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  #1  
Old 05-26-2012, 11:45 AM
RainyCola RainyCola is offline
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Default TDCJ Investigator Called Me

I don't want to give too many details about who called me since it will very well be known since it's not hard to figure out what unit I'm connected to here, but I need to know something:

Would a certain investigator be out of line for calling *me* and asking questions about a certain mail issue? Let me see if I can be less vague.

My guy mailed something to my address that was supposed to go somewhere else to someone else. Apparently this person has the same name as someone on the TDCJ STG list (he's not in a gang - I know for a fact), so they flagged the correspondence, rejected the letter, etc. This person, the investigator, calls me and asks me if I knew what was going on, basically telling me that she thought my guy was trying to get me to send this letter to someone in another unit, blah blah blah.

Two part question: Was this person way out of line for calling me? Should I file a complaint (probably pointless) with Huntsville - not the unit where she works - about this?
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:08 PM
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Generally speaking, inmates know that they are not supposed to send stuff out for someone else to forward. If they is discovered to have occurred, then the agency is apt to investigate since it also determines whether the inmate is sanctioned and whether the intended recipient who was supposed to do the forwarding will be placed on a negative mailing list (in other words, he could no longer write to you nor you to him).

It is not at all inappropriate for them to investigate, and a proper investigation necessarily involves contacting the person(s) the letter was addressed to...
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:29 PM
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But this was harmless. The person he was sending to isn't in prison, has no affiliation even to the state of Texas.

I understand the general gist of the whole investigation process. My thing is that I was called - my name was nowhere on the envelope that was sent out. He wrote the wrong address.

I just found it odd that this person called me. Not only that but went and somehow found my number and figured out that it was my address. I would understand it more so if, say, my guy was STG-affiliated, but he isn't. I was not spoken too very nicely at all. I mean, I understand this person has a job to do, but I was asked questions about things completely irrelevant to anything. He mailed the letter to me. Once he realized what he did he hurried and sent me a letter to give me the address forward the address to (in Oregon). This seemed impossible to this person - like more than one person in this world can't possibly have the same name.

I don't know... Just baffling to me, that's all.
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyCola View Post
But this was harmless. The person he was sending to isn't in prison, has no affiliation even to the state of Texas.
doesn't matter...it is still third-party outgoing, a violation of the rules.

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I understand the general gist of the whole investigation process. My thing is that I was called - my name was nowhere on the envelope that was sent out. He wrote the wrong address.
The moment they figured out something odd was going on, I can almost guarantee that the Mailroom gave the letter to the unit STG office who then went to his visiting list, where they linked your name to the address.

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I just found it odd that this person called me. Not only that but went and somehow found my number and figured out that it was my address. I would understand it more so if, say, my guy was STG-affiliated, but he isn't. I was not spoken too very nicely at all. I mean, I understand this person has a job to do, but I was asked questions about things completely irrelevant to anything. He mailed the letter to me. Once he realized what he did he hurried and sent me a letter to give me the address forward the address to (in Oregon). This seemed impossible to this person - like more than one person in this world can't possibly have the same name.
In other words, he all but confessed to the mailroom people...remember that they screen everything going out of the unit by general correspondence.

Remember also that there are A LOT of people inside who ARE STG-affiliated but who have not been confirmed. Outgoing mail is one of the ways those people get caught. The unit should not be faulted for conducting an investigation into squirrelly behavior that comprised a violation of the rules...
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:14 PM
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How were rules violated? He was sending a letter to someone who lives in Oregon, who has never lived a day of his life in Texas. This guy, who lives in Oregon, has the same name of someone who is apparently incarcerated in Texas who is STG-affiliated. The same day he mailed this letter he mailed something to me and put my address on the envelope. Whatever.

Inmate is not affiliated. Person who the mail was for is not affiliated. My mailing address is nowhere in the visitation system.

Also, if I recall correctly, the only time "third party outgoing mail" is against the rules is if it's inmate-to-inmate correspondence.

But none of that really matters since that isn't the issue. It's all been taken care of.

I don't think I should have been called by this person. I don't recall ever hearing anyone violating any rule, purposely or not, getting a phone call. How many people have been banned from corresponding and got a phone call? Investigations should be internal.

This person is not law enforcement and therefore, in my opinion, shouldn't even have stepped out of the TDCJ jurisdiction to do this investigation. The only reason I even answered the questions is because I didn't want to risk being cut off from all communication.

Last edited by RainyCola; 05-26-2012 at 02:15 PM..
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:03 PM
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It is clear that you have no interest in listening to answers about WHY this has occurred despite the fact that I know we did these types of things on a regular basis during my career with the agency. Maybe someone else will come along to give you the rose-colored glasses type of answer that you want...I'm done with this one.
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:07 PM
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You're still kind of missing the point - the investigation was done not because something was definitely wrong, but because something might well have been. The third-party rule can be used when there's a no-contact order in place, when two people don't want to be known to be in contact, ordering new crimes or threats . . . all sorts of possibilities. And, I might add, all these rules are in place because someone before you/him did something that caused trouble and they're trying to avoid a repeat. And you were called because you were one of the 3 parties in a third-party contact . . . simple!

People have contacted their victims and terrified them, ordered hits, run illegal businesses, connived with co-defendants, you name it. Your personal crap doesn't matter in the least; doesn't matter if you're a rabbi or a Senator if you're breaking the rules.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:34 PM
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no, i'm not missing the point. i think my point is the one being missed.

i don't care about why an investigation happened. i mentioned that it was all cleared up. i don't care about being investigated. i know rules - i used to work at a prison. i don't care about that. that was never my "gripe." ignore it all. ignore what i said the reasons for this investigation were and just look at the question. i'm sorry that i even provided reasoning behind the investigation (i stupidly thought it would help get my question across better). apparently that just confused people and made people think i'm wearing rose-colored glasses or whatever. i'm not naive. i'm not stupid. i know about the world. moving on...

let me try this again:

i think that a line was crossed when a TDCJ investigator called me. this person is not law enforcement. this person investigates TDCJ inmates. i have worked in a prison before and internal investigators NEVER called anyone on the outside during their investigations. EVER. and i find it hard to believe that someone who has absolutely no control over ME in any way, shape or form ethically could call ME to ask ME questions about an inmate. i have never heard of anyone, before being banned from communication, put on restrictions, etc., being called as part of an investigation into whether or not they should be banned/restricted. the investigator does their thing and it's done. the person banned can then appeal. they're never questioned as part of the investigation. it is always, "this happened - banned." no discussion. cases can only be plead on appeal. just like what the inmates have to do.

now, again, i ask, was a line crossed when this investigator called me considering that they don't (usually?) call people in the course of investigations? i'm not looking for "yes" answers contrary to what some may believe. i just want an answer based on the question itself, not the reasoning behind the investigation.

Last edited by RainyCola; 05-26-2012 at 07:36 PM.. Reason: i can't spell.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
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no, i'm not missing the point. i think my point is the one being missed.
I understand your point and your frustration too. Personally I'd be filing a complaint, not like it would go anywhere but I would rattle some cages anyways simply for them contacting you and being "Rude" as you say.

It always amazes me how that when an inmate may potentially get in trouble, following "The Rules" is utmost priority, yet when family or the inmate wants something the rules are few and far between. Funny how that works ha?

As for the comment made by CenTexLyn about you not listening, don't worry about it, I've noticed replies are always reiterated TDCJ policy; this person doesn't think outside the box to see things through a family member or an inmates eyes.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:04 PM
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I understand your point and your frustration too. Personally I'd be filing a complaint, not like it would go anywhere but I would rattle some cages anyways simply for them contacting you and being "Rude" as you say.

It always amazes me how that when an inmate may potentially get in trouble, following "The Rules" is utmost priority, yet when family or the inmate wants something the rules are few and far between. Funny how that works ha?

As for the comment made by CenTexLyn about you not listening, don't worry about it, I've noticed replies are always reiterated TDCJ policy; this person doesn't think outside the box to see things through a family member or an inmates eyes.

You are so correct in all points you made. (Especially the one about that CenTex guy. He's kind of mean!) I was guilty of sending letters to my son's girlfriend that he sent to me. He was in one prison, she in another. Of course, it was discovered, but I was NEVER called. I did, however, receive a letter stating that if it happened again, my son would not be able to write, call, or have visits from me. Needless to say, it never happened again. I would think a phone call was uncalled for!
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:19 PM
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I understand your point and your frustration too. Personally I'd be filing a complaint, not like it would go anywhere but I would rattle some cages anyways simply for them contacting you and being "Rude" as you say.

It always amazes me how that when an inmate may potentially get in trouble, following "The Rules" is utmost priority, yet when family or the inmate wants something the rules are few and far between. Funny how that works ha?

As for the comment made by CenTexLyn about you not listening, don't worry about it, I've noticed replies are always reiterated TDCJ policy; this person doesn't think outside the box to see things through a family member or an inmates eyes.
OMG THANK YOU! i was really thinking i was losing it here.

i don't expect the complaint to go anywhere either, which is why i'm not even bothering wasting my time filing one with the unit. even doing it directly to huntsville will probably be a waste of my time, but i really think the whole thing was uncalled for and someone needs to know that it happened even if it's just to let this person know that we aren't stupid.



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I did, however, receive a letter stating that if it happened again, my son would not be able to write, call, or have visits from me. Needless to say, it never happened again. I would think a phone call was uncalled for!
exactly what i was saying. a letter? a correspondence refusal letter? SURE! a phone call? no indeed.

thanks, y'all. really. i was wondering if i was really overreacting.
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Back12draft View Post
I understand your point and your frustration too. Personally I'd be filing a complaint, not like it would go anywhere but I would rattle some cages anyways simply for them contacting you and being "Rude" as you say.

It always amazes me how that when an inmate may potentially get in trouble, following "The Rules" is utmost priority, yet when family or the inmate wants something the rules are few and far between. Funny how that works ha?

As for the comment made by CenTexLyn about you not listening, don't worry about it, I've noticed replies are always reiterated TDCJ policy; this person doesn't think outside the box to see things through a family member or an inmates eyes.
I think you are completely out of order saying this about CenTexLyn . Unless you know this person personally you cannot make judgements about his/her character. He tried to help out with an answer and he is then vilified for it. There are plenty of decent c.o.'c even in Texas, who do care and when you are so disparaging towards someone who tries to help with questions asked they may in the future decide they will not bother trying to help. In this case someone else will miss out on much needed and appreciated information.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:23 AM
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I think you are completely out of order saying this about CenTexLyn . Unless you know this person personally you cannot make judgements about his/her character. He tried to help out with an answer and he is then vilified for it. There are plenty of decent c.o.'c even in Texas, who do care and when you are so disparaging towards someone who tries to help with questions asked they may in the future decide they will not bother trying to help. In this case someone else will miss out on much needed and appreciated information.
If you read many of the replies to various question/situations, regurgitated policy is not what people are looking for, they are asking for advice, most people already know the rules, they are asking for real world advice from people that have been there. I stand by my remarks; sometimes stating the obvious isn't pretty!
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:09 AM
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I don't think the person was WAY out of line for calling you, if that is what their policy calls for, after all they have a job to do and if they do not follow procedure they themselves can get written up. I really do not see the big deal here, it was only a phone call and you could have said " I do not feel comfortable answering these questions"

I do not think it will do any good to call, write, email anyone at TDC, but of course it is your choice to do so.

I think if this happened to me and things were exactly as you say, I would not answer any questions, but I would be curious as to how it all transpired.

I just have an idea that there is more to this story than what is being told here and people do not have all the facts.

I would like to add my two cents on the comments made about CenTexLyn, I think they were uncalled for and harsh. If you are one of those that think this person is mean, I hope you never need any advice that is well informed. A lot of information on this site are rumors that start in prison, that have no validity and other information is simply guesstimation. CenTexLyn has many years of experience from the inside of TDCJ, and with those that are incarcerated, so if you want the truth, and not rumors and false information, I suggest you be a little nicer to those that do really know what is going on.

Ok I am finished, let the blasting begin.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:24 AM
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I wish we had a California version of CenTexLyn.

If you feel the call was against policy then file a complaint.
I think perhaps they just wanted to give you a chance to explain though that may not have been a good thing.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:29 AM
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Yeah, I'm still confused about why a phone call has upset you so much. You may have worked in A prison, but THIS prison? Who may have different rules from YOUR prison, or updated their directives, or may have had a particular urgency regarding that name . . .
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:17 AM
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Okay, now I think people are mistaking my initial frustration here for meaning the phone call upset me. I got frustrated HERE and tried to emphasize better because people weren't answering my question. I asked if a phone call being made was out of line then I start getting TDCJ STG rules thrown out at me and being told why the investigation happened. I know WHY - I was just asking if a phone call was out of line. Then I get people getting irritated with me asking why a phone call upset me.

And of course I'm not giving every last drop of factual detail here. I'm not stupid. But it all transpired the way I described it (which only lead to my question getting ignored originally, so sometimes facts aren't needed). The only fact that matters here is that I was called my a TDCJ investigator.

As someone said here, she was passing mail from inmate to inmate - she didn't get a phone call, so obviously these phone calls are not TDCJ policy. I've asked around other places - no one has ever gotten a phone call before. If someone has, I'd like to know just because I'm curious.

Needless to say, posting this question here was a bad idea only because it's managed to frustrate me more than the phone call, which didn't even frustrate me - it baffled me, and I was simply asking if a line was crossed. I know the rules, I know the procedures, blah blah blah. I've been dealing with TDCJ for 14 years now.

Anyway, thanks for the responses as they were all helpful in their own special way and if I have any other questions I know how not to confuse people with them.
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:50 AM
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You wanted to know if any one else had received a phone call from TDCJ investigator. I did not receive a phone call, but I can tell you of a situation that I was involved in and watched the whole thing go down with my own eyes.

I was incarcerated at Dawson. During that time, I had one altercation with another inmate who pulled a blade on me. It seems that someone had been writing her man and telling him all the dirt. Since I was her bunkie, she assumed that it was me. It was not. To make a long story short, she started a fight that I finished. When we were pulled from the dorm and she sat there screaming, the case manager wanted to know what it was about. My ex bunkie told her side, I told mine. My case manager solved it by calling my ex bunkies' man while we were in the office. I don't have to go into to details other than to say that the "man" told the case manager who had been writing him (which obviously had not been me) and the "man" ended up being removed from ex-bunkies visiting list because she listed him as an uncle, he also was banned from writing her and she from writing him. In essence, yes they will call if they think it will settle a dispute.

I am sorry for the frustration that you have experienced in all of this. Both here and there, I just hope what I have told you will help some.

With all due respect and regards.
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:02 PM
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Thank you so much for your reply. This is one kind of answer I was looking for - experience. Much appreciated.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:31 PM
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I asked if a phone call being made was out of line then I start getting TDCJ STG rules thrown out at me and being told why the investigation happened. I know WHY
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Needless to say, posting this question here was a bad idea. I know the rules, I know the procedures, blah blah blah. I've been dealing with TDCJ for 14 years now.
Why do the bleeding hearts always run to the defense of TDCJ employees when someone questions their approach to answering a post? If you wanna share your knowledge about the system; speak in terms that are helpful and don’t just assume everyone is new and doesn’t know TDCJ policy? If some of us wanted to hear the same ole policy bull we’d call the unit and bang out heads against the wall.

I’ve never hid the fact that I’m not a fan of TDCJ employees creeping this site and reiterating TDCJ policy, rules and regulations as advice; especially since it’s a one way street. You know, this site is free and anyone can chime in, whereas the TDCJ employee chat forum is not accessible to us. If you ask a question and someone starts spewing rules, regulations and policy on behalf of their employer, is that really the advice the person was seeking?

Think about the question and ask yourself, am I giving useful advice in laymen’s terms or am just spreading the good word about policy, rules and regulations from TDCJ? I think most of us have heard way too much answer dodging when dealing with the system and don’t want to hear it here unless a specific policy, rule or regulation question is asked. At some point it just becomes like RainyCola said, blah, blah, blah.

Between RainyCola and myself we have over 32 years experience dealing with TDCJ, "dealing with TDCJ" not inside peeking out, dealing with their policy, rules and regulations; answers are what I'd like to see, not the same old, same old thrown out there as advice.

Queue the admin to warn about PT policy on flaming of TDCJ employees.

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Old 05-27-2012, 08:59 PM
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My goodness, Backdraft, who pissed in your Wheaties today? I'm not anywhere near Texas nor have I ever been employed by any correctional institution of any kind. Nonetheless, my answer was similar in kind and tone, though without the details, as CenTexLyn's. I can so easily see an investigation needing to travel outside the institution itself, and if it's possible to do the information-gathering by phone, well, it's a lot faster response time than sending a letter and waiting for a reply. If danger were involved, a threat to someone you loved, you'd want that quickness, right? Not something that dribbles along through snail-mail.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:27 PM
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Why do the bleeding hearts always run to the defense of TDCJ employees when someone questions their approach to answering a post? If you wanna share your knowledge about the system; speak in terms that are helpful and donít just assume everyone is new and doesnít know TDCJ policy? If some of us wanted to hear the same ole policy bull weíd call the unit and bang out heads against the wall.

Iíve never hid the fact that Iím not a fan of TDCJ employees creeping this site and reiterating TDCJ policy, rules and regulations as advice; especially since itís a one way street. You know, this site is free and anyone can chime in, whereas the TDCJ employee chat forum is not accessible to us. If you ask a question and someone starts spewing rules, regulations and policy on behalf of their employer, is that really the advice the person was seeking?



Think about the question and ask yourself, am I giving useful advice in laymenís terms or am just spreading the good word about policy, rules and regulations from TDCJ? I think most of us have heard way too much answer dodging when dealing with the system and donít want to hear it here unless a specific policy, rule or regulation question is asked. At some point it just becomes like RainyCola said, blah, blah, blah.

Between RainyCola and myself we have over 32 years experience dealing with TDCJ, "dealing with TDCJ" not inside peeking out, dealing with their policy, rules and regulations; answers are what I'd like to see, not the same old, same old thrown out there as advice.

Queue the admin to warn about PT policy on flaming of TDCJ employees.

I generally tend to run to the defense of those I feel are in the right, or someone who is being bashed for only trying to be helpful.

I don't think it would mean anything to you, but I would even come to your defense if I felt that you were being attacked for posting helpful information.


Just put me down as a
http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=I4648520995832629&pid=1.1

Have a nice night Back12draft

(ps) I have 32 years experience all by myself with TDC, if we are keeping score.
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  #23  
Old 05-28-2012, 12:45 AM
RainyCola RainyCola is offline
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Well I sure started a mess. I'm sorry.
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  #24  
Old 05-28-2012, 07:08 AM
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montysmom montysmom is offline
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I am still confused about the whole thing, not that it matters, since it is all clear now.
In a nutshell:
So your LO wrote a letter to someone in Oregon and put their name on the envelope but mistakenly put your address, the letter had the name of someone that was gang affiliated, so the letter was not mailed out, but a red flag went up.
TDCJ investigated by calling you, since you were the recipient.
Your LO sent another letter giving you the correct address, so the letter could be forwarded on to the Oregon address. Am I right so far?

Not that it is out of the realm of something that could happen, but it does seem weird that you would put one persons name and another persons address that lived in a whole other state, and the person intended to get the letter was someone gang affiliated in that unit. Sure two people can have the same name, but this whole thing seems like something that would be suspicious. Thus the red flag and them contacting you. That is why I answered that it is not way out of line.

I am glad everything is settled and especially glad that you two did not lose your priveledge of writing or visiting. That would have been tragic and unfair.

Yes, this did cause quite a stir, but mostly about certain people's answers.
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  #25  
Old 05-28-2012, 11:33 AM
RainyCola RainyCola is offline
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ok, i know the whole situation was suspicious which is why i said i didn't mind being investigated because i completely understand that one needed to take place.

this is how it went down on his end:
he wrote me a letter along with his friend. he was in a rush to get the mail out, addressed my envelope and this other person's at the same time. in a rush, he put the same address. not the first time he's done this since he's sent my mail to his mom before. i've sent him mail (which was then returned of course) using the TDCJ ID# of someone i was in contact with years ago. even used the unit's old address. i can be absent-minded sometimes and i'm sure i'm not the only one. when he realized what he did he hurried and jotted me a note down and mailed it the next day which was stupid for him to do, i know, since it gave them even more cause to raise their eyebrows, so they didn't mail the letter addressed to the other person to me. (i actually got the 2nd note and the little correspondence refusal form letter thing on the same day which threw me off completely.) this person's name is the same as a gang member. now, for an example, let's say gang member's name is "benjamin smith." the person he was writing to is "ben smith."

like i said, i completely understand the need for the investigation. i'm GLAD they're on their toes over there. i just didn't know if a line was crossed when i got a phone call. now i know that it wasn't. everything is settled. everyone is happy. i also got my answers and have decided (in case anyone was wondering) to just leave it alone. no need to possibly ruffle any feathers and cause any problems between me/my LO and the unit since things are going just fine.

now i hope everyone here can smile and be happy too.
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