View Full Version : What is visitation like at the unit your loved one is in?

12-15-2004, 09:59 PM
The first time I visited R at the unit he is in now I parked in the wrong lot and because there is a rule about walking from one lot to the next Lil'Egg and I got to ride in a prison van. She actually told all her friends about it, she thought it was exciting!
Now I drive up to the unit, park and sign my self in at the visitation desk. Because someone brought contraband in during visitation a couple of weeks back they have started inspecting cars again, which is no big deal. What is visitation like at the unit your loved one is in?

12-15-2004, 10:15 PM
My other half is at Eastham so we sign in through the Highway gate and then to keep cars from parking on the highway, he moves us through the gate and parks us just inside the gate until it is time to move up the the visitor sign in, which is 1/2 to 3/4 mile up the road. Then, everyone else parks in the regular lot, but I have a handicapped sticker, so I can park right by the gate shack. We sign in and then since there are no metal detectors, we are wanded. Then, I don't know about the rest -- I have contact visits and it's only about 20 feet inside the gate to the entrance to the building and the room. I hear from a reliable source that the machines in Ad Seg have ice cream, but it's worth giving up the ice cream to be able to touch him! Eastham is a training unit for COs so we really haven't had any trouble. They gave us extra time when they found out it was our first visit and we had just gotten married. They were really very nice.


12-15-2004, 10:37 PM
my husband is in beaumont. We park in the front of the lot. Which is about 10 steps from the door. I normally hold my daughter cuz she doesnt know the meaning of going straight to the door she wants to run around before hand. Smile! Well then we show our id and they make sure who we are . Then we have to go thru 2 gates and then we have to show our id again and they give you the contact or non contact slip and if its the day of pictures you pay. then you walk down the corridor and go thru 2 doors. and you are either assigned a table or to the non contact section.
the first time i went there i was still pregnant and it was the first time that he had touched me since thanksgiving the year before and this was apr. So we hugged for a long time . and everyone came to met me like i was famous . He was showing everyone the baby sonograms and pictures of me. so you know they were crazy when i first took her up there .

12-16-2004, 09:08 AM
Mine is at Middleton. At middleton if you get there before 8am you park in the lot to the left of the guard shack. At 8am he will motion for the cars to start lining up. When the guard gets to you he will check your licensce and want to know who you are seeing. Then he will have you pop your hood to look under it. Then write your tag down...You will go about less than 1/4 mile and park in the parking lot on the left.
You will go into this first building on the left and sign in. Your drivers license MUST match the address they have for you. They will give you a slip on whether it is contact or non-contact. you will be wanded and searched. You will then go through 2 gates and have to show your ID's then into another building. They will there take your license and you will either go to the room on the right (contact) or go down the hall to the reg. visits. Take 20.00 in quarters in a clear bag. Everyone in there from warden on down are very, very nice......The warden has the attitude that visits are good for his inmates, because if his inmates are happy then his CO's are happy and then that makes him happy.

key jo
12-16-2004, 09:49 AM
Well, this week at Dawson, you enter and the metal detector is now at the front door. You then proceed to the front window to give inmate number and show your id. The c.o. gives you a paper with floor and if contact or non-contact visit. Also notes if there are any children with you. Then you turn around and give the paper and id to another c.o. and they hand write your name, address and inmates name and time entering unit on a paper. Vending machines are on 1st floor and you can't go back down so you have to get all you want before you go up.

On the floor of your visit, you hand paperwork and id to another c.o. and they handwrite all the same info as above on their sheets with the time you are there. Then they buzz you in-2 doors- and then you enter the visiting area across the hall. Hand the c.o. there the paper and id. They hand the id back and assign you a place to sit.

12-16-2004, 11:23 AM
At the Darrington unit my honey is on teh trusy camp side. You pull up to the guards station and they take your name and DL and then they inspect your car. They go inside and check the computer then they come out and if you are for a non-contact visit you usually have to pull in a parking lot and wait to be called. Since our visits are contact I pull through and turn into the parking lot in front of the dorms. I go into the front office they take my name once again and who I am here to see then they wand you! Then you have the option to sit inside or out wherever you want to sit. This has been the best unit as far as visitation is concerned for us. Most of the guards are very nice.

12-19-2004, 09:55 PM
I go to Coffield. Which really is not so bad because I visit every weekend and most of the weekend guards know me and my car. I keep it professional at all times. Show my ID, my info is writen down by the highway gate guard and my suv is searched including under the hood and cargo area. Then drive around to the vnext check point. Park the car, show my ID at the 2nd check point to be approvd for a visit, I am wanded with a hand held medal detector then I'm let inside a gate that leads to the main building. Show my ID again so I can walk through another gate to get to the building so I can get my visitation slip, walk back out the gates show my ID again then drive around to the trusty camp, show my ID and hand the visit slip to the visitation guard and take a seat of my own choice. Wait on my husband to walk from his dorm if he's not already there. Because most of the guys in the camp are about to go home it is a bit more relaxed. We have much more physical contact with our loved ones. However they are still locked up and we still have to leave them there

12-22-2004, 04:23 PM
My honey is at the same unit as Crack's - the trusty camp at Jester. I've never had my vehicle inspected though, but I only visited there once back in October - I might be able to tell you different next week! They don't have a metal detector there - just the wand thingy! You sign in and they send for your inmate and on to the visiting room you go. They were very nice the one time I've been there and hoping for the same this coming visit.

When he was at Gist, there was no vehicle inspection and you went in through the metal detector - they only let 5 in the door at a time! And then to the desk to sign in and into the visiting room from there.

12-28-2004, 08:44 AM
Mine is at Alred and pretty much the same as others. when you pull up you give the guard your DL and they check the hood and the trunk. then you sign the paper showing who you are there to see, then you go park and walk into the little building in front and that is where they check your stuff(ie.. jackets, baggies of baby stuff..) then you give them you DL again and they check the visitation list to make sure you can visit and determine there whether it's contact or non contact then they wand you and you walk thru 2 doors then thru the gate and walk up to the unit where you check in again at another desk and they hold you DL while you visit and then you get your little blue slip and then walk thru 2 more doors to vistation to get assinged a booth.... and yeah you finally get to see your hunny!!! :)

12-29-2004, 02:30 PM
Mine's on death row at Polunsky. Visitation depends on the day you go. It's best to go during the week. You park, check in at the first building, pass through a metal detector, and then you walk to another building. There are several sets of steel doors that you have to pass through, but when you reach the visitation room, you check in with a guard, and she tells you which booth you're in. Then you sit down and wait... sometimes for twenty minutes, sometimes for nearly two hours. Then they bring your guy out, place him in the cage (approx. 3'x3'), pick up the phone, and start chatting!

12-29-2004, 02:32 PM
That doesn't sound like much fun Destiny but I guess as long as he keeps showing up in the cage....

12-29-2004, 02:34 PM
Nah, not much fun at all. But he's still there, which is a blessing in itself. However, things are looking good for him and his case, so his sentence may be commuted to life before long! I'll still have to see him in prison, but at least that death sentence won't be hanging over his head.

12-29-2004, 05:07 PM
That is good news!

12-29-2004, 07:34 PM
That is good news!Thanks! We're all excited about it! Should hear something by summer...

01-13-2005, 01:12 PM
At the Sanders Estes Unit (a private run unit), I park right in front of the building and go inside where I give my drivers license to the guard at the desk. They have a nice waiting area with cushioned chairs & loveseats where you wait until your inmates name is called. Then you go through a door and through the metal detector. A big sliding door opens and then you're in a small area until the sliding door shuts. Then the door to the visiting area unlocks and you go in where the inmate is standing waiting for you. After hugs and kisses you select your own table to sit at for the visit. There are normally only 2 or 3 guards in the visitation room and they stay up by the door at a table - none of them are walking around breathing down your neck which is really nice! I only have 2 complaints about the visitation there....first they do not take pictures at all. I have even called to see if I could volunteer to go in and take pictures during visits but they said they don't allow pictures at all...end of story. My other complaint is that they don't have any sandwich vending machines - only drinks and candy/chips/crackers. But at least they have coke! Also orange juice and lemonade. But it's a lot better than when he was at Choice Moore where all the tables were so cramped together and you couldn't even hear yourself think!

01-13-2005, 02:03 PM
At the Lindsey Unit in park, walk in, sign in, tell the lady or man the inmate number, give them your ID, then you pass a metal detector, and sit and wait til they call your name. When they call your name you go to another building and go into a room for contact visits or to a different area for non-contact...
...this is a very minimum security place...

01-13-2005, 02:35 PM
to Destiny 221:
I`m also visiting twice a year at the Polunsky Unit since a couple of years, since last month also at the Ellis Unit. When I hear such good news, I`m getting real curious to learn about whom you are talking. Would you mind to tell at least the first name? I would be thrilled if your friend gets out of there. Those conditions there are so damn horrible. Each time I leave my heart breaks to leave them all behind me. Regards, mimi7

01-19-2005, 10:13 PM
My sweetheart stays over in McConnell Unit. You bascially drive up to the "dog house" and get checked in and have your vehicle throughly, and continue about less than 1/2 a mile, then you walk in the 2nd "checkpoint". you then get wanded :-) and go through a steel door, and proceed to the gate. You then go a ways down to checkpoint 3. They take your DL, and escort you over to the visitation room, and you pass 2 steel doors. If contact the lady askes you if you want inside or out, and wait... and wait... I generally have good things to say about these bosses.

nh boy
01-20-2005, 12:52 AM
mine is at lane murray. i have to say my first experiance going in was not all that bad,i stopped at the shack had my car inspected under the hood and trunk,not to through though! he checked my id, signed me in for who i was seeing.then i parked.went to another shack.where i was wanded and my papers checked. then was buzzed trough a gated fence, then walked into front reception area,where i paid 12 dollars for pics. and my papers were checked again. then i was told to go in through a metal door and and go to a second desk,there i was told what window my hunny was at, she was already there waiting for me! i got me a 4 hour visit because i am over 300 miles away.but hear is when the problem came in this was on sat. i was expecting to visit on sun. as well special visit you know well i went in to the second shack and was told no way adios amigo you cant visit both days! before i went for my visit no one told me that my hunny was not g2 line one well this means that she was only allowed 1 4 hour visit a month!! you would think that when they denid me acsses someone would have told me why i could not visit.but no.i didnt lern why untill i found this site and read the posts on this .

01-20-2005, 11:12 AM
J is at Torres Unit in Hondo. You park (i've only been 2x but i've never had or seen them search anyones car) and go inside this small building where you give your DL and your loved ones TDCJ number. They'll give you a slip which tells you what type of visit you're getting (contact/noncontact, special/regular). They wand you (although last time i was there they didn't do that) and you walk to another larger building and give that slip to the co's there and they call up for the inmate. the noncontact and contact visits are all in the same room. there's tables set up inside for contact visits and also an outdoor patio area where contact visits take place.

Sometimes you have to keep track of your own time because they've tried to short change me on my 4 hr visits, both times i was there. the first time a female co tried to end our visit after only 2 hrs (and i had to tell he that i had traveled from chicago and the warden had approved me for 4 hr visits) and this second time i visited the same co ended our visit after 2 hrs (i left cuz i didn't really want to argue with her) but i took it up with the major and he allowed us to have a 6 hr visit the next day to make up those 2 hrs we were shorted on Saturday.

01-20-2005, 07:59 PM
Mine is at the Allred Unit also.The last time I was there after you got your stuff frm the machines you have to openeach item and place it in a plastic bowl. If it is anon-contact visit a co takes it then and gives it to the person through the slot.

01-21-2005, 09:33 AM
My husband is in Edinburg ~ 5 hour drive for me (270 miles) according to Records Dept. and only a 2 hour visit. I have had good experiences ~ the CO's are pretty nice. I have to say this because last weekend I locked my keys in my car and the CO at the guard shack let me use his cell phone to call roadside assistance. First you have to park on the highway and then about 10 minutes until 8 they let you drive up to the guard shack. They ask for your ID and who you are there to see, check under your hood, trunk and look in your car. You drive into the parking lot and go in the administration building and walk through the metal detector ~ they check your ID and give you a slip with contact visit / non-contact and let you through the door. There are chairs in the contact visitation room but no tables which is good because you get to sit very close to your loved one. About 10 minutes before the visit is up they will let you know. They do assign you a seat. I try my best to be the first one there because I know the first seats are off in the corner and if we are having an alone visit (without my son) we get to have lots of hugs and kisses during the visit. The first time I went I was sure they were going to tell us to stop but they never did. I really enjoy those visits. They seem pretty layed back.

01-27-2005, 09:44 AM
Mime is at Big Spring. Visits are weekend only from 8:30 - 3:00. Everyone make a line (cars). They park there car on Friday night across the street, leave there car and ride with a family member or friend back home. They come back Saturday morning around 7:00am and wait for a guard to usher them onto the property. Either the guard will give out numbers or you park and walk up to the building to get a number. They have visitors papers outside for you to sign (your name, address, his name, car tag number). Once your number is called, you sign in, they take your paper, number and id, they ramdonly use the drug machine, then you go though the metal detectors, take your shoes & coat or sweater off, then you go though the double set of steel doors, then you walk over to the visitors room. There you have the vending machines, chairs, room for families with kids (toys & games) and a outside area if you want to eat outside, play with the kids, walk or whatever. The weekend staff is pretty nince, but when you have a three day weekend (holiday), that staff sometimes can be rude. There is contact ( hugs, kisses, holding hands, etc.). I'll miss that part if he's transferred!

01-31-2005, 08:49 PM
my boyfriend is at bartlett state jail and i havent gone for visitation because i dont know what to expect and i work alot on the weekends... i really miss him alot but if i ever do go .. now i know what to expect.. kinda scary but its worth it

04-02-2005, 01:45 AM
Does anyone know about how visitation is at the TELFORD UNIT??? I will be going to see my man in 3 wks, and would like a heads up!!!! Also, does anyone know what you're not allowed to wear to visitation??/ I know obviously no cleavage, no shorts....but it would be nice to get some advice!!!! i was thinking about a t-shirt and jeans. I figure, the more covered up you are, the the prison's eyes!!! LOL ....also does anyone know where to get a TDCJ handbook?? Thanks!!!

north star
04-04-2005, 03:32 PM
here's a brief outline about visitation

the entire guide can be found here

04-08-2005, 02:36 PM
Does anyone have info on Wheeler unit in Plainview Tx...I can't believe they sent him as far from home as possible....Dallas to Plainview almost 7 hours! Might as well be in another state! But if you know anything about Wheeler please share....

05-12-2005, 12:29 PM
My baby is in Jasper, Tex - only contact visits there - unless you are there on sex offense and you bring kids or you have caught a major case while there, then you get to visit behind glass in a booth. they only have 3. Never had my car searched. This facility is pretty laid back - the gal that is usually at the gatehouse knows my car, and usually has him called and my paper printed for me before I ever get to the gatehouse. She is really cool!!. Needless to say I drive 3hrs just about every weekend to see my baby! - I know I miss him so much during the week, that I can't wait for the weekends to come around so I can see him.

Just some useful info, if you live more than 300 mi or have an out of state address and drivers license, you can request special visits. Then you can visit for 4hrs. It is so amazing.

05-12-2005, 03:37 PM
HRH Raymond - I went with someone to visit a friend at Wheeler/Formby. If we're talking about the same unit (I think Wheeler and Formby are combined), then your car gets inspected at the entrance. You have to pop the hood and trunk and they just do a cursory check of it. We were in a rental car so there was nothing to see. Then they wrote down our i.d. driver's license info on a pad. We drove about 1/4 mile more to a big parking lot. I waited outside while my friend went in because I was not on the visitor's list. I read a book and it went by fast. A few times I went inside the lobby to go the bathroom. Only one guard questioned me and I just told him the truth -- I am waiting for someone who is visiting an inmate. You basically leave your driver's license at the guard desk. All you can take in is change for the vending machines. These are contact visits and you sit across from each other at tables. I hope this is helpful to you.

05-16-2005, 10:52 PM
At mine people start showing up at 6am to see there loved ones. Then at about 7:30am a gaurd stops people at the entrance while a gaurd goes down all the waiting cars assigning numbers. Then if you didn't show up until after the gaurd starts you wait and then as you drive in your a given a number. At 8am they start taking numbers 5 at a time until they have 40 people seated. Sometimes on saturday you can show up at 8am and you'll be given number 66. Then when you get in you have to wait for them to contact your inmate and tell them they have a visit then a gaurd will escort you to visitation and then you get to wait until your loved one decides to come down. Once I had to wait because mine descided he needed to take a shower. Only contact visits here unless you catch a case or you are still in intake. Mine has glass because he caught a case. It become an all day thing, but I wouldn't turn down the chance to visit my love for the world!
I've only had my car serched once. They were having a graduation for the guys getting there GED and they used a dog for it.

05-24-2005, 01:59 PM
my prison pen pal is in texas, and i am moving to texas (unrelated reasons) in the fall.
he told me to keep my minnesota liscense so i can get a longer visit. would i have to tell them i am just visiting from minnesota?

key jo
05-24-2005, 02:24 PM
talulah- if you have an address over 300+ miles from the unit, you can get special visits-4 hours each Saturday and Sunday. But, it takes approval from the Warden and can only be done once a month. Not sure if it would be worth the problems it could cause once they realize your letters aren't going to Minnesota anymore. Good luck on the move!

06-01-2005, 12:32 AM
thanks kerri!
i was thinking maybe it would work for my first visit. and then he could change my address on his visitors list. i just have no idea if it would even be on their radar to check my letters against my address on the visitors list. i dont know a lot about how all of that works. probably better safe than sorry!

06-13-2005, 06:55 PM
What are visitations like at ISF units? Particularly the one in Pampa, TX..thank you!

02-24-2006, 11:59 AM
I am hoping to visit the Polunsky unit for the first time soon. Any advice?

05-14-2006, 10:35 PM
My son is in Tulia, and it reminds me of visiting in the county. It is a smaller unit, no one has checked our cars, no detector to walk thru, just a guard at a table to check your id and scan you, then thru the doors to contact. They sometimes just tell me sit wherever, depends on who is working. Also, they seem to be a little more lax than Middleton was about the dress code. So far so good...will be going to Polunsky as well for the first time in 2 weeks, not sure what to expect there.

05-16-2006, 02:12 PM
I visited Buster Cole and Sanders Estes. Pretty much the same at both, except Cole searched my vehicle each time. Both were easy to locate and easy to park and get inside. I never waited very long for the visits and everyone was very nice and not standing over your shoulder the whole time. Estes was more quiet than Cole, as far as the other visitors. I am going to visit at Byrd this weekend, and I am kind of worried about the crowds.

06-11-2006, 06:46 PM
I had a friend that married a man in one of the units there in Beuamont and she went EVERY weekend...and she used her New Hampshire license..worked like a charm!

As for how visitation is where my hubby is...well for lack of a better term....IT SUCKS...BAD! My Hubby in at the Geo contract facility that is at the downtown jail in Beaumont. You have to talk thru a little box that is at belly level and is smaller than the size of a shoe box. So, if there are any loud visitors, or more than 2, it echos and is really hard to hear the person you are yelling at thru the box!!! I am still trying to get my contact visits. They keep saying yes, then they say I didn't say that. You were supposed to do this, or you are not eligible yet. So, I just go and yell!! It is a 2 hour visit and the ladies that work up front are super kind and flexible.

06-21-2006, 02:01 PM
my husband is at Hughes Unit in Gatesville, Texas.... really can't complain about the CO's and or the visitation... other then it's always crowded...

Pretty much, you have vehicles checked (trunk and hood, sometimes inside look) when you first get there... then you go in and give inmate info.... go thru all the series of gates and steel doors just to get to the visitation room.

I've gotten along with the CO's there, they see my very frequently and while i'm waiting i talk to him to see how they've been and what's been going on in the unit... other then that... not really any compliants...better then some units that i have been to, i can say that...

06-26-2006, 10:44 AM
I have three loved ones in TDC. My brother is at Jester III,
boyfriend Bradshaw and cousin in Beto 2. The nicest is by far
Bradshaw. It actually looks like a country club. No fences etc.
for visitors. Walk into the check in and then into what looks like
a large clean school cafateria. Jester III. The outside is nice
there is two fences. The visitation room is small but still nice.
The worst is Beto 2. They check your vehicle inside and out when
you go in and when you come out. THIS ONE FEELS LIKE PRISON
This one is a non-contact, so it's alittle different. It is old and not
kept up well. They have always been nice it's just dirty and I
have a sick feeling when I leave here.

08-09-2006, 03:27 PM
The visitation is always too loud or too quiet....My favorite is when I go late on Sunday's and we are one of the few last one's there and just kiss and kiss and kiss until time's up.....:thumbsup:

08-23-2006, 09:15 AM
My brother is at Jester III, no checking cars just drive in the parking
lot. Walk about 20 yrds. to a very small room where you sign in.
walk out put your DL and inmate sheet in a bucket and the guard
pulls up the bucket with a rope to make sure oh heck I don't know
why, you've just been checked then walk into a small building
for contact there is never more than 5 inmates and families there.
My boyfriend was at Bradshaw. That facility was the niciest.
pull in parking lot go into the main building sign in and then go into
a large room like a school cafateria. It was always full but it was nice.
Now the worst was my best friend was at Beto, there is the long lines
check in gate where your entire vehicle is checked. then into the
parking lot. Go into the mail building, they have the new security
like the airport you walk through. then to the window to leave your
keys and then you get your visit. same thing when you leave check
your vehicles. It was always so dirty. Bradshaw was really nice.
It wasn't any different when the inmate left visitation, they just
worked on making the unit look good to the outside world.

09-02-2006, 05:22 AM
Anybody know about how visitation is at Garza West? I'm going on Sunday and want a heads up on what it is like. This is my first visit and I can't wait to see my love. I'm going through withdrawals because when he was in county I was seeing him every other day and twice on the weekends. Just want to know if you walk up or do you drive up and have your car searched, not worried about the search just my DL is expired, but I have a valid ID. Any information about Garza would be very much appreciated. I did find out it is non-contact for the first 90 days, that sucks.:blah: I can't wait for my first contact visit. This is the longest we've been apart in the 12 years we've been together.

10-01-2006, 04:51 AM
I have only visited Doug at Jordan Unit. The experiences were very nice. They took my ID and asked of tag number, did the wand thing, but no searches. Then you went thourgh a nice little court yard. The contact and non-contact was is in the same are just one set had glass with room for twenty inmates and "phones," and the other were tables it even had an outside area to sit. The vending machines were decent.

The best thing was the gaurds they would get little chairs for my daughter who was 9 months to 20 months. They would say how good Doug was doing. And on the first weekend of the months they would take pictures of the inmate, and/or you with polaroid for three dollars a pop.

Tom Girl
12-31-2006, 01:17 PM
I visited my husband yesterday at Jester 1 and I have been to at least 7 prisons over the years to visit him and this was by far the best most relaxed visit ever. All visits are contact and the guards are not in your business at all. I will be going each and every weekend.:p

12-31-2006, 07:38 PM
Can anyone tell me what it is like to visit at the Ramsey I unit?

12-31-2006, 09:02 PM
Well as for me And my husband all of our visit are ok and of course the gurads are not up in your business as well. And out visit are great every time.

12-31-2006, 09:19 PM
My baby iz @ beto unit on the trusty camp... Itz nice... for the most pt the guards are nice.. Except for a few but Im not worried about them... as long as they dont mistreat my baby Im alrite.... but from wat ive been td the beto unit itself iz NASTY!!!!!
I dont wanna go ova there soooo.... but I like my visits w/my baby!!!

12-31-2006, 09:21 PM
ooh yea... all visits are contact on the trusty camp so that makes it even betta!!

01-29-2007, 05:34 PM
I finally had my first visit so I can comment on this topic. My man is in Kegans State Jail in downtown Houston, there is a parking lot that you pay $3, then you go to a shack to sign in with a CO. Visits are outdoors, at square picnic tables, and plenty of pigeons (gross). You place your keys, id, and quarters on a small table and they scan you with a wand then you are assigned a table for the visit. Then you wait, and wait, and wait some more (felt like forever) until your loved one finally joins you. Vending machines were half way empty and it was 12 noon, drink machines kept eating everyones money. I felt bad because he really wanted a soda (-: but overall the visit went well and the fact that all visits are contact put the icing and sprinkles on the cake (-: