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Private Telephone Contracts Coming Soon to TDCJ

Texas prisoners will have access to telephones in the next few months. The service will be provided via a private contractor who will install the phones in prisons around the state. According to recent reports, about 4,000 phones will be installed in state prisons. Texas is the last state to provide this service to state prisoners.

This policy is a long time coming. Advocates and family groups have worked for years to provide telephone access to state prisoners. According to Lisa Sandberg in the the Houston Chronicle, "All calls to relatives and friends on an approved list will be recorded, and prison officials will be in charge of monitoring them".

It is certainly a step in the right direction for improving the conditions of Texas prisons. As Grits for Breakfast mentioned, telephone access among prisoners is a behavior management tool and serves to keep prisoners in contact with their families and friends. That is significant since the majority of Texas prisoners will return home.

Undoubtedly, telephone contracts will raise a need for vigorous advocacy as watchdog groups monitor the contracts and make sure that families are not being overcharged for prison telephone calls.

The Vera Commission reported in it's 2006 report Confronting Confinement that the price of prison telephone calls minimized the condition of prisons by reducing the ability of prisoners to maintain contact with family and friends. The Commission found that safety is promoted in correctional facilities when prisoners are allowed to communicate with people in their home communities and maintain personal relationships. This is particularly important in Texas where prison sentences have increased in recent years and prisons are located in remote areas.

We will monitor these telephone contracts and and assess how the cost and management are impacting prisoners and their home communities.

Comments

i don't think texas offenders should be able to talk to any one out side the walls of the unit.

i think the last person to comment SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO THINK ANYMORE. fool. eat some pesticide. i bet you're a self-righteous Christian that pays nothing forward. i bet you pray at night just to stroke your own fat ego, and nobody on this earth will benefit from your existence. there's a lot of bad people in TDC, but there's a lot of good ones too. good ones that would give the shirts off their backs to a miserable stranger like you. where your heart is places you with the worst criminals in TDC. i hope you have no influence over any children. humble yourself, you holier-than-thou parasite.

nice reply ,their are bad people in prision ,,but their is more good

If you comment was said due to what some one might have done to you family or some one you loved i understand.....Thier are alway 2 side to every fence....But all inmates are doing thier time for thier crime everyday....SO if you are hurt look in your heart and for give what has happen to you....Just because i will be able to talk to my brother is like you taking a breath of air.....but that all....All inmates are as close as you can get to hell....This phone thing is just a little light of hope that god has granted....

i think thay should contact there familys .that is not your call i have a brother in prison and he has that wright to call his family it is not up to you at all.

Not everyone in jail has been convicted. And the ones who have been convicted should not have thier families punished for thier crimes. One of the most important things you can do for both is to keep the lines of communication open.

people shouldn't judge unless they go through the pain other people go through. people say things thats hurt but when it comes to karma they wish they hadn't say what they did. people are in there for things they didnt do jus was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

u telling us that they dnt suppoused to contact us for wat reason..

do u even have someone in there that u love????

ihow would u see ur self some where around ppl u really dnt knw

and love.. and not be able to contact them>>>>

plz dnt put stupid statements..

makes meh mad at ppl that dnt give secound chances

when their not even god to judge... so go to church and pray

I LOVE THE IDEA OF BEING ABLE TO HAVE YOUR LOVED ONE CALL YOU AND THEIR CHILDREN AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH. IT'S SO HARD TO VISIT YOUR LOVED ONES RIGHT NOW AS THE ECONOMY IS GETTING BAD EVERY DAY. AND BEING ABLE TO SPEAK WITH THEM WOULD AT LEAST BRING SOME HAPPINESS TO OUR FATHERLESS CHILDREN IN THIS WORLD.

It is about time Texas gets with the time. To the person who thinks that it is a bad idea, you need to get a life. What if you spouse was locked up.

thats true i know that i want to talk to my man n he wants he same

OK "i don't think texas" whoever you are; you sound very judgemental and ignorant. If you read or believe the Bible, here's what Jesus said: "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?" Then he will answer them, saying, "Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me." ~Mark 25:44-45

how could anyone think it would be a bad thing to have phones in the prisons? the men and women should be able to keep in contact with their family members. many are not there for very long and they are sent so far away from home. texas is a big state. i for one am very happy to know i will be able to hear my husbands voice and let him know what is going on at home!!!

i'm sooo glad they are puttin the phones up in the prisons in texas. yea they did wrong but that doesnt mean their loved ones should be without speakin to them. it's great thank you very very much. it's a very great way to actually keep in touch wit them!!!! THANKYOU!!!

I am indeed glad that my son can now call me. I can't drive the distance alone anymore to go and visit him. This makes things so much better for all. It encourages the inmates to be on their best behavior in order to make the phone calls as well as benefit the loved one out here to have contact.

Finally atlast ....... I think this is a great idea... I cant wait for this to happen.

well im very pleased that they are puting phones in TDCJ is about time and for all those people that are against it please yall do not know how it is to be in their away from all your love ones having no kind of contact other than a letter so im all for it!!!!! thank god there puting phones in prison....

THANK YOU JESUS!!! LET THE ONE WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE.

THANK YOU JESUS!! LET THE ONE WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE.

I am disappointed in the phone systems. they make it really difficult to get a phone number approved. I don't have  a phone in my name and you have to have it in your name and you have to call from the number. Texas is the worst place to go to prison at.....too many conservative people!

Inmates have the right to call their loved ones. Why should we be punished for something they have done. They lock them up so far away from home not everyone can make it to see a loved one that is behind bars. My husband is doing time for moving a car that was invovled in a case & did not know (passed the lie detector test) but was still punished, so why should me & the kids be punished too? I love the fact I can talk to him & he can talk to the children...It has helped so much....Even though he only gets 240 mins a month...

thank you god for blessing the inmates with phones to keep in touch with there loved ones, who cares that one person disagrees, you cant please everyone no matter how hard you try.