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  #26  
Old 05-30-2008, 05:23 PM
Zelda50 Zelda50 is offline
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From what I've read, the plan is to have the TruLincs email system at all the institutions eventually. At one time, I saw a website of the company that listed the places left to go but no timeline. I can assure you that, if things follow the usual pattern, Sheridan will be one of the last to have it. Sometimes I get the feeling that Sheridan is it's own little isolated enclave in the BOP. There are both pro's and con's to that. My best recommendation for communication is for you to get a cell phone line that is local to Sheridan (like Sheridan or McMinnville prefix (McMinnville is prefix 560) in the 503 area code) so the calls are much less expensive as a local call vs. a long-distance call. Z.
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  #27  
Old 06-02-2008, 05:03 PM
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Thanks again Zelda50, the only reason my son hopes to transfer to Sheridan is that it will bring him the closest to home. We are all from Washington State, when our son, at 27 yrs of age, was given a 12 yr sentence for selling marijuana (first time, non-violent offense) and designated to Taft, CA in 2005. My husband and I retired our long time jobs and relocated here at that time, we felt we needed be in his life as much as possible, share our and his world, try to offset the institutionalization that would come with a lengthy sentence. We've never regretted that decision though its been v difficult at times. But he is now in a camp (after 2 years in the Low) and hopes to finish his sentence in Oregon, closer to his fiance, more family and friends in Washington State. Taft Camp (and the Low) are decent facilities, staff wise and other wise. No fences, has green grass and trees (believe me, a Godsend as the adjacent Low has neither, just hard packed dirt, and hot sun) and seems to be pretty low key if you keep your nose clean. Taft is much like how you describe Sheridan, an "isolated enclave", only it is a contracted, privately run facility, and that as well has its pros and cons.

I'm curious about the phone costs at Sheridan, currently he pays around $40 - $50 month for his 300 minutes, I think thats regardless of whether calls are local or out of state, maybe I'm wrong, I'll have to ask again. But are you saying it's different at Sheridan? I remember how outrageously expensive those phone calls were the year he was in County jail (he'd been denied bail as he was a dual Cdn/US citizen) prior to being sent to the prison, to the point where you figured it was quite the racket and just HAD to be illegal!
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  #28  
Old 06-03-2008, 10:15 AM
Zelda50 Zelda50 is offline
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At Sheridan, using the direct calls, the inmate pays about $3.60 for a long-distance 15-minute call. If you get a local number, it's around 90 cents for that same 15-minute call.

Both are MUCH less than those county jail calls, which are ridiculously high!

My husband transferred to Sheridan from southern California to be near to family. While he says Sheridan has a lot less programs, jobs, etc (especially since shutting down the UNICOR furniture factory), he says the much more frequent visits have
made the move worth it. It depends upon how much your son can put up with lack
of structured activities. Z.
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  #29  
Old 06-03-2008, 03:51 PM
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Visitation at Taft Camp is limited to 20 points per month. 4 points are charged for visits on friday (from 8 - 3), 8 for saturday visits and 6 for sundays. So you can see that doesn't allow much! Best bet is 4 fridays, or 3 fridays and one sunday (though sundays are soooo busy). Visiting days are only Fri/Sat/Sun and holidays. Most people work and can't visit fridays so that leaves them even fewer days.

The adjacent Low Security was better for visitation, believe it or not. He got 42 pts a month, and you were charged by the hour, 1 hr = 1 point, EXCEPT weekends and Holidays, those you were charged 3X's the usual rate!!! They really seem to have a thing about visiting, certainly not a priority for the bop. Visiting days at the Low were thurs thru mondays so we were able to see him much more often which we all preferred, but getting to the Camp now allows him to transfer closer to home. There are no Low Security prisons in Wa or Oregon that he could have been designated to, the camp at Sheridan is his only bet. What IS visitation set up like at Sheridan?

Structured activities not that important to our son, he does likes to play some sports though, & participates in basketball and racketball, also has a great workout program he does with buddies(no weight pile at Taft). He earned an Associates Degree in Business via distance learning from Taft CC last year, still takes classes every semester there as well as correspondence classes from LSU, in hopes of earning his Bachelors Degree. He's a HUGE reader, and pretty self motivated. It would be nice if he could learn a trade or skill while at Sheridan though, some prisons have training in landscaping, physical fitness trainer, driving heavy duty equip (none of these at taft, mind you), does Sheridan offer anything? Does it offer classes from community colleges even?
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  #30  
Old 06-04-2008, 01:07 AM
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Sheridan mostly offers classes taught by other inmates. There are a few classes where the inmates can earn some kind of certification, I think. Visiting is Friday evenings, Saturday and Sunday days and federal holidays (during the day). I don't know the point system - don't live close enough to have to pay attention to that. I mostly know about the FCI - someone who knows about the camp will come along soon and help out, I think.
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  #31  
Old 06-04-2008, 01:44 AM
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I encourage you to look up posts from others who have transferred from other institutions to Sheridan, all I have read wish they had stayed at the prior institution before they transferred to Sheridan. He will have to spend at least a few days at the FDC which has been having fights everyday lately. My husband said he is glad he isn't in there. All of that said. If your son can deal with what seems from yor posts will be at least 6 years at an institution that has little programming available for the campers in exchange for more visits then here is the point system. All campers get 12 points per month. Fridays count as 1 point (Friday visits are from 5pm - 8pm) and are almost always not very busy. In fact the end of the month there can be hardly anyone there. Saturdays and Sundays count as 2 points each(8:30a - 3p) and they are ususally quite busy especially if the weather is nice. I live nearby and have been asked to leave once due to overcrowding in the visitor's room since February. Another quirk about Sheridan even though you are on his visitor's list and have been approved through the BOP security process, you will have to be reapproved before visiting at Sheridan even if you are family. Another visitor form will have to be filled out by everyone. There are some well stocked vending machines in the visitor's room that are expensive and break down on a regular basis though the woman who works them tries real hard to keep them running. NO REFUNDS if you lose money. If you get there early enough on the weekend and don't mind waiting up to 1 1/2 hours in line you can usually get fruit and veggies, sometimes salad. These are very popular for visitors to buy because the campers get very little in the way of fruits and veggies in chow hall (the FCI gets first dibs on the food that comes in to the compound). Softball, handball, pickleball, and basketball are the sports my husband plays. The campers don't have a gym and all sports are outside. If you don't know about the weather in Sheridan look it up. I love the rain, my garden loves the rain, my husband is getting used to it. I have talked to campers who say it depresses them the constant overcast skies and drizzle and rain. Starting in July we get summer and it lasts through September. Our summers are gorgeous where it is daylight from 5am - 9pm (winter there is light from about 7:30 - 4:30 your son will get lots of reading in during the winter). My husband has spoken of horticulture, CDL, and computer classes at the camp. Most of the jobs are at the grounds, warehouse, bakery, and kitchen. Since your son has more time to go his job prospects will be better because alot of the bosses don't want to hire someone who has little time left. If you are thinking of relocating closer to Sheridan, McMinnville is a very comfortable community to live in. About 30,000 people an hour away from Portland or the coast. Salem is half an hour away. Oregon has lots of great things for people to do, all within less than half a days drive. If you are planning to drive from Washington on a regular basis there are some nice affordable motels in McMinnville. It is a good drive from I-5, which can be heavy traffic on the weekends because there is a casino not far from Sheridan and the coast is 45 minutes away. One more thing, there are not enough phones to go around and the camp count is hovering around 360 for the past few months, it gets as high as 512. I was used to getting more phone calls before my husband transferred to Sheridan. I usually get about 3 a week. The phones and TV are shut off on a very regular basis for group punishment because the CO's punish all because of a few inmates. Taft allows smoking I have read, all BOP prisons not privately run including Sheridan are inmate smoke free (CO's can smoke in designated areas). If he is a nonsmoker like my husband this is a plus. Health care and dentistry are hard to come by. My husband hurt his foot and it took 3 weeks to get it x-rayed. Fortunately not broken, torn ligament though. Ibuprofen or naproxin drugs of choice for most ailments.
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  #32  
Old 06-04-2008, 01:06 PM
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Just learned there are two doctors at Sheridan now. No dentist yet, though. The most recent dentist was flown in from Texas to take care of some inmates and then flew back. Z.
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  #33  
Old 06-04-2008, 01:20 PM
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hey guys,
I herad from my husband last weekend they were getting email access at fsl jesup in a few months.
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  #34  
Old 06-05-2008, 12:43 PM
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GREAT info re Sheridan - thanks everyone. The vending machines (and change machine - ie converting paper $ to coin $) at Taft (at both the Camp and the Low)are pretty much the same it seems as Sheridan RE breakdowns, & now and then at taking your $ and giving nothing, etc, must be a universal prison problem. They also WON'T take the new $5 bills (nor will the coin machine take NEW $10 dollar bills), so if you have the "new" bills you are out of luck unless another visitor can help you out. But the selection isn't bad, most times, 2 machines with ass't sandwiches, club and chicken caesar salads, pizza, sometimes cheese/grapes, some puddings, cheesecake, spicy chicken wings, burritos, sometimes "real" chicken strips or wings. Then other machines have all candy, donut, chips and soda or water.
What can you tell me RE the atmosphere (guards attitudes?) and general set up of the visting room itself? More visitation with his fiance is my sons ONLY reason to want to tranfer there but, at that, will have to weigh all the pros and cons it seems. To visit at the Taft Camp is very comfortable, it takes all of 10 minutes to get in (most guards are cordial and pleasant)...you walk into the lobby, hand over your filled-in forms thru a window, the guard might peek out (sometimes) to see if you are dressed according to rules, then you walk 5 ft to enter the visiting room. They have 20 or more round tables with chairs set up all over (not in rows or anything) that can seat up to 4 or 6 comfortably (you choose your own table, no assigned seating like over at the Low facility, they also offer several plastic chairs and little tables along the perimeter of the room) and after 10 am they open the outside courtyard. Its small, walled - in with netting over the top (but hey, its outside : blue sky, sunshine, chirping birds mostly year round), has 8 picnic tables (4 in the shade of the bldg) where its quieter and more private. Guards will peek in every now and then, especially when they know your woman is with you But all in all, visiting is a very comfortable experience.
He says he really misses the 4 seasons, here in Taft we have maybe 2 months of overcast cooler days, w/v occasional rain those months. July thru Sept temps are in the low 100's (F), often 100 -115 degrees, very HOT. And the prison being set out in the desert, very dry. Valley Fever is becoming more common among the inmates (I as well got it shortly after moving here), not fun to have and hard to get rid of especially for the inmates with limited medical care. The Camp at least has grass and lots of trees, a nice big vegetable and flower garden...just putting more info out there for anyone wanting to know more about Taft.

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  #35  
Old 06-05-2008, 07:21 PM
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So far the CO in the visitor's room is awesome. He just got his Master's Degree and is moving up the ladder in a few weeks. I'll keep you posted on the new CO when he/she arrives. It takes longer than 10 minutes to look up people on the computer if there is a line. The room has capacity for 166 people with numerous size tables to use. There is an outside that sounds like Taft's. The room reminds me of a high school lunch room. I love the weather here. It rarely gets over 85 in the summer, but it usually hits 100+ at least a few days. Lots of rain and drizzle from mid-Oct thru June.
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  #36  
Old 06-08-2008, 07:12 PM
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Thanx MrsBike How strict are the guards in the visiting room itself? I've heard they are pretty strict at Sheridan Camp, much more like a Low Security, lots of cameras and heavy scrutiny. That inmates and their wives/girlfriends can't cuddle or touch much. One of the things my son and his fiance appreciate the most here is they don't get jumped everytime they cuddle, the guards are understanding and only interrupt or call the inmates inside for a "little chat" if they are going overboard, saying that they don't want to get in trouble so to cool it a bit.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:20 PM
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There are no cameras in the Sheridan Camp visitor's room. Usually just the one CO, maybe a duty officer comes in periodically throughout the month. It's very laid back right now, but I expect that to change soon with a new CO coming in. I haven't heard or seen any heavy petting. We sit next to each other with our arms around each other and kiss rather often, not making out type kisses just swet kisses.
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  #38  
Old 06-09-2008, 10:31 PM
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Would that be "sweat kisses" or "sweet kisses" ??
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:44 AM
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I had someone come over and had to post quickly. That's "sweet" kisses. The visitors have been respectful since I've been going there. The CO reminds the group periodically about the rules since there are new inmates coming into the camp. Though the visits are good my husband says that Sheridan should be avoided if possible. The tv and phones are cut off several times a week and there is little else to do compared to other places. The camp is run like an orphanage for undisciplined unruley children who need constant group correction. The inmates wouldn't be at the camp level if they were as unruley as they are being treated.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:29 PM
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Thats good to hear (about the decent CO ie). My son (and especially his fiance) will be glad to know its not too tense or petty. No harm, no foul, with cuddling and sweet kisses, just comfort and healing and love, and where he's at right now the guards seem to feel the same way, so it's good to hear things are similar at Sheridan. Every 6 months though there is a change in personel and the newbee guards are the worst, they can sometimes be so "by the book" its ridiculous, but most of them tend to relax into the job after a month or two, once they realize these are not violent criminals they are tending

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  #41  
Old 06-11-2008, 08:42 AM
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Hiya everyone...I am so happy that there is an outlet for those of us with loved ones incarcerated...I get absolutley no support from my family...
My BF was moved from the Taft camp here in Cali last year to Sheridan, OR camp...I have not seen him for about 18 months now due to money problems...I miss him dearly!!! He refuses to tell me anything about the camp and what goes on there....can anyone here please give me some info? It would be much appreciated and thanks in advance...
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  #42  
Old 06-11-2008, 09:15 PM
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What kind of info would you like? My husband has been there in the camp for a little over a year now. Feel free to ask away. I will try to help as much as possible. Shannon
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:23 AM
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Put "Sheridan" in the search engine at the top of this page and you will get lots of information. From what I have read people who have moved from other camps to Sheridan regret the move because there is little for them to do and are treated with disrespect and have the few perks they have removed on a regular basis,i.e., phones and tv. It is a very laid back environment. Everyone just waiting to go home...waiting like cats looking out a window with little else to do.
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:38 PM
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Look back a few posts to the posting "Email at Sheridan Camp?" and you'll find lots of good information about Sheridan . This website really is a Godsend. I appreciate everyone so much who takes the time to send information
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:46 PM
Zelda50 Zelda50 is offline
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I just drive past the place but there's a track and a handball court. The guys have been playing softball since the weather improved. There are some gardens the guys work in. There's a warehouse. Some guys go up to the FCI and clean up the visiting room and lobby. There are some classes there - mostly taught by other inmates. You could ask him what job he has or what classes he might be taking - or if he plays softball. Maybe he doesn't want to tell you about it because he doesn't want to complain - because there is a lot of "nothing to do." You could ask him if he's reading anything and what it is. There is a book called "If (Questions for the Game of Life)" full of interesting questions to begin conversations. (You can probably find it used online at Half.com) You could send him some of those questions and see if he responds.
For example, "If you had to rename your hometown, what would you call it?"
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Old 06-13-2008, 02:46 AM
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Zelda...again thank you so much for the info....I have found it difficult to find new things to talk about....it seems as if I keep repeating myself and he feels the same way about writing....
This is so darn hard...You all are some very strong people on here and I applaud that...
I am very grateful to those of you so willing to offer help, guidance, and some hope!!
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Old 06-14-2008, 12:35 PM
Zelda50 Zelda50 is offline
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My guy has been in so many years that some subjects we do repeat ourselves a lot - then we laugh about it. I have found that one of the keys to keeping the relationship strong and keeping the communication going is for both people to make an effort to pursue activities/studies that interest them. Take a class or workshop. Get some books from the library on something you've always wanted to learn about. Then you have new information to share with him. If you're able, order some books for him that you're reading and you can discuss them. If you have a digital camera, go for a walk and take photos of what you see that you like. Gardens - houses with interesting architecture, etc. You can either print out the photos - or you can put them right into your letter as you write about your thoughts. Ask him specific questions and he might more likely to answer them. How much longer does he have to go?? Zelda
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:54 PM
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Hi again Zelda, and TY for more helpful info....he is locked up until 9/2011...he can be very difficult when it comes to talking....right now he is in a horrible mood due to the loss of his appeal....
I feel so horrible for him, but have no way to comfort or help him...he just shuts down and I have to wait for him to work it out :-(
I'm glad you have such a good relationship with your man...I guess being married would make a big difference...
I will do what you said with the pictures and such...I rarely send him any pictures...but then again he never asks for them...
anyway...I'll do whatever it takes to bring him out of this depression and keep his spirits up, it is hard though without him giving a crap lately...
I love him dearly and would give anything for him....
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:48 PM
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If he just lost an appeal, that can explain a lot. Try to be supportive and give him time to process it. My husband just lost a Habeas case this week. I told him the news on Wednesday and I haven't heard from him since. But I also know that I spent those days really not wanting to talk with anyone (except him) and generally mad at the world - and I'm the one out here free. I'm trusting he's just dealing with it and I'll hear from him very soon. Just try to reassure him that you care about him and see how he responds. Z.
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Old 06-15-2008, 03:12 PM
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My son lost both appeals but by then was pretty used to getting bad news. When he was first sent to Taft Low here in Cali the guys would call it "dream time", that time when one is still awaiting a decision. Because so few get positive results they all know one has to have the "hope" and the dreams, and when all appeals are exhausted then one can face reality, get over the hump, then make a plan and move forward. But its the making a plan that is important in so many ways.

My son's release date is 2015, and within months of encarceration he decided he would leave prison with "something" to show for it. Fortunately Taft has a distance learning program with the local community college and he has earned an Associates Degree so far and continues to take classes every semester. He is now also enrolled in LSU (Louisiana State Univ) where he intends to keep working towards a Bachelors Degree. He can only hope in some way this will help him upon release, if nothing else it fills the time (so much time!) and makes him feel good about himself.

You are so right Zelda, pictures do so much! Whether your man is saying so or not, I can guarantee the pictures make a difference. I have always made it a point to include pictures on my letters (digital camera/computers are wonderful!), in this way I'm more fully able to share our lives with him. I also print out any he wants to keep in his many and varied albums he keeps (they can purchase photo albums and I know my son often goes thru his). His fiancee sends him pictures of her often (as have friends and other family), in some she glams up and shows a little skin (only whats appropriate and allowed), puts cute statements, & private messages just for him, on the back. Yes, to the books and magazine subscriptions!! Mailcall is the highlite of an inmates day. Even if you don't always feel like a nice long letter, send funny &/or loving cards, postcards, whatever and often. You can find used, inexpensive, but in great condition, books on Amazon.com, or can send paperback yourself in manila envelopes (they can receive 5 at a time at Taft). If you haunt thrift stores/Goodwill stores you can get your books super cheap.

Give him some time, he WILL adjust, he will more forward. He just needs to know you are always there for him, be patient, it IS hard. My sons fiancee left him on two different occasions, but she has been back for a year and a half now, and they are doing great....just 5 more years to go (with good time and rdap)! Best of luck to you both.
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