TN DOC - West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP)

State Prison

Last Updated: November 15,2018

General Facility Information

Facility Address
480 Green Chapel Rd PO Box 1150, Henning, TN 38041-1150
Phone
731-738-5044
Number Of Beds
2505
County
Lauderdale
Security Level
State - medium
Facility Type
Adult
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Basic Facility Information

TN DOC - West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP)'s basic information for you, and their direct contact number: 731-738-5044

This facility is for adult inmates.

TN DOC - West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP) - Visitation

TN DOC - West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP) - FAQ
 
Telephone credits can be purchased in "whole" dollar amounts only. The minimum telephone credit purchase amount is $5.00.
 
West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP) is a time-building prison with a mission to serve the public by managing adult male offenders classified as maximum, medium and minimum custody. WTSP provides a secure environment along with educational and vocational opportunities.
 
Educational and vocational programs available are GED, Adult Basic Education, college correspondence courses, microcomputer technology class, as well as wood working and masonry. WTSP also has TRICOR operations which consist of a farm, digital tag plant, and a textile plant.

Facility Type

The Tennessee state system works with all the county courts for the commitment side of an offender's sentence. At the most basic level, the fundamental difference between jail and prison is the length of stay for inmates. Think short-term and long-term. Jails are usually run by local law enforcement and/or local government agencies and are designed to hold inmates awaiting trial or serving a short sentence. Because prisons are designed for long-term incarceration, they are better developed for the living needs of their populations. Many inmates prefer their stays in prison given the more regular life, the greater availability of programs, and better facilities. Convicted criminals are sent to prison as punishment and must follow very strict rules of conduct and order or they are held to additional punishment like loss of privileges or isolation. They do retain some rights as granted by the state and federal constitutions. Prison is like a little city inside a city. There is a mayor (the warden - call 731-738-5044 for information), police (correctional staff), a jail (disciplinary segregation unit, the SHU, the "hole"), laws (administrative rules), judges (hearings officers), a store (the commissary), housing (cells), medical care (infirmary), library (law, education and lending), civic organizations (clubs), worship (chapel), a park (the recreation yard), a cafeteria (chow hall), and the inmates all have a job that assists in keeping the facility running.  There is no privacy in prison - inmates dress, shower, and use the bathroom in the company of other inmates.  Inmates are required to make their bunks and keep their personal possessions neat.  All inmates wear identical clothing and must carry their identification card with them at all times.  Most possessions allowed must be purchased from the canteen. Meal times are assigned and inmates have a short time to eat and depart the chow hall, there are no seconds. Inmates are subject to searches of their person and/or cell at any time.  All movements of inmates from one area to another are monitored and supervised.

Custody/Security Level

TN DOC - West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP) is a state medium facility that resembles a high-security institution in many ways. They are designed primarily to house violent offenders with longer sentences (usually in the 20 -year range), and inmates who exhibit behavioral problems. Housing consists of single and double cells, and all perimeters are double-fenced with extensive electronic surveillance. Housing is primarily double bunk, prison cell-type with some institutions having double-bunk cubicles. With double-razor wire fenced perimeters, perimeter patrol and electronic surveillance, medium institutions provide a higher level of security than low facilities but there is some similarities to the controlled movement system..

Inmate Locator

TN DOC - West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP) is a facility in the Tennessee Department of Corrections. The DOC publishes the names of their current inmates and identifies which of their locations the inmate is being held. Your search should start with the first DOC locator to see if your loved one is there. Begin with the first three letters of the offender's first and last name, it does not have to be spelled exactly. 

The second box is the InmateAid Inmate Search. This database of inmates is user-generated content for the purpose of accessing and utilizing any or all of the InmateAid services. If you need our assistance creating your own inmate profile to keep in touch, email us at aid@inmateaid.com and we will assist you in locating your inmate.

As a last resort, you might have to pay for that information if we do not have it. The Arrest Record Search will cost you a small amount, but their data is the freshest available and for that reason, they charge to access it.

Visitation Information

TN DOC - West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP) - Visitation

The following is a list of rules and regulations for visitation at W/'SP. These regulations are established to maintain order and control to ensure that visitors and inmates can enjoy visiting in a pleasant atmosphere. Visitors and inmates are expected to comply with these rules. Failure to do so could result in suspension of visitation privileges.

Visitation Rules

1.  Blank visitation applications may be obtained from the inmate you wish to visit or they may be printed .from the TDOC website (www.tn.gov/correction). You may also obtain visitation applications from the visitation supervisor's office at checkpoint but you must pick them up in-person.

2.    Applications shall be mailed to the following address: Associate Warden of Security - (please specify MSC or Site 2) West Tennessee State Penitentiary
P.0. Box 1150 Henning, TN 38041

Do not mail the application to the inmate because it will not be accepted.

3.    All visitors, regardless of age, other than attorneys and clergymen must have an approved Visitation application on file which contains a current photograph. Applications must be filled out completely and mailed to the address above. As noted on the Visitation application, all visitor applicants are subject to a NCJC
background check if there are any questions, concerns, complaints or referrals,
please call 731-738-5044, ext. 3230 and ask/or the Senior Officer.

4.    No visitor shall be admitted for visitation until the application is approved, except for immediate family members of newly committed inmates. (No more than 60 days.from the inmate intake date shall be allowed /or this purpose).

5.    It takes approximately 30 days to process an application. The inmate will be notified by in-house mail whether or not his visitor is approved if an application is disapproved, the inmate will be notified of the reason.  It will be the inmate 's
responsibility to notify applicant of the approval or denial. Any application that has been falsified shall be grounds for disapproval and the visitor will not be allowed to resubmit a visitor application for a minimum of six months.

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6. All immediate family members who apply and eight additional visitors may be approved to visit an inmate upon receipt of their Visitation application. All applications must be updated every two (2) years.


7. Visitors under the age of 18, unless married to the inmate being visited, must be accompanied by an approved visitor, who is either, the child's parent, legal guardian or, guardian. The custodial parent or legal guardian must provide notarized permission for the visitor to bring the child to visit and consent for the child to be searched as noted on CR-2152, page 2 of the Visitation application. Also, anyone under eighteen (18) must have a copy of their birth certificate with their application.

8.    Children aged six (6) or older shall have a photograph (not a photocopy) attached to their Visitation application. Thisphotograph is to be updated every two (2) years.   Updated photographs may be requested more frequently if there
have been significant changes in the child's appearance.

9.    Visitors may not be placed on more than one inmate 's visitation list unless they are immediatefamily and the relationship can be substantiated

10.    Additions or substitutions to the approved list shall be made al least quarterly. Applications received seeking approval to visit an inmate, who is not yet eligible for a change to his list, shall be placed in the inmate's visitation file with an explanation note regarding the eligibility date for resubmission. A copy of the explanation note shall be given to the inmate who then should notify the applicant.

11.    Persons participating as a volunteer within the last 24 months shall not be placed on an inmate's visitation list.

12.    Visitors the Warden determines could have a harmful influence on the inmate and/or may constitute a threat to the security of the institution shall not be approved for visitation.

13.    Current or former employees of TDOC, TRICOR, or contract agencies (in Tennessee), interns, and practicum students shall not be approved unless they are immediate family members of an inmate. Former TDOC employees, on a visitation list as of October 1, 1998 shall be allowed to remain on the list.

14.    An inmate with a current or previous conviction for a crime involving a sexual offense against a minor is restricted from having contact visits with children under 18, except under the guidelines set forth in a duly signed and witnessed

CR-3619, Contact Visitation with Minors Agreement.  Inmates who refuse to sign CR-3619 shall be restricted 10 non-contact visits with children.

15.    A victim of an inmate convicted of a sex offense will not be permitted to visit the inmate unless specifically approved by the Warden, and then only non-contact visits will be allowed. The inmate must submit a written request to visit with the victim through the Unit Manager to the Warden.

16.    Only immediate family members with active felony conviction records may submit a visitor application for approval six (6) months following release from incarceration or placement on probation/community corrections or parole supervision. (written consent of supervising officer/counselor is required; as is the Warden's approval)

17.    Identification is required for all visitors, (i.e., any original method of identification with photograph issued by a local, state or federal agency by which to identify a particular individual), with the exception of persons under the age of 16 provided there is an approved visitor application form with picture on file.

18.    Only four adult visitors will be allowed to visit at any given time.

19.    Visitors are not allowed to bring in any type of electronic devices (e.g., cellular phones, beepers, etc., unless approved by Warden).

20.    Visitors will not be allowed to leave any items with the checkpoint officer. Officers will not be responsible for any items that may be left at checkpoint by visitors.

21.    Visitors are not allowed to deliver correspondence, money, printed material or packages to inmates. All such items shall be mailed.

22.    All visitors requesting to pick up packages for inmates must report to checkpoint no later than 8:00 p.m. on Mondays and 3:00 p.m. on weekends/holidays.

23.    Visitors found with contraband, which is in violation of the law or departmental policy are subject to being detained for local law enforcement officials.

24.    Any contraband found during a search will be cause for denial of the visit up to one (1) year, or permanently.

25.    No one under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be allowed to visit.

26.    Inflammatory comments, profanity, cursing or threatening other inmates, visitors and/or employees will not be permitted.

27.    Pushing or attempting to strike others and harassment of inmates, visitors or employees will not be allowed.

28.    Inappropriate or socially unacceptable physical contact will not be permitted between inmates and visitors.

29.    The inmate and visitor are permitted to embrace and kiss as they meet and again as they prepare to depart. Except for this brief moment, no other display of affection is permitted.


30.    A playroom is available in the main visiting galleries for children under twelve
(12) years of age. Visitors are expected to supervise and control children. Inmates are not permitted in this area. Children are not allowed to sit on the half-wall in the playroom area.

31.    Visitors are required to dress in attire that is not provocative or offensive to others.  (See Appropriate Dress for Visitation)

32.    Inmates in visitation areas shall not sit with their legs crossed over the top of visitor and vice versa. Only acceptable physical contact will be permitted or condoned.

33.    Both visitor and inmate 's shoes must remain on their feet while in the visiting areas.

34.    All inmates and visitors hands will be in full view of officers at all times (not under the tables or clothing). Visitors are not permitted to wear an inmate 's jacket , nor can the inmate wear a visitor's jacket .

35.    Visitors will not sit on each other laps or the laps of any inmates.

36.    Visitors must remain seated with the inmate they requested to visit. If a visitor refuses to remain seated with the inmate, the visit will be terminated.

37.    No property items will be exchanged, i.e., cards, jewelry, shoes, etc.

38.    TDOC uniforms will be the only clothing inmates will be allowed to wear to access the visitation area, (i.e. TDOC blue shirts/pants). Only a plain white t­ shirt or thermal shirt may be worn under the blue TDOC shirt, which must be worn at all times and cannot be removed in the visiting area. Items inmates are allowed on their person when they enter the visiting area: identification card,

39.    Near the end of visitation, the visitation officer will give a fifteen (15) minute warning that visitation is almost over. When visitation is over, the officer will make that announcement at which time all visitors are expected to leave the visitation area. When departing WTSP sites after visiting, visitors are expected to go from the visitation area directly to their vehicles. No loitering on the parking lot will be permitted.

Denial and Termination of Visits

1.    Any visitor may be denied entrance to the visiting area for any reason including, but not limited to:

a.    Refusing to show proper identification
b.    Refusing to submit to a search
c.    Appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
d.    Insufficient space for visiting
e.    Possession of contraband
f    Inappropriate dress
g.    Displaying of security threat group (STG) symbols or affiliation
h.    Failure to clear the walk-through detector at any facility

2.    Reasons for warning or termination of visitation include, but are not limited to:

a.    Inmates or visitors who violate visitation conduct rules
b.    Failure by visitors to control their children Conditions for  Visiting and Visiting Hours
1.  Visitation for general population and MSC will occur on the following days and time:

 
Monday Saturday Sunday Holidays
 
6:00p .m. - 8:00p.m.
8:00 a.m. -3:00 p. m.
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p .m.
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
 

2.    Monday night visitation is allowed only for the purpose of providing visitation privileges to inmates who are unable to visit on weekends due to work schedules or other conflicts. Inmates who visit on Saturday or Sunday will not be allowed to visit on Monday night.


3.    Visitation on holidays will be conducted according to a published schedule posted by the Warden.

4.    Visitation may be ended at any time with the on-set of severe weather conditions or due to an institutional emergency.

5.    Inmates who are patients in the institutional infirmary shall not be allowed visits during the first seven days of confinement. After the seven days, the attending physician shall make the determination of whether the patient is able to receive a visit. Visits are restricted to Saturday and Sunday, only. The non-contact visiting room shall be used and approved visits shall be limited to one hour according the above schedule.

6.    Inmates assigned to an outside hospital may be allowed visitation upon approval from the Warden.

7.      Administrative Segregation inmates shall be allowed to visit only upon approval of the Unit Manager designee for no longer than one hour with up to two immediate family members, every two weeks. Visitation shall occur within the non-contact rooms located within the unit or the security building as appropriate. This will occur during the scheduled visitation hours, will be on a first come basis, and will be subject to space availability. Only immediate family members, ministers, and attorneys are allowed to visit an administrative segregation inmate.

8.    Inmates assigned to the SMU (Security Management Unit) will be allowed visitation. Inmates on Phase I will be allowed a one (J) hour, non-contact, visit with immediate family ONLY, who must be on their approved list. Inmates on Phase II will be allowed a two (2) hour non-contact visit with visitors on their approved visitation list. Phase Ill inmates will be allowed a contact visit in the gallery.

9.    Newly admitted offenders must provide the names of immediate family members on their initial visitation list. They are not allowed to visit for the 7 days following arrival. After the first seven days, they shall be allowed visits in the noncontact visitation rooms until classified

10.    All protective custody inmates shall visit in the non-contact rooms in the security building across from operations. Due to space limitations, visits shall not exceed one hour. Only two visitors will be allowed to visit. All visits must be pre­ approved by the unit manager or designee.

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Minimum Security Comp/ex (MSC)

The following special conditions and schedules will apply to WTSP's Minimum Security Complex (MSC).

1.    At the discretion of the Warden, the outside visitation area at MSC may be opened from April r' through October 3131
2.    During other months, visitation will be conducted in the dayroom of the MSC.

3.    The picnic area will be open on Saturdays -April, May, June, and the first half of July. It will be open on Sundays - the last half July, August, September and October.

4.    The picnic area will only be available to inmates housed at MSC.

5.    Each inmate will be limited to four (4) adult visitors and accompanying children.
6.    Available space limitations may result in some modifications of inmates allowed on the picnic area.

7.    If overcrowding occurs, visitors and inmates may be asked to share tables to ensure everyone gets an opportunity to picnic without restrictions.

8.    The following items may be brought in by visitors who access the picnic area:

a.    Charcoal, self-starting only (no starting fluid allowed)
b.    Plastic utensils only
c.    Napkins, paper towels
d    Tablecloths - not to exceed 3 inches from the table
e.        Condiments - mustard, ketchup, mayo, bar-be-que sauce, etc. (all items must be in sealed individual packets or in clear containers/bags)
f    Tomatoes, onions, lettuce, pickles - clear containers only
g.    Dips (dip in can only)
h.    Snack cakes -individually wrapped
i.    Pies -factory  sealed
j.    Potato salad, coleslaw -factory sealed
k    All meat must be factory sealed - chicken, steak, pork, hamburger meat, hot dogs, etc.
l.    Sandwich meats - sliced and factory sealed
m.    Cheese - sliced and factory sealed
n.    Bread -loaf or buns
o.    Cooler -made of styrofoam only

***All items on this list may be subject to change.

9.    No items will be allowed packaged in glass containers.

10.    No canned items (except canned dips, metal top will be removed at shakedown).

11.    No Jell-0 or puddings allowed.

12.    If an i tem is not on the approved l ist, i t will not be allowed into the institution. No exceptions will be made. Visitor will be given the choice to take the item back to the vehicle or dispose of the item(s). *The amount of food permitted must be in proportion to the number of persons visiting the inmate.

13.    The approved picnic items will only be admitted in the amount that will be used. The visitor shall carry all items not used during the picnic visit out of the area. The inmate will carry no items out of the visiting area.

14.    Towels will be limited to two (2); one (1) small, one (1) medium.

15.    Tablecloths used on the picnic area shall be folded even with the table and not allowed to drape more than 3" beyond the edge of the table (45" x 74" in size) No sheets will be allowed to substitute for a table cloth.

16.    Picnic tables are not to be moved during the visit.

17.    Visitors and inmates will not be permitted to sit on top of the picnic tables, lay on the ground, picnic benches, concrete pads or sidewalks.

18.    All containers/coolers will be placed on the side of the tables (not on lop) as to obstruct officer's view.

19.    No children will be allowed in grill area.

20.    Visiting parents shall supervise children while playing; failure to do so may result in termination of visit.

21.    All trash should be placed in proper receptacles.

22.    Please remember that this is a privilege and as such, it can be taken away at any time for any violation or misconduct.

23.    During the picnic area operational months, outside visitation may be moved inside, at the discretion of the visitation supervisor, should the following conditions occur including but not limited to:
1.    Inclement weather
2.    Continuous drenching rain
3.    Temperature and/or wind-chill below 32 degrees
4.    Tornado and/or severe thunderstorm warning


Appropriate Dress for Visitaton

Visitors shall be expected to comply with the following basic dress requirements.

1.    The following clothing are not considered proper attire for  visitors and will not be allowed:
low cut, halter or tank tops
sleeveless tops, shirts, blouses or dresses (unlesspart of suit attire, worn with a jacket,  blouse or sweater and cannot be removed during the visit)
o    see-thru blouses or transparent clothing
o    );:>-    backless tops or dresses
    shorts, skirts or dresses more than 3" above the knee and dresses or skirts with splits 3" above the knee
o    grayjogging clothes, other colors are acceptable wrap-around skirts that wrap less than 1% times
o    spandexllycra clothing or any spandex like material with stretch to them camouflage clothing
o    STG related clothing (as determined by the OJC)
    steel-toed shoes, shower shoes, house shoes or flip flops
o    worn or tattered clothing with holes bandanas
    button-up dresses cut- off jeans
    solid white or solid gray tee-shirts pants with writing across the buttocks pajamas
o    medical scrubs
o    any clothing, including hats, with team, company, pro or college logos low-rise or hip-hugger pants
    pull over hoodies
    no  tight fitting/body   clinging  clothing  such  as  skinny jeans,  form  fitting pants/dresses
    no shoes with heels taller than three inches  (3 "). All  shoes MUST  have a visible back or strap
    sandals with foam soles

2.    Undergarments (bras, panties, underwear, slips under skirts or dresses) will be worn at all times. (Samples of undergarments deemed inappropriate are thongs and water brassieres.)

3.    Visitors are expected to dress in attire that is not provocative or offensive to others. If a visitor's appearance is deemed provocative and/or offensive, this
shall be grounds for denial of a visit by the senior officer.

4. All visitors including children are expected to wear shoes and, shoes must have a visible back or strap.

5.  Visitors may not wear excessive clothing such as two pairs of pants or an extra shirt under their top layer of clothing.

6.  Inmates may wear a coat to the visiting gallery; however, once inside the coat must be removed. Visitors wearing jackets or coats must leave them on or place them to the side. At no time will they be used for cover.

7.    If there is any question regarding visitor's attire it will be up to the discretion of the senior officer.

Access to the Visitation Area

1.    Visitors will park in the area designated for visitor parking. Parking in official visitors designated parking places or any other area will not be permitted. Visitors who are handicapped will be permitted to park in the designated handicap spaces. The visitation areas for the main compound and MSC are accessible to the handicapped.

2.    All visitors who enter state property in a personal vehicle shall be required to raise windows, lock the vehicle and remove keys prior to leaving the vehicle. No one will be permitted to remain in a personal vehicle on state property.

3.    WI'SP is a Tobacco Free  Institution. Tobacco, tobacco related products, and paraphernalia, electronic cigarettes, nicotine replacement items, matches, lighters, rolling papers, etc., are prohibited.

4.    All visitors will be processed at the checkpoint area and MSC. On entry, each visitor will sign a roster, be processed on the computer, and have their hand stamped with ultra-violet ink.  Visitors will be called in the order of registration
on the sign-in roster.  Once called, visitors must go directly to the shakedown area.  Visitors must control children while in the area. If the senior officer sees
that  children  cannot  be  controlled  while  at  checkpoint,  visitation  will  not  be allowed

5.    On exiting checkpoint and the MSC lobby, all visitors will enter their vehicles without conversing across the fence to inmate, and leave the institutional parking lot. Violators will be subject to suspensions.

Searches

1.    All visitors entering WTSP property shall be subject to search.

2.    Visitors entering the secure perimeter of the institutions will be frisk searched. Other searches may be authorized as deemed necessary by the Warden or designee.

3.    All items carried by visitors shall also be searched before entering the institution.

4.    There are signs posted on the highway and checkpoint concerning searches; please read the signs and adhere to them.

5.    Vehicle searches -from time to time the institution shall perform a search of all vehicles entering the property. All persons shall be responsible for any contraband items found in their vehicles. In the event contraband is found, local and state law enforcement officials may issue written citations, make arrests or confiscate visitors' vehicles and belongings.   It is illegal to possess the following on state property: alcohol beverages, edged weapons of any type (knives, swords, etc.), drugs, any type of medication that cannot be readily identified by being in the original containers or producing   prescription.     Visitors who are suspected of introducing contraband into the facility may be required to visit in a non­contact booth. In this situation, there will be no physical contact between inmates and visitors.

6.    Persons with valid handgun carry permits recognized in Tennessee ay transport and store a firearm or firearm ammunition in the permit holder 's privately owned motor vehicle :

a.    if the permit holder's secured vehicle is parked in a location where it is permitted to be.
b.    if the firearm or ammunition being transported or stored in the vehicle is kept from ordinary observation if the permit holder is in the vehicle
c.    Or, if the firearm or ammunition is kept from ordinary observation and locked within the trunk, glove box, or interior of the person 's privately owned vehicle or a container securely attached to such vehicle if the permit holder is not in the vehicle.

7.    Drug K-9's may be used during vehicle searches.

 Visitors will be allowed to take the following items into the visitation area:

1.    Keys
2.    Identification cards
3.    Diapers
4.    Plastic baby bottles with milk (formula MUST be premixed)
Unopened, sealed baby food (no glass containers) Visitor shall leave all other item in their personal vehicle.  

Debit Vending Mad1ines
There is a one-time fee of $3 for the purchase/activation of a debit card You MUST purchase this card with a $5 bill. Debit cards will be credited in $1.00 increments. Additional credits may be added to the card as needed This debit card is the personal property of the visitor and the visitor is responsible for this card. No cash or coins will be permitted in the visitation area.
 

        
        


 

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How To Send Things

There are strict procedures for everything related to "sending things to an inmate" in a State - medium facility. This includes sending money for commissary packages, sending mail like letters with photosmagazine subscriptions, buying phone time, postcards and greeting cards, and even distance learning courses (get your degree, you've got a lot of extra time). You also need to know about visitation, what are the hours and rules.

All of the information you could ever need to know is below, patiently scroll the page and get as much information about TN DOC - West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP) that you'd ever want to know. If there is anything that you were looking for, but don't see, please email us at aid@inmateaid.com

How To Send Money:

How to Send an Inmate Money in Tennessee

These are general guidelines for sending money to an inmate's trust account or commissary account; this is not specific to a particular facility, institution or jail.  Inmates need money to access several privileges like weekly shopping at the commissary, making phone calls, using the email service where offered, using the electronic tablets where offered and paying their co-pay when needing the medical or dental services. Some county jails even require a per night payment for the jail’s expenses – required from the inmate

What is a Commissary?

A commissary is a store within the correctional institution. Commissary day is usually held once a week and can only be enjoyed if the inmate has funds in their commissary account.  An inmate's commissary account is like a bank account within the institution. If the inmate has a job, their paycheck is deposited into this account, too.

The Commissary sells various products that the inmates may purchase if they have money on their books.  The commissary sells clothing, shoes, snacks and food, as well as hygienic products like soap, shampoo, and shavers.  The commissary might also sell entertainment-related products like books, magazines, televisions, radios, playing cards, headphones, MP3 players, electronic tablets like an iPad (no internet access), songs and educational programming. 

The commissary also sells is paper, envelopes, and stamps which allows the inmate to write their loved ones, friends and family.  Most facilities will provide stamps and paper to inmates who are indigent – that means that there can be no money in their commissary account for at least 30 days to become eligible.  

How you send money to an inmate?

Sending money to an inmate varies from state to state, depending if it is county, state or federal, their ways of accepting money for inmates’ changes by the money transfer company they’ve contracted with.

Federal Prisons and some state-level prisons have centralized banking systems which means that you do not need to know where they are specifically, just that they are in the state systems of for instance the California, Texas, Florida DOC or the FBOP to name a few.

Some facilities will allow you to deposit cash through the lobby window stand-alone kiosk in the lobby or visitation room.  Most facilities will also accept a postal money order mailed to the institution’s inmate mailing address made payable to the full inmate’s name.

Electronic banking allows friends and family members to send the funds online, and correctional departments are starting to favor this method because it is less work for staff and more accurate/easier to keep track of, as well as being more convenient.

Regardless of the method of sending funds, there are several key things you will need to know:
•    Inmate’s full committed name
•    Inmate’s ID number
•    Inmate’s location – or a system like the federal BOP

Before sending any funds you should find out what online transfer companies the institution your inmate is incarcerated in uses.  You can find this information on our site by navigating to the facilities page click on the Money Transfer button under the address and phone number.

Pay close attention to the rules of the facility.  Sometimes they will require money senders are on the inmate's visitation list. Some correctional facilities have a deposit limit, like $200-300 at a time, but in federal, there is no limit.

Some of the money transfer firms are:
•    MoneyGram
•    JPay
•    OffenderConnect
•    Access Corrections
•    JailATM
•    CommissaryDeposit
•    Touchpayonline
•    tigercommissary
•    smartdeposit

Who else can access the money you send?

An inmate with fines or restitution will be subject to commissary/trust account garnishment. If the inmate has these financial obligations, they will be extracted from the inmate’s bank account. It may be a percentage or the entire amount depending on the situation. We recommend inmates who are going into their bid contact the counselor and make an arrangement beforehand. If you go in knowing they are taking 20-25% of all deposits is better than have them take it all and you find out in the commissary line when the account is zero.

Why is my inmate asking for more than I normally send?

This is generally a signal that the inmate is doing something they shouldn’t and need money to get them out of or through a situation. It could be gambling, it could be extortion it could be other things you don’t need to know on this forum (for now). Set boundaries with your inmate. Tell them that “this is the amount I can send each month” and that is it. There are no extras beyond the boundary. 

Also, NEVER send money to the account of another inmate on your inmate’s instruction. This is a sign that something is not right. If the corrections people discover this, and they do more times than not, it will result in some severe disciplinary action to the inmate, and certainly the loss of all privileges.

Who can I call if I suspect something?

We recommend speaking with the counselor or case manager of the facility and use a generic reference in the event that your suspicions are wrong. You needn’t put them in a more difficult position if they are.

How do I send money using MoneyGram?

Sending funds using MoneyGram to a BOP facility
Inmates can receive funds at a BOP-managed facility, which are deposited into their commissary accounts. You can send inmate funds electronically using MoneyGram's ExpressPayment Program.
1.    Funds are received and processed seven days per week, including holidays.
2.    Funds sent between 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. EST are posted within 2-4 hours.
3.    Funds sent after 9:00 p.m. EST is posted at 7:00 a.m. EST the following morning.

To send funds to your federal inmate, please read and follow these steps carefully:
1.    Wait until your inmate has physically arrived at an FBOP facility.  
2.    You'll need the following information:

  • Account Number: Inmate's eight-digit register number with no spaces or dashes, followed immediately by the inmate's last name (example: 12345678DOE).
  • Company Name: Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • City & State: Washington, DC
  • Receive Code is always: 7932 and the amount you are sending (up to $300).
  • Beneficiary: Inmate's full committed name

3.    CLICK to send the funds through MoneyGram over the internet 
4.    First-time users will have to set up a profile and account.
5.    A MasterCard or Visa credit/debit card is required.

Inmate Care Packages:

How to Buy Inmate Commissary Care Packages Online

Show your loved one how much you care – order a package today! The facilities usually have a weekly limit of about $100 per inmate, plus processing and tax. The orders do NOT count towards the inmates weekly commissary allowances Deposits can be made online for inmates 24/7 using a credit/debit card

There are also a few services that allow you how to order inmate commissary online. These trusted providers are approved and share revenue with the prisons from the sales to the inmates.

Here is a list of other similar programs prison commissary:

  • Keefe Group
  • Access Securpak
  • iCareGifts
  • Union Supply Direct
  • Commissarydeposit.com
  • Walkenhorst's Inmate Packages
  • CareACell

Inmate Commissary:

What is Inmate Commissary?

Prison commissary (also sometimes referred to as inmate canteen) is a store for inmates housed within a correctional facility. While the very most basics may be provided for by a given correctional department, there are also other important goods/services that Florida prisoners and inmates must buy. For instance, supplies such as supplementary food, female hygiene products, books, writing utensils and a plethora of other things are examples of things that can be purchased as part of an inmate commissary packages for goods.

What is an Inmate trust account?

When you add money to an inmate account, the prison funds are stored on an inmate trust fund. This prison account basically acts as a personal bank account of an inmate. They will use this account to make Inmate Calls, pay for postage to Send Photos from Inmates, send emails from inmates, purchase Items from Commissary, receive wages from jobs, and more.

How to Put Money in Commissary

While methods vary from state to state, you have quite a few options to make jail deposit. All county jails in Tennessee , Tennessee  Department of Corrections facility, federal prison, and all local jails have their own sets of procedures. Be sure to familiarize yourself with applicable rules and regulations regarding how to set up an inmate trust account. Lauderdale County commissary, Federal Commissary, and Tennessee  prison commissary prices and Tennessee prison commissary list may also vary.

The oldest and most trusted money transfer company is MoneyGram. Click and follow the instructions for adding money to federal, state prisons or county jails. They transfer to your loved one's account within a few hours.

How To Send Mail:

This is how to send your inmate at TN DOC - West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP) letters, photos, postcards, greeting cards and magazines

Incoming and outgoing inmate mail is subject to inspection for the presence of contraband that might threaten the safety, security or well-being of the jail/facility, its staff, and residents. Inmates may receive only metered, unstamped, plain white postcards no larger than 4" x 6" as mail. Writing must be in pencil or blue or black ink. Any other mail will be returned to the sender. If no return address is available, unauthorized mail will be stored in the inmate's locker until the inmate's release.

Inmate mail cannot contain any of the following: Create an immediate threat to jail order by describing the manufacture of weapons, bombs, incendiary devices, or tools for escape that realistically are a danger to jail security; Advocate violence, racial supremacy or ethnic purity; No current inmate-to-inmate mail will be allowed and will be destroyed.

Stamps, writing instruments, paper, etc. for inmates must be purchased through the jail commissary. There are provisions for indigent inmates, as long as there are no deposits into the inmate's trust account within a 30 day period, the writing items AND postage are provided at no charge. No property of any kind can be mailed to or dropped off for inmates. Inappropriate or unacceptable mail will be returned to the sender and not placed in the inmate's locker. Those persons attempting to send contraband will be prosecuted.

The easiest workaround is to look over the mailing services of InmateAid. We have an automated system for sending your loved one that special message or picture. We send thousands of pieces of mail per month with NO issues with the prisons or jails. The envelopes display the InmateAid logo, the mail room knows for certain that the contents will not be compromising. This trust was established in 2012.

How To Send Greeting Cards and Postcards:

Greeting cards are great for the holidays and birthdays. The ones from the store often have more than just the message because the policies surrounding appropriate content (no nudity or sexually suggestive material no matter how funny), and they cannot have glitter, stickers or anything else that makes the card different from a normal plain old card. Instead of going to the Hallmark store in the mall and looking around for hours - go to our easy to search Greeting Cards service.

It takes literally 45 seconds and it's very affordable for what you're getting (and what they are getting, too!). Select from 100s of birthday, anniversary and every holiday you can think of, and VERY easy to send from your phone on InmateAid:

  • Christmas
  • Thanksgiving
  • Mother's Day
  • Father's Day
  • New Year's
  • Ramadan
  • Hanukkah
  • Easter
  • Passover
  • Kwanzaa
  • Valentine's Day

In less than a minute and only $0.99, this act of kindness will be worth a million to your inmate.

If you have a picture or two and don't want to write a long letter. Type out a little love in the message box and send your latest selfie... only 99 cents! 

Don't wait until the moment has passed, it's easy and convenient to let them know you're thinking of them at every moment.

How To Send magazines and Books:

Send magazines to TN DOC - West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP) at 480 Green Chapel Rd PO Box 1150, Henning, TN

Send the best magazines and books to your Inmate in jail or prison, it's the gift that keeps on giving all year round, There is nothing more exciting to an inmate (besides their release date) than getting their favorite magazine every month at mail call. 

Magazines and books must come directly from the publisher. You are not allowed to send single magazines in an envelope. They need to come directly from the publisher with your inmate's name affixed to the address label. Magazine subscriptions are easy to set up, it takes literally 2 minutes. 

You know when you go into the grocery and browse the new magazines on display? You see hundreds. Inside they place a little card that if you fill it out and send it in with your inmate's name, ID number and facility address - you drop it in the mail and in 8-12 weeks your inmate gets an issue every month for a whole year.

Thankfully, there is an easier way, just CLICK here and browse yourself. Select a title or two and add your inmate's name to the order. It's fast, it's reliable and it's at a discounted rate for your convenience.

How To Save Money on Inmate Calls

The prison phone companies have a monopoly at the facility they have a contract with. Profits are shared so there is no incentive for their representatives to show you how to save money. They post their rates and in almost every case, there are at least two pricing tiers. Depending on where you are and where your inmate is, the type of phone number you use will make all the difference.

In federal prison, the answer is simply that a new local number will change your inmate's call rate from $.21 per minute to only $.06 per minute. Fed gives you only 300 minutes per month, the local line service is only $8.95, no hidden fees or bundling of other unwanted service charges

For the other facilities that are not federal, it used to be that a local number was the answer. Now, its market intelligence and InmateAid has made it their business to know what the best deal is in every scenario. And we can tell you that in 30% of the cases, we cannot save you a penny - and neither can anyone else. But we will give you a refund if we can't save you money. 

For more specific information on inmate calls, you will want to navigate to the facility your inmate is incarcerated in through our site by going to Prison Directory and following the links to the Discount Telephone Service - get an honest estimate before you buy.

Ask The Inmate

Ask a former inmate questions at no charge. The inmate answering has spent considerable time in the federal prison system, state and county jails, and in a prison that was run by the private prison entity CCA. Ask your question or browse previous questions in response to comments or further questions of members of the InmateAid community.

Great Deals For You and Your Inmate