I ordered the other day it would be nice to see what we've ordered before. Or even have a "repeat order" function! My Husband pretty much has the same order every quarter. One click would be nice.

I am certainly not complaining though. It's just nice in general to have Ecomm. I was even happy when it first rolled out and it took an hour to complete an order. It was just nice to have.

Thanks again!

We looked at the idea of user names and passwords when we started the program but the additional programming would have delayed the launch another six months. We were already pushed back six months and decided to roll it out the quickest way possible. Making any program changes is a red tape mess at best. However, I think this would be a great benefit for customers like yourself that shop frequently.

I will run this by our eComm staff and see what I can find out.

Thanks again.

TDCJ Commissary
01-24-2017, 01:21 PM
We are working on some programming changes this week that will make it possible to order for someone on a unit that is on a partial lockdown, if they are not in a wing/row/pod/building that is affected by the lockdown. If their housing area is on lockdown then eComm will still not be available to them. We will be testing in the next week or two and hope we can finally bring this much needed change to the program. It's been on the radar for quite some time but a complete solution has not been available. It still is not without some timing issues and logistical challenges to work out on the units, but we can work through the issues as we go (much like this entire program has been).

Thanks for everyone's patience on this jagged piece of the puzzle - I think we're almost there.

Eric

James' Sister
01-28-2017, 06:53 PM
Eric, thanks for your continued efforts to make the commissary order process easier - it has improved so much since it's inception. I know it is much more complicated than those of us on the outside can understand but we do appreciate your communication with us. Thanks for caring!

MrsCardenas14
05-11-2017, 06:45 PM
Is there anywhere I can find a complete list of everything on the commissary list not just the top 100 whatever?

CenTexLyn
05-11-2017, 07:37 PM
It won't be the ecomm list, which is actually a list that is changing as supplies either dwindle or new contracts are signed. At one time, there was a general list of commissary items through the drill-down lists on the TDCJ website. I do not know if it is still there since I have not had to look for it in some time...

OnlyInTexas
05-11-2017, 08:21 PM
The only way I know of that you can see what's 'actually' available is to go to the site, enter your LO info and see what's there. If an item isn't there it's not available. As CTL stated the supply is ever changing. I have looked one day then the next and had fewer or sometimes more options.

AndyS
05-11-2017, 09:34 PM
Here is one from 2012. They don't change much.

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6711964&postcount=1

CutLoy
06-01-2017, 03:03 PM
If ecomm says he can only receive deposits does that automatically mean he's on lockdown or will it also say that if he's reached his quarterly limit? Thanks!

AndyS
06-01-2017, 03:10 PM
If ecomm says he can only receive deposits does that automatically mean he's on lockdown or will it also say that if he's reached his quarterly limit? Thanks!

It will say that in both instances. I always leave a few cents on the account so I know for sure.

CutLoy
06-01-2017, 03:22 PM
Thanks for the quick response. I forgot to ask how much are they allowed to spend at commissary each week? I think I read somewhere that's it's $95 every 2 weeks. Is that correct?

Texasflower08
06-01-2017, 03:33 PM
it can also mean they got a case if you can just deposit and no ecomm.

AndyS
06-01-2017, 03:52 PM
Thanks for the quick response. I forgot to ask how much are they allowed to spend at commissary each week? I think I read somewhere that's it's $95 every 2 weeks. Is that correct?

Yes, $95 every two weeks.

hnb3210
07-10-2017, 05:57 AM
So last night was going to be my first order...I had him on the phone helping me with what he wanted...went to make last minute edits...hit the back button and yeah...so that didn't work.

So I checked this morning and I'm still locked out? How long does that last? I'm nearly certain its not a lockdown...the just got off lockdown a couple weeks ago.

I thought it would be the next business day?

CenTexLyn
07-10-2017, 06:23 AM
So last night was going to be my first order...I had him on the phone helping me with what he wanted...went to make last minute edits...hit the back button and yeah...so that didn't work.

So I checked this morning and I'm still locked out? How long does that last? I'm nearly certain its not a lockdown...the just got off lockdown a couple weeks ago.

I thought it would be the next business day?

It will be the next business day. They don't update over the weekend, so the next update for the system after a Friday that would be expected is tonight.

As you learned, NEVER hit the 'back' key. If you need to go back to edit, ONLY use the page functions on the site.

hnb3210
07-10-2017, 06:36 PM
It will be the next business day. They don't update over the weekend, so the next update for the system after a Friday that would be expected is tonight.

As you learned, NEVER hit the 'back' key. If you need to go back to edit, ONLY use the page functions on the site.


Dang. Thanks. So I guess when I tried to do it again at 6am I probably did something silly again. Will try again tomorrow once I'm actually alert. Blah.

Alwaysbelle
11-09-2017, 02:38 PM
My daughter is at Henley SAFP. Her ecomm is still showing only deposits. And yet, just got a letter from her begging for me to send food! I called the count room and her visitor's list was lost in transfer and she has to resubmit it. Will this have an effect on her ecomm, too?


Thank you in advance for your answer!:)