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  #276  
Old 06-11-2018, 06:04 PM
MamaHenTX MamaHenTX is offline
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Default The Missing Information from My Previous Post

*breathe... It's only your first day on PTO and all humans make mistakes.*

I had to repost this information because someone misread something I wrote in my previous post and deleted it, so here is the missing information that came before all the Visitation Procession and Visitation Process information for FCI Big Spring. Thankfully, I learned a long time ago to type all my stuff up elsewhere when sharing things to forums like this.

----

First, a note to the Moderators.

It seems this thread has been long-since forgotten. Would a moderator please move it to the main board so it can be found more easily? There are hundreds of families who are looking for information for FCI Big Spring with nowhere to go and this thread is buried with outdated information.

I fully intend to keep it updated as best I can until more people join and add their insight as well. I guarantee this will be soon because I have access to over 200 families each weekend and I will be spreading the word as soon as the lockdown is lifted from FCI Big Spring. Thanks!


And now for the latest news :

As of the weekend of June 9th, 2018, FCI Big Spring is on lockdown, which means all visitation, phone calls, etc. are suspended until further notice. You can verify this information by going directly to the BOP website. There is a large site-wide banner stating this fact, especially if you attempt to view the visitation schedule.

To answer any questions for families new to visitation or with loved ones heading to FCI Big Spring:

Yes, this facility is a good location. The food is good and varied. My son says it is delicious, having been in a county and then state facility on his way to a Federal facility -- both of which served things unidentifiable and labeled by the inmates as dumpster juice and mystery meat. He said he feels like he is living in a college dorm rather than a prison now.

The majority of inmates are SO, so if you are worried about your loved one being safe from harm in general population, don't be. That is the general population here. Most people keep to themselves. The motto is "Do your time and go home." It keeps the peace. Much has changed in recent years in Big Spring.

The uniforms -- that's right, I said uniforms -- are khaki pants and shirts with army brown tees and black boots with a brown, plastic clip belt. This is what your loved one will be wearing when you see him for your contact visit. No more prison stripes or orange or blues, unless he is in a special unit.

The visitation procession is a bit trickier to explain, so I will create a separate post for that. We have managed to make it an orderly process, but newcomers tend to get a bit flustered, so knowing where to go and what to expect certainly helps with the jitters. I wish I had this information before my first visit, so I want to help those who are new to the process. It's stressful enough without going in feeling like you've just made enemies with all the families around you.

The vending machines are tricky. Bring singles and quarters, even though the machines say they can take fives. You can bring $20 per visitor and up to five visitors per inmate per day. We have asked if they are going to raise the amount we are allowed to bring since the prices on the vending machines have gone up, but nothing has been done yet, so budget accordingly.

The average price of an entree is $3. The average price of a snack is about $2.50. Candy averages $1.50. Drinks average $1.75. There are plenty of paper towels and four microwaves available to heat your entrees. Please do not leave your food unattended, as there will be others waiting to heat their meals.

They finally fixed the bathroom handle on the ladies' room, so we don't have to fight to keep the bathroom door open or open it when it gets stuck. However, we still have to worry about running out of soap, toilet paper and paper towels in the bathroom. If you see that something is running low when you use the restroom, please be kind enough to go to the guard desk and alert an officer so the next person does not get stranded. We need to look out for one another discreetly.

Parents with children: There is a play mat and a television in the back left corner of the visitation room when you walk in the room. You must request to be seated in that area upon arrival. The officers will take your request seriously. Otherwise, they stick you wherever they want and you will have a hard time keeping an eye on your children, which means they run the risk of injury and/or put you at risk of being thrown out of visitation for failure to properly supervise your children. I have seen it happen several times now.

(I asked the officers why they don't automatically put families with children close to the mat to prevent that from happening. They had no good response other than "Policy is policy," which doesn't make any sense to me, so look out for yourselves.)

On that same note, there are some small toys and games for the children to play with. You can request these from the officers. I know they have dinosaurs and a magnet game for the younger children. There are card games for older children. I don't know if families can donate other games or bring in more of the same card games. Also, please, do not hog the game for your entire visit. Remember there are other families who would appreciate a chance to play, so play with your family and then return the game to the guard station so someone else can enjoy them as well.

We see many of the same faces each week and it would be nice to have a larger support system overall. Wouldn't it? If you are interested in helping form a larger network outside of your family, or if you need support, I am interested in starting a support group (To be clear and to prevent any further confusion or erroneous deletions, the support group would be here, on PTO, NOT on an external website.) specifically for those with loved ones in, going into, or coming from FCI Big Spring, so we can share information pertinent to that location to help those of us on the outside support our loved ones on the inside.
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  #277  
Old 06-12-2018, 09:34 PM
Zelda50 Zelda50 is offline
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Saw this online today (June 12th) - Looks like lockdown is continuing.

"BIG SPRING, TX (KWES) -
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, all visiting at the Big Spring Federal Correctional Institution has been suspended until further notice.

The prison, home to 1,228 inmates, has not given a reason at this time for the suspension.

We will update this story as it develops."
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  #278  
Old 06-13-2018, 02:08 AM
faithfullyours faithfullyours is offline
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Does anyone know about inmates being transferred out at this time and why? My loved one got transferred out of there that weekend and clueless as to why? Thanks to anyone responding!
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaHenTX View Post
*breathe... It's only your first day on PTO and all humans make mistakes.*

I had to repost this information because someone misread something I wrote in my previous post and deleted it, so here is the missing information that came before all the Visitation Procession and Visitation Process information for FCI Big Spring. Thankfully, I learned a long time ago to type all my stuff up elsewhere when sharing things to forums like this.

----

First, a note to the Moderators.

It seems this thread has been long-since forgotten. Would a moderator please move it to the main board so it can be found more easily? There are hundreds of families who are looking for information for FCI Big Spring with nowhere to go and this thread is buried with outdated information.

I fully intend to keep it updated as best I can until more people join and add their insight as well. I guarantee this will be soon because I have access to over 200 families each weekend and I will be spreading the word as soon as the lockdown is lifted from FCI Big Spring. Thanks!


And now for the latest news :

As of the weekend of June 9th, 2018, FCI Big Spring is on lockdown, which means all visitation, phone calls, etc. are suspended until further notice. You can verify this information by going directly to the BOP website. There is a large site-wide banner stating this fact, especially if you attempt to view the visitation schedule.

To answer any questions for families new to visitation or with loved ones heading to FCI Big Spring:

Yes, this facility is a good location. The food is good and varied. My son says it is delicious, having been in a county and then state facility on his way to a Federal facility -- both of which served things unidentifiable and labeled by the inmates as dumpster juice and mystery meat. He said he feels like he is living in a college dorm rather than a prison now.

The majority of inmates are SO, so if you are worried about your loved one being safe from harm in general population, don't be. That is the general population here. Most people keep to themselves. The motto is "Do your time and go home." It keeps the peace. Much has changed in recent years in Big Spring.

The uniforms -- that's right, I said uniforms -- are khaki pants and shirts with army brown tees and black boots with a brown, plastic clip belt. This is what your loved one will be wearing when you see him for your contact visit. No more prison stripes or orange or blues, unless he is in a special unit.

The visitation procession is a bit trickier to explain, so I will create a separate post for that. We have managed to make it an orderly process, but newcomers tend to get a bit flustered, so knowing where to go and what to expect certainly helps with the jitters. I wish I had this information before my first visit, so I want to help those who are new to the process. It's stressful enough without going in feeling like you've just made enemies with all the families around you.

The vending machines are tricky. Bring singles and quarters, even though the machines say they can take fives. You can bring $20 per visitor and up to five visitors per inmate per day. We have asked if they are going to raise the amount we are allowed to bring since the prices on the vending machines have gone up, but nothing has been done yet, so budget accordingly.

The average price of an entree is $3. The average price of a snack is about $2.50. Candy averages $1.50. Drinks average $1.75. There are plenty of paper towels and four microwaves available to heat your entrees. Please do not leave your food unattended, as there will be others waiting to heat their meals.

They finally fixed the bathroom handle on the ladies' room, so we don't have to fight to keep the bathroom door open or open it when it gets stuck. However, we still have to worry about running out of soap, toilet paper and paper towels in the bathroom. If you see that something is running low when you use the restroom, please be kind enough to go to the guard desk and alert an officer so the next person does not get stranded. We need to look out for one another discreetly.

Parents with children: There is a play mat and a television in the back left corner of the visitation room when you walk in the room. You must request to be seated in that area upon arrival. The officers will take your request seriously. Otherwise, they stick you wherever they want and you will have a hard time keeping an eye on your children, which means they run the risk of injury and/or put you at risk of being thrown out of visitation for failure to properly supervise your children. I have seen it happen several times now.

(I asked the officers why they don't automatically put families with children close to the mat to prevent that from happening. They had no good response other than "Policy is policy," which doesn't make any sense to me, so look out for yourselves.)

On that same note, there are some small toys and games for the children to play with. You can request these from the officers. I know they have dinosaurs and a magnet game for the younger children. There are card games for older children. I don't know if families can donate other games or bring in more of the same card games. Also, please, do not hog the game for your entire visit. Remember there are other families who would appreciate a chance to play, so play with your family and then return the game to the guard station so someone else can enjoy them as well.

We see many of the same faces each week and it would be nice to have a larger support system overall. Wouldn't it? If you are interested in helping form a larger network outside of your family, or if you need support, I am interested in starting a support group (To be clear and to prevent any further confusion or erroneous deletions, the support group would be here, on PTO, NOT on an external website.) specifically for those with loved ones in, going into, or coming from FCI Big Spring, so we can share information pertinent to that location to help those of us on the outside support our loved ones on the inside.
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  #279  
Old 06-13-2018, 04:24 PM
Zelda50 Zelda50 is offline
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Here is a recent article from the guard's union. https://sanangelolive.com/news/crime...pring-lockdown


In addition, information from inside after the last lockdown was that one of the gangs got too aggressive (packages were being thrown over the fence with cell phones, cigarettes and all kinds of drugs). Then guys were using the cell phones to find out information about guards families and sending threats to them or just showing up on their doorsteps. A major shakedown last week netted 600 cartons of cigarettes and 100 cell phones. The prison cut off most access to computers, had limited phones and the only rec activities were the track and weight pile which are both run by the gangs. Another lockdown was expected and it looks like that has happened.
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  #280  
Old 06-19-2018, 10:09 PM
NewSunshine NewSunshine is offline
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I believe Big Spring is no longer on lock down. The site no longer has the visitation restrictions banner on top anymore.
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  #281  
Old 06-21-2018, 11:40 AM
MamaHenTX MamaHenTX is offline
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Exclamation June 21, 2018 - Visitation Restored

As of this coming weekend, June 23rd and 24th, visitation at FCI Big Spring is restored. The visitation hours are 8 AM to 3 PM Saturday and Sunday and Federal holidays. Many of the inmates were transferred during the lie-in (inmate strike), so please call ahead before visiting to be sure that your loved one is still at the facility prior to making the trip.

I hope your visit is enjoyable and you have a wonderful time with your loved one. If you happen to be one of the families whose loved one was transferred, I hope he went to a safe place and that the transition for your family is smooth. Please, stay in touch with me if you wish.
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  #282  
Old 07-03-2018, 07:46 PM
MamaHenTX MamaHenTX is offline
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Exclamation New Guidelines Are Causing Terminated Visits

Please beware. The current staff on duty does not permit our loved ones to hold their children during visitation. An unfortunate family suffered a terminated visit last weekend due to this simple act. Though it is not against policy for the prison, the current staff is going by national guidelines, not FCI Big Spring guidelines, which means the rules are different and families are suffering for it. We have no previous knowledge of the rules going in and our loved ones are only told if and when they do something wrong.

This makes for an extremely stressful environment for everyone. We learn as we go, it seems, which is no way for visitation to be managed.

Additionally, our loved ones are subject to more punishment and at risk of losing visitation privileges for simple acts such as holding hands consistently throughout a visit, holding hands too close to the groin (according to the guard's opinion), excessive PDA (also according to the guard's opinion), and many other new guidelines we have not had before. This is all in the wake of the recent lockdown and subsequent 90-day changing of the guards.

The best rule of thumb is, if you are not sure if it is allowed, err on the side of caution.
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  #283  
Old 07-07-2018, 09:52 AM
NewSunshine NewSunshine is offline
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Hello everyone,

I'd like to start off by thanking everyone who has contributed in helping making visits easy. It's one thing to read it from the gov site, but more comforting and better and understandable from a person's own experience. I just went to visit my brother for the first time and this thread helped my nerves not be all over the place. I just wanted to say how I very much appreciate this site. I don't post much, I read some threads and everyone is very helpful be it visiting advice or just support for someone just wanting to talk about anything. Thank you very much!
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  #284  
Old 07-07-2018, 10:10 AM
MamaHenTX MamaHenTX is offline
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Default I'm grateful...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewSunshine View Post
Hello everyone,

I'd like to start off by thanking everyone who has contributed in helping making visits easy. It's one thing to read it from the gov site, but more comforting and better and understandable from a person's own experience. I just went to visit my brother for the first time and this thread helped my nerves not be all over the place. I just wanted to say how I very much appreciate this site. I don't post much, I read some threads and everyone is very helpful be it visiting advice or just support for someone just wanting to talk about anything. Thank you very much!
I'm grateful you're finding the information and support here helpful. I hope the visits with your brother continue bringing the two of you the love and support you need throughout his time in Big Spring. Feel free to reach out to me if ever you want to talk. I'm fairly certain we met in person and I was the one who told you about this website. If I remember, I commented on your hair. If so, give me a shout in private message.
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  #285  
Old 07-07-2018, 10:19 AM
MamaHenTX MamaHenTX is offline
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Default Staff Adjustment

Good news, All!

The situation where we were faced with trying to abide by national guidelines rather than Big Spring guidelines is no longer an issue. The staff has been readjusted, effective last weekend, so things are much more comfortable for families and our loved ones and we don't have to worry about learning a bunch of rules we don't all know on the fly! Hooray!

Please, bear in mind that overt and excessive PDA as well as not monitoring your children closely will still put you at risk of losing your visitation and/or having your visit terminated. People are still being told not to sit sideways in their chairs, to keep both feet on the floor, etc. Thus, it is imperative that we keep our displays of affection G-rated, as it is a family environment. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
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  #286  
Old 07-07-2018, 10:20 AM
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Hi MamaHenTx,

Thank you! I've added you as a contact for future reference. 😊 I've not met anyone here in person. Hope your friend does decide to join the site though, it is very supportive.
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  #287  
Old 07-09-2018, 08:08 AM
MamaHenTX MamaHenTX is offline
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Exclamation Making Our Heads Spin

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaHenTX View Post
Good news, All!

The situation where we were faced with trying to abide by national guidelines rather than Big Spring guidelines is no longer an issue. The staff has been readjusted, effective last weekend, so things are much more comfortable for families and our loved ones and we don't have to worry about learning a bunch of rules we don't all know on the fly! Hooray!

Please, bear in mind that overt and excessive PDA as well as not monitoring your children closely will still put you at risk of losing your visitation and/or having your visit terminated. People are still being told not to sit sideways in their chairs, to keep both feet on the floor, etc. Thus, it is imperative that we keep our displays of affection G-rated, as it is a family environment. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
It seems they can't make up their minds from one visit to the next. This past visit, the same troublesome guard was back in charge of visitation and causing problems.

For future reference, our loved ones are supposed to be permitted use of the bathroom once per hour (near the top of the hour). However, yesterday, they were given two bathroom breaks during the entire day. When inmates asked to use the facilities, they were denied access and told to hold it until after they returned to the rec yard. Some of the inmates have serious medical issues and are at risk of infection when forced to retain their elimination.

Upon telling the guard that they were already bursting at the seams, an already degrading issue, and they simply couldn't hold it during the strip search and then walk to the rec yard to relieve themselves. They were still denied, told to end their visit (early if necessary) and return to the rec yard to relieve themselves. When they became insistent or upset due to this inhumane treatment, and rightfully so, they were yelled at and threatened with punishment or future loss of visits. This is simply unacceptable.

The action to take on their behalf is to call the Warden, currently Billy Keith, and the Regional Office. Another option is to write to:

Warden Billy Keith
FCI BIG SPRING
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
1900 SIMLER AVE
BIG SPRING, TX 79720

Per the TOU of PrisonTalk, I cannot name the guard directly, but if you were present for any of the troublesome visitation days, you know who this person is. Please, help us help our loved ones. They are human beings who have needs and they do not deserve to be treated like animals.

Last edited by MamaHenTX; 07-09-2018 at 08:14 AM.. Reason: Added address for letters
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