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


Rachel
09-18-2012, 07:22 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, 08:37 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

TDCJ Commissary
09-08-2016, 10:02 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, 03:29 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, 06:36 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, 08:29 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, 03:45 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, 03:47 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, 06:55 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, 03:23 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, 07:45 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, 08:37 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, 09:21 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, 10:34 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, 04:03 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, 04:10 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, 04:22 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, 04:33 PM
it can also mean they got a case if you can just deposit and no ecomm.

AndyS
06-01-2017, 04:52 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, 06:57 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, 07:23 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, 07:36 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!:)