Ex-Inmate Interviews: Receiving Visitors & Phone Calls
How often could you receive visitors?
Toby: once per day
J. Friday: every day, 1 visit, up to 3 people, for 20 minutes.
Jeremy: 3 times a week. But it is through video visitation.
Lisa: Once a day.
Jenny: I can’t remember. I think once a week
Was the check-in process lengthy for those who came to see you?
Toby: no it was reasonable.
J. Friday: No, its not too bad for them.
Jenny: I’m not sure. I only had 2 visitors. And it was video visitation for only 30 minutes.
What was the visiting environment like?
Toby: video booths
J. Friday: You are locked in a room right outside the POD. They are in a building in front of the complex and you talk on tv’s and a telephone. It’s quite terrible.
Jeremy: Don’t know. I was on the other end of the video inside the jail.
Lisa: Clean. It was video visitation.
Jenny: You went into a small room with a video camera and monitor.
What else would you want a friend or family member to know if they have a loved one going to this jail?
Toby: tell them to visit often and send him money for canteen.
J. Friday: Good luck. Just hope he makes it on the road crew.
Jeremy: That it isn’t as bad as what you see on TV or the movies.
Lisa: Make sure that they send letters and schedule visits because inmates need those the most while in there.
Jenny: some jails allow you to take in certain items. If you can take something in with you, the less you have to pay for commissary. Otherwise, make sure they have enough money each week to buy the items needed.
Did you have regular access to telephones?
Toby: yes, phone access was constantly available, except during lock-downs.
J. Friday: Yes.
Jeremy: Yes. There were 8 phones in my pod.
Jenny: yes. There was one in the dorm, and only certain hours they were on.
How much money would you guess the average inmate spends per week on phone calls?
Toby: local calls were 2.50 for 20 minutes
J. Friday: To call local is $2.50 for 20 minutes. To call outta state costs around $20 for 20 minutes.
Jeremy: All calls must be collect.
Jenny: I think it was like 2.25 for 15 minutes for each call, and if I called Gainesville, it was I think 4.95 for the first minute then maybe so much per minute after. Much more for calling long distance
Brian: The inmate is subjected to calling collect on a system picked by the sheriff and it costs a fortune in his system to call anyone.
Did you need to buy phone cards to call out?
Toby: no, all calls were collect.
J. Friday: Travis County Jail isn’t smart enough to offer them on commissary.
Jeremy: No, but you can purchase them if you want.
Jenny: No. Just dial as a collect call
Brian: not available
Did the jail screen your calls?
Toby: all calls were recorded
J. Friday: Ask Nick Hogan!
Jeremy: Yes. All calls may be monitored or recorded.
Jenny: No, but of course they are all recorded(monitored)
Brian: How would I know, but more than likely.
If somebody knows they will be serving time in this jail what is your advice to them?
Toby: keep to yourself and stay out of trouble, make use of available programs like AA, NA etc. read.
J. Friday: Smoke em if you got em bro!
Jeremy: Yeah. Stay out of trouble when you get out so you never have to return again!
Lisa: Don’t get involved in any drama and just keep to yourself. Time is easier that way.
Jenny: Yes, just don’t be stupid. We all know what is right and wrong. Make the right choices and you never have to be in those places. They are not fun, nor is it cool. And don’t take probation. It is a set up. Do the time and be done with it. If you’re on probation and have a drug problem, more and likely, you’ll keep going back. Remember your freedom. Nobody or nothing is worth that.