Communicating with family and friends is limited. Inmates are allowed 30 people on their visitor list, 30 phone numbers, 30 e-mail addresses, and 100 mailing addresses. For most this is plenty.
There is something comforting hearing loved ones answer “Hello.” The sound of their voice is very reassuring. The first time you call from prison you’ll appreciate those statements.
Telephones privilege (and it is a privilege in prison) comes with some restrictions.
Special Limitations of notes!
· 300 Minutes per month allotment
· Only one person can be on the other end. No 3-way calling or person on another phone extension
· Calls are limited to 15 minutes at a time. The ITS-II will automatically hang up after 15 minutes.
· There is a 45-60 minutes automated wait between phone calls.
· Do not allow another inmate to make a call on your account or even say hello to the person you are calling. Penalties for this are severe!
· Don’t call collect if you can avoid it. It is prohibitively expensive.
· Expect to have to wait in line to make a call. If your family is expecting a call at a certain time give them a (plus or minus) 15 minute window.
· Calls are recorded and monitored- be very careful what is said.
· Do not discuss business (legal or illegal).
· Do not discuss anything you do not want the staff to know or act upon-because they will!
There are penalties for violating these restrictions. It is best not to test what you can get away with when it comes to the phone.
Discuss these restrictions with anyone you may add to your phone list. Many inmates have got in trouble because their family didn’t know the rules.
If you have a large number of people on your calling list you’ll have to be careful of the 300 minute time limitation.
The BOP will record each conversation. They can go back and listen to your conversation at any time. Don’t discuss passwords or account numbers. It also isn’t wise to discuss intimate movements or air dirty laundry.
Make a list of topics you wish to discuss before calling. This will minimize dead time or calling back later.
At home, have them keep a record /to do book. They can write their own talking points as well as the things you want them to do.
When you ask for something. verify they write it in the book. When they complete the task they should check it off and put down the date it was done.
If a familiar voice on the telephone is reassuring, getting cards and letters warms the heart.
Hearing your name at mail call is a prideful moment. Every one knows you have someone who cares.
Incoming mail at all security levels is opened and read. Out going mail at medium security facilities is also read. Outgoing mail at low and camps are not. Just be careful what you write.
E-mail comes in and go out every hour. It is a great way to stay in touch with all your family and friends. No attachments or graphics can be sent or received text only.
All incoming and outgoing e-mails are subject to be read. Once again make sure everyone involved understands the restrictions.
E-mail costs five-cents a minute. You can run up quite a tab in a short time.
Visitation is a joyous moment. At medium, low and camps they are “contact” visits. That means you can hug and kiss greeting visitors and then again saying good bye. You can hold babies you can sit them and share goodies out of the vending machines.
Each security level has certain restrictions that may make your family uncomfortable. Go to BOP.gov to find out rules unique to each facility and location.
Your family should expect to go through metal detectors and possibly pat searches at mediums. Low and camps are more lax when it comes to visitors although some lows are reported to have metal detectors.
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