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The impacts of COVID-19 are everywhere. No question one of the biggest is the long-term suspension of visitation. Phones are one thing, but there is nothing like seeing your loved one's face.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) knows the impact that the family unit has on successful reentry. TDCJ’s goal is offender rehabilitation and maintaining close contact with supportive family and friends is a critical part of that.
To help alleviate that, TDCJ is introducing a new “Remote Video Visitation” system, which allows family members at home to visit, via live video, with offenders on select units. Friends and family registration will begin on Thursday, August 13th. Remote visitations will begin on Monday August 17th.
Remote Video Visitation will be available to offenders at the following locations:
This project is a re-working of the video visitation system that was slated to debut in early March with connections from long-distance unit to unit. Now those systems have been reconfigured to accept registered off-site visitors.
Remote video visitations are 60 minutes long and will cost $10.00. At this time, offenders will be limited to one remote video visitation per month. Due to COVID-19, the visitation fee is being waived for the first 90 days.
Projects are in development to provide potential remote visitation solutions for other units. Please watch the TDCJ website for additional announcements.
In order to participate in the new remote video visitations, follow these registration steps:
Remote video visits are on a set schedule that will begin and end at the scheduled times. Visitors may log into the remote video visitation 1 minute prior to the scheduled start. Sessions will not be extended due to delayed start times. Any session not started within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time, will require rescheduling. In the event of issues or technical difficulties, visitors may log out and log back in during the visit.
If you experience any problems, please contact the Securus Customer Service Center at 1-877-578-3658.
Visitation Hours: Visits are normally conducted on Saturdays and Sundays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The names of all visitors, 18 years old and older (except the offender’s attorney), must be on the approved Visitors List, which is limited to 10 individuals.
Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 5pm.
Visits are two hours in duration and can be contact or non-contact.
1.0 GENERAL INFORMATION
1.1 While it is recognized that unit assignments may create hardships for visiting, assignments are based on considerations other than offender or family convenience.
1.2 Each unit has a designated Family Liaison Officer, usually the duty warden, to assist offenders’ immediate family members and other persons during visits with offenders and give assistance in resolving problems that may affect permitted contact with offenders. The duty warden has the ultimate responsibility for resolving any visitation problem. Other employees and TDCJ approved volunteers shall assist the duty warden in providing assistance to visitors. The volunteer may be able to offer general information regarding unit operations and rules for visitors.
1.3 Copies of the I-218, Offender Rules and Regulations for Visitation booklets are prominently displayed at locations on the unit accessible to offenders and in areas accessible to visitors.
1.4 Visitation Schedule (Periods of Visitation):
1.4.1 Visits usually occur on Saturday and Sunday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
1.4.2 Normally, one (1) visit per visiting cycle for eligible offenders shall be allowed.
1.4.3 Visiting cycles begin on Monday and end on the following Sunday. For example, if a visitor or an eligible offender desires to visit on Sunday and the following Monday, Monday shall begin the next visiting cycle. Therefore, if allowed to visit, this shall count as one (1) visit for each week. 1.4.4 A regular visiting period is two (2) hours in duration and begins when the offender is seated.
1.4.5 Due to visitation demand, the CID director may designate units to expand normal visitation days to Fridays.
1.5. Frequency of Visits Generally, all offenders shall be permitted to have a total of one (1) general or contact visit for a two-hour period each week, except during the Intake Process (Section 2.1); Lockdown Status (Section 4.6); Solitary Confinement (Section 4.7); Administrative Segregation (Section 4.8); Death Row (Section 4.9); and G5/J5/P5 housed in the main compound (Section 4.10).
The following offenders shall be eligible for visits, with the frequency as indicated:
Custody Level/Class Frequency
Level 1 (G1, J1); Level 2 (J2 only) -- One (1) contact visit/week
Level 2 & 3 and Protective Safekeeping (with SAT 3) (G2, G3, P2, P3, P6 and P7) -- One (1) contact visit/week
Level 2 & 3 (G2, G3, P2, P3) -- Three contact visit/month
Level 4 - (G4, J4, P4) State jail and institutional SAT 3 and 4 offenders with no disciplinary convictions for one (1) year -- Two (2) contact visits/month All other Level 4 (G4, J4, P4) One (1) general visit/ week
Level 4 (G4) Special Penalty -- Two (2) general visits/month GRAD offenders (CG) One (1) general visit/week
Protective Safekeeping (P6 and P7) -- Three (3) contact visits/month
Outside Trusty (OT), SAFP (FT), & IPTC (IT) One (1) contact visit/week Medical (MD), Mental Health (MH), & Intellectually Impaired (II) Based on computer recommended custody, which determines the type and frequency of visits
The number of contact visits allowed each month shall count toward the total number of visits as outlined above. Except in unusual circumstances, an offender shall not be scheduled for both a contact visit and a general (non-contact) visit on the same day or during the same week.
1.6 Visits Requiring Advance Scheduling
1.6.1. Visits may occur on holidays, except Christmas Day, that fall on a Monday or Friday, if scheduled in advance. Arrangements to schedule these visits may not be made on any holiday.
1.6.2. All arrangements to schedule visits must be made through the warden’s office between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at least one (1) day but not more than seven (7) days prior to the visit.
1.6.3. Unit administration shall make every effort to accommodate visitors who arrive late, if time and space is available. For information regarding scheduling a visit for Administrative Segregation/Expansion Cellblocks and units that may be designated by the CID Director, see section regarding “Visits for Other Categories” of this policy.
1.7 Number of Visitors Allowed
1.7.1 Each eligible offender is allowed to have two (2) adults, ages 18 and older, per visit. Children ages 17 and younger may visit without being counted in this number. The number of children allowed per visit shall be based on the amount of space available and the visitor’s ability to manage and control the children.
1.7.2 Each eligible offender is also allowed to have split visits.
1.7.3 Eligibility Criteria (1) At units where general visit space is not provided, all offenders in G1, G2, and G3 shall be allowed to have contact visits. (2) An offender is eligible for a contact visit if the offender’s eligibility is reflected in the mainframe computer records, for example, the offender Visitors List screen in the Inmate Master File (IMF) computer program indicates when or if an offender is eligible to receive contact visits.
2.0 WHO CAN RECEIVE VISITS
2.1 Intake Processing During the intake process, each offender shall be asked to submit a list of no more than 10 names and addresses of proposed visitors to the warden or designee on the RO-1, Request for Placement on Visitors List. Each name submitted must include the physical address and phone number of the proposed visitor and the visitor’s relationship to the offender. An offender, not a visitor, must request to have a visitor added to the Visitors List. The visitor cannot request to be placed on an offender Visitors List. The only exception to this is the offender’s court appointed guardian. Offenders do not receive visits until the intake process is complete and offenders are classified and custody assigned.
2.2 The offender shall be required to identify all individuals on the proposed Visitors List who are on parole, mandatory supervision, or have discharged a sentence for which the individuals were incarcerated. Persons with a criminal record shall not automatically be precluded from visiting. The nature and extent of the criminal record and the time lapse since the criminal activity shall be taken into consideration.
2.3 Newly-received offenders shall be given sufficient time to obtain visitors’ addresses and phone numbers for inclusion on the initial Visitors List.
2.3.1 Visitors List
• Institutional offenders may request additions and deletions to the Visitors Lists once every six (6) months. State jail offenders may make additions and deletions to the Visitors List once every 60 days.
• Offenders are allowed to request Visitors List Status Change on the Visitors List, using the RO-1, Request for Placement on Visitors List, at any time without affecting a Visitors List date change. For instance, changes to an address, phone number, relationship, adding a different last name, or any other similar updated information may be done at any time without causing a Visitors List date change.
3.0 RULES FOR VISITS
3.1 Children ages 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult who is listed on the offender’s Visitors List. 3.1.1 Hardship Visits: With prior written approval from the warden, children who are ages 16 and 17 and are on the offender’s Visitors List may be allowed to visit a legal guardian or parent offender, alone, without an adult accompanying them. These accommodations are allowed for children ages 16 and 17 who do not have an adult to accompany them when visiting incarcerated legal guardians or parents. A copy of the warden’s written approval, obtained prior to the visit, must accompany the 16 or 17 year old when visiting and shall be filed in the offender’s unit file.
3.1.2 Child Victim Restrictions: An offender convicted and sentenced for current or prior crimes involving sexual offenses against children or offenses causing bodily injury to a child, during which the child victim was under the age of 17, is restricted from having contact visits with children under the age of 17. The offender may have a general visit with a child under the age of 17, only if the offender is the legally recognized parent of the child and the child was not the victim of the sexual offense or bodily injury. The legal guardian must complete a Child Victim Restriction Affidavit (attached) attesting that the offender is the legally recognized parent of the child and that the child was not the victim of any sexual offense for which the offender has been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication before the visit may occur.
3.1.3 The chief of unit classification shall enter the appropriate administrative denial (“VR”) in the offender’s records. This restriction is based on the propensity for repeating acts of this nature, and the nature of the intimacy involved in contact visits with children. This restriction is imposed in the interest of visitor safety and the security of the institution, as well as to ensure that criminal acts against children which are of a sexual or assaultive nature do not occur during contact visitation.
3.1.4 This is not to be confused with those few exceptions when a child should be allowed to see a sex offender, usually a parent, in a controlled group environment supervised by Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) psychologists. It is not intended to be used to prohibit family participation in counseling groups as a part of the SOTP. These exceptions shall only occur with the approval of the SOTP clinical director. Offenders may file a grievance or appeal to the DRC for removal of a “VR” code.
3.2 The warden or designee shall review the list of names submitted by the offender and approve or deny these persons for visitation, using the RO-1, Request for Placement on Visitors List.
3.3 Each offender shall be given a copy of the offender’s approved Visitors List. The original offender’s Visitors List shall remain with the offender’s travel card. The names, addresses, relationship and phone numbers of each offender’s approved visitors shall also be maintained on the TDCJ mainframe computer system (mainframe).
3.4 Visitor Notification
3.4.1 When an offender receives a TDCJ number, initial unit of assignment, or is transferred to a new unit of assignment, the offender is responsible for notifying all persons on the offender’s Visitors List of this information including, the unit’s mailing address, visitation schedule, to include frequency and length of visits, visitation periods, and any other similar information, and number of visitors allowed per visit.
3.4.2 The offender is responsible for notifying ex-offenders, who are not immediate family members that they are required to wait 24 months from their release date before being eligible to visit. The offender is responsible for notifying immediate family members who are ex-offenders, to bring written permission from the individual or agency supervising the conditional release and also notify the respective warden prior to visiting. Permission from the supervising agency shall be filed in the offender’s unit file and shall be required only once. The duty warden has the authority to make the final determination whether an ex-offender is allowed or not allowed to visit an offender based on safety and security concerns.
3.4.3 Visitation Restriction
• When an offender’s visitation privileges are in any way restricted or suspended, such as the offender is placed in solitary confinement or the offender’s contact visitation privileges are administratively suspended by the UCC, the offender is responsible for notifying the individuals on the Visitors List by mail as to the type and length of the visitation restriction or suspension. In cases where an offender’s general visitation privileges have been restricted due to the offender’s placement in solitary confinement, and notification by mail is not possible before the visitors are expected, the offender should notify the warden or designee, who shall attempt to contact the visitors by telephone.
• In the event an offender is placed on the Critically Ill List, unit medical staff shall notify the warden or designee who shall make the appropriate notifications to the next of kin in accordance with AD-06.10, “Notification Regarding Critically Ill Offenders.”
3.5. Visitor Identification The CID is authorized to maintain a Visitor’s Tracking System.
3.5.1 Prior to entering the visitation area, all visitors ages 18 and older shall provide the required ID.
3.5.2 If the visitor’s ID is questionable or not acceptable, further verification shall be required, such as birth certificate, pictured credit card, or another official ID. Children ages 17 and younger may be required to provide an ID, such as birth certificate, DPS ID, or student ID, if the child’s age is questionable due to physical maturity of the child. Student IDs may be used only for children ages 17 and younger.
3.5.3 Visitors shall provide the following information prior to entering the unit or the unit’s designated security checkpoint:
• Name and TDCJ number of the offender to visit;
• Visitor’s relationship to the offender;
• Visitor’s current physical address and phone number; and
• Written permission from the individual or agency supervising visitors on parole or mandatory supervision, if applicable.
3.5.4 The correctional officer in charge of visitation shall verify all visitors’ approval prior to allowing the visit. Questions regarding identity shall be referred to the duty warden immediately.
3.6 Visitor and Vehicle Searches
3.6.1 All vehicles and visitors are subject to search when entering TDCJ property. Visitors shall be screened by a metal detector prior to entering the visitation area in accordance with agency policies. Pat searches shall be conducted by TDCJ security staff of the same gender; however, metal detector screening may be performed by either gender. Visitors shall be screened in a sheltered area during inclement weather. Children under 18 shall not be pat searched by TDCJ security staff, but shall be screened by TDCJ security staff using a handheld or walkthrough metal detector. Parents, guardians, or accompanying adults shall be responsible for ensuring visiting children are free of any contraband prior to entering a TDCJ unit. Any visitor refusing a search procedure shall be required to leave TDCJ property. Each unit shall have a sign listing these procedures posted at the vehicle check-in point, at units that use vehicle check-in points, and the visitor check-in point. The signs shall be posted in both English and Spanish.
3.6.2 All visitors shall leave any metal objects or material capable of causing injury, abetting escape, or otherwise causing a threat to the safety or security of the unit in secured vehicles. The duty warden has the authority to make a final determination whether an object is prohibited. All hand-carried items shall be searched.
EXCEPTION: If a visitor has a pacemaker, or any other type of medical implants, the visitor must have written documentation from a physician or pacemaker manufacturer indicating that the metal detector screening may cause the visitor’s pacemaker to malfunction. Once this documentation is presented to security, the visitor shall submit to a pat search.
3.6.3 No internal body cavity searches of visitors shall be conducted. Strip searches of visitors shall only be conducted if the visitor agrees in writing using the Consent to a Strip Search form, and the duty warden gives prior approval for the strip search based on reasonable cause. In making the decision to authorize a strip search, the duty warden shall evaluate the grounds asserted to justify the search, including: (1) Knowledge, as a result of visual inspection or use of a metal detector that the visitor may be carrying contraband; (2) The apprehension of the visitor while passing or attempting to pass contraband to an offender or another visitor; or (3) Other sufficient reason to believe a search is warranted.
3.7 Contraband Items Visitors shall not possess or introduce into the secured perimeter of a unit, or in some cases, on TDCJ property, any items defined as contraband or any articles, instruments, or substances specifically prohibited by state law or the policies and rules of the TDCJ. If there are questions regarding an item, the duty warden has the authority to make a final determination. The following are defined as contraband items and are distinguished as items not allowed on TDCJ property or items not allowed inside the secured perimeter of a unit:
3.7.1 Contraband Items Not Allowed on TDCJ Property (1) Any intoxicating beverages, for instance, a beverage containing any amount of alcohol or drugs used for the purpose of altering one’s mental state; (2) Any controlled substance, as defined by Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.002, or dangerous drugs, as defined by Texas Health and Safety Code § 483.001, and any other substance or item not otherwise permitted by Texas Penal Code Art. 38.11; (3) A person shall not possess a firearm or ammunition on TDCJ property unless it is in accordance with AD-02.95, “Storage of Firearms;” and (4) Any instrument that may be used in effecting or attempting to effect an escape.
3.8 Contraband Items Not Allowed Inside the Secured Perimeter of a Unit Knives, drugs, medications, food items, purses, diaper bags, briefcases, cameras, baby strollers, toys, dolls, photographs or photograph albums, paper money, tobacco, lighters, matches, cell phones, smart watches, pagers, laptop computers, cameras, digital recorders, or any other type of electronic or wireless devices or any other non-authorized items.
3.9 Permissible Items
3.9.1 Visitors shall be permitted to bring into the unit a small wallet, clear plastic Ziploc® type bag, or change purse. 3.9.2 Visitors may bring coin money in an amount not to exceed $25. Visitors who violate this rule may have the visit denied and may be removed from the offender’s Visitors List.
3.9.3 Visitors with infants or small children may bring no more than three (3) diapers, a supply of baby wipes and two (2) baby bottles, or a “sippy” cup for toddlers, into the unit. These items shall be stored in a clear plastic bag.
3.9.4 Visitors are allowed to purchase soft drinks and snacks from vending machines for offenders during general and contact visits, but the items must be consumed during the visit.
3.10 Supervision of Visits
3.10.1 Each warden shall establish procedures to ensure all visits are conducted in a quiet and orderly manner.
3.10.2 Assigned staff shall constantly monitor against the passing of contraband between offenders and visitors, as well as between offenders.
3.10.3 Offenders shall be pat or strip searched prior to entering the visitation area and shall be strip searched prior to leaving the visitation area. After completing the visit, the offender shall immediately leave the visitation area and shall not be given the opportunity to return to the visitation area or any part thereof.
3.10.4 Offenders who are allowed to take a restroom break during the visit shall be strip searched when exiting and pat or strip searched when re-entering the visitation room. Time taken for restroom breaks shall be considered as part of the visiting period.
3.11 Offender Rules
3.11.1 Offenders shall be required to wear TDCJ-issued pants, with shirts tucked in, and TDCJ-issued or commissary-purchased shoes. Offenders may wear state-issued or commissary-purchased t-shirts, thermals and wedding rings (band-type only with property papers) during visits.
3.11.2 Offenders shall not pass items to other offenders or visitors.
3.11.3 Offenders shall not be loud or boisterous during visits.
3.12 Visitor Rules
• Dress Code – Conservative dress is encouraged for all visitors. The duty warden shall make the final decision whether the visit should be denied based on clothing. • Sandals, flip-flops, and open-toe shoes may be worn.
• Clothing that is tight fitting, revealing, or made with see-through fabrics shall not be allowed. Sleeveless shirts and dresses are allowed, but must cover the shoulders.
• Shorts, skirts no shorter than three (3) inches above the middle of the knee while standing, capri pants or long pants are allowed. • Length is not restricted for pre-adolescent boys and girls, generally ages 10 and younger.
• Clothing with pictures or language that may be considered profane or offensive by current public standards shall not be allowed.
• A paper gown shall be made available for visitors who do not meet the dress code.
3.12.1 Visitors are prohibited from engaging in the following activities:
(1) Loitering around the unit’s front gate, parking lot, or perimeter pickets;
(2) Walking along the perimeter road;
(3) Photographing buildings, fences, or other parts of the unit;
(4) Playing radios loudly; or
(5) Yelling at offenders.
3.12.2 Children shall not be left unattended. 3.12.3 Visitors are not allowed to switch from visiting with one (1) offender to another. This conduct may cause the visit to be terminated and possibly the visitor’s name removed from the offender’s Visitors List. 3.12.4 Removal of Articles from the Unit (1) Without authorization from the duty warden, no visitor shall take any article from TDCJ property, such as gifts from offenders, excess personal property items, or craft items. (2) Transfer of offender property or craft items to visitors shall be managed in accordance with AD-03.72, “Offender Property” and AD-14.59, “Offender Piddling and Craft Sales.” Monies for payment of craft items may be arranged in advance with the warden or designee.
3.13 Denial of Visits or Visitors 3.13.1 When there is reason to believe that a forthcoming visit, or a particular visitor, may compromise the safety and security of offenders, staff or the unit, the warden or designee shall have the authority to cancel the visit or deny a particular individual permission to visit on that day. In addition, the warden or the UCC may remove an individual’s name from an offender’s Visitors List when there is cause to believe the visitor may compromise the security of the unit or safety of offenders and staff.
3.13.2 The specific reasons for cancelling a visit, denying a visitor, or removing a visitor from an offender’s Visitors List shall be documented on the TDCJ Offender Visitation Denial Form and the TDCJ Offender Visitation Denial Log. A copy of the Offender Visitation Denial Form shall be provided to the denied visitor and the offender, and the original shall be filed in the offender’s unit file. The warden shall report the number of denied visits in the biennial report.
3.13.3 A visitor shall be denied permission to visit and may have the visitor’s name removed from the offender’s Visitors List if, the visitor:
(1) Appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
(2) Refuses or fails to produce identification or falsifies identification information;
(3) Refuses to be searched or refuses to allow the vehicle to be searched;
(4) Misrepresents the relationship; or
(5) Knowingly violates any TDCJ visitation rule.
3.13.4 If the visitor is removed from the Visitors List or denied visitation for any of the above reasons, the visitor’s name shall be placed on the Disapproved Visitors List by designated unit staff.
3.13.5 All written notices to offenders shall include the specific reasons for the administrative action taken, except in those instances when disclosure of the reasons to the offender would create an immediate and serious threat to the physical safety or security of the staff, offender, or other offenders or jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation. In such cases, the reason may be stated as follows: “For the security and safety of staff, offenders, and the institution or to protect the integrity of an investigation.” (
3.13.6 An offender may appeal the decision to remove an individual’s name from the offender’s Visitors List through offender grievance procedures or by submitting a written appeal to the DRC.
3.13.7 The warden or designee shall notify the unit staff member responsible for updating the computerized offender Visitors List to modify the affected offender’s Visitors List as appropriate.
3.13.8 Additionally, a denied visitor shall be notified by the warden or designee of the right to appeal the decision to be removed from an offender’s Visitors List to the DRC. The appeal must be submitted within 14 days of the date on the written notice. If the appeal is denied, the individual may submit another appeal six (6) months after the denial.
3.14 Termination of Visits in Progress
3.14.1 The duty warden has the authority to terminate an offender’s general or contact visit while the visit is in progress if the offender violates established TDCJ offender rules and regulations. Visits may also be terminated if the offender’s visitors do not comply with the rules and regulations established for visitors, including, but not limited to, failure to prevent children from disturbing other persons in the visiting area.
3.14.2 Prior to termination of a visit, less severe alternatives shall be attempted if appropriate. This shall include warnings to the offender or visitors of improper conduct which, if continued, shall result in the visit being terminated and may cause the visitor’s name to be removed from the offender’s Visitors List.
3.14.3 When a visit is terminated while in progress, the reasons for ending the visit shall be fully documented by the duty warden or designee on the Offender Visitation Denial Form. The duty warden shall report serious incidents to the Emergency Action Center (EAC) in accordance with AD-02.15, “Operations of the Emergency Action Center and Reporting Procedures for Serious or Unusual Incidents.”
3.15 Suspension of General Visits Loss of general visitation privileges cannot be imposed as a punishment upon conviction for a disciplinary violation. However, general visitation privileges shall be suspended while offenders are in solitary confinement or as otherwise provided herein. Visitation privileges may be suspended for offenders on lockdown status in accordance with AD- 03.31, “Unit Lockdown Procedures.”
TDCJ - Rules by Type
Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ or Agency) shall encourage offender visits consistent with security and classification guidelines. Offender visitation in TDCJ units shall be conducted in an accommodating manner, in keeping with the need to maintain order, safety of persons and security of the unit. However, visitation is a privilege and may be temporarily restricted for an offender or a visitor, if rule violations occur or security concerns exist. Visitation may also be temporarily discontinued during unit lockdowns and other serious incidents, such as escapes or riots. Offender visitation is managed under the direction of each Warden, and in accordance with the rules and guidelines outlined below. All offender visits, except for attorney-client visits, are subject to be electronically monitored. Unless otherwise noted, these rules and guidelines apply to both general (non-contact) visits and contact visits.
Contact Visits - Visits that are usually conducted inside the unit in a designated visiting area or outside the main building, within the fenced perimeter. Physical contact between offenders and visitors is allowed. Embracing and kissing is permitted once at the beginning and once at the end of each visit. Holding hands is permitted during visitation, as long as hands remain on top of the table in full view of staff. During visits, offenders and visitors are seated on opposite sides of the table, with the exception of the offender’s small children who may be held by the offender.
Contraband - Any item not permitted into the secured perimeter of a unit, or in some cases, on TDCJ property. Also, any item brought into, or taken out of a unit, or in the possession of an offender, visitor or employee as defined in Texas Penal Code § 38.11, or prohibited by the rules and regulations of the TDCJ, may also be considered contraband. These items include, but are not limited to alcoholic beverages, controlled substances or any drug, firearms or deadly weapons, or any item brought onto TDCJ property with the intent to deliver to an offender such as, paper money, tobacco, lighter, matches, cell phones, smartwatches, pagers, laptop computers, cameras, digital recorders, or any other type of electronic or wireless devices.
Current/Former Employee - For the purpose of offender visitation, includes anyone currently or previously employed by the TDCJ, or anyone currently or previously employed by an agent of the TDCJ, including a private prison vendor, Windham School District (WSD), University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Texas Tech University of Health Science Center (TTUHSC), or any other similar entity.
Director’s Review Committee (DRC) - The central and final authority for all appeals related to the removal of persons from an offender’s Visitors List and offender contact visitation restrictions.
Ex-Offender - For the purpose of offender visitation, is an individual who has been incarcerated in a state or federal institution, and released under mandatory supervision, parole, discharged, released from a Substance Abuse Felony Punishment (SAFP) facility or released on shock probation.
Extended Visits - Visits permitted at the discretion of the warden or designee for individuals traveling in excess of 250 miles one-way for visitation, if space allows. This may be for up to four hours in length. Family Liaison Officer (FLO) A TDCJ employee, such as a duty warden, who assists offenders’ immediate family members and other persons during visits with offenders and aids those persons in resolving problems that may affect permitted visits with offenders.
General Visits - Visits conducted inside the main building of the unit in which no physical contact between offenders and visitors is possible or allowed. These visits are usually held in a designated visiting area where offenders and visitors are physically separated by a glass wall or partition. General visits are also referred to as non-contact and regular visits.
Guardian - An individual appointed by a court to have full or limited authority over an incapacitated person. A guardian is appointed for a finite period of time, subject to extension by the court. A guardian shall be issued letters of guardianship that state the fact and date of the appointment and the date the letters of guardianship expire. Letters of guardianship expire one year and four months after the date the letters issue, unless renewed. Guardians shall be treated as immediate family for purposes of this plan.
Hardship Visits - Allow children ages 16 and 17, who are on the offender legal guardian/parent Visitors List and do not have an adult to accompany them, to visit legally recognized guardians or parents who are incarcerated in the TDCJ.
Immediate Family - For the purpose of offender visitation, is a ceremonial, proxy or commonlaw spouse; natural or adopted mother and stepmother; natural, or adopted father and stepfather; natural or adopted children, stepchildren, grandchildren, and step-grandchildren; natural or adopted siblings and stepsiblings; natural or adopted grandparents and step-grandparents; aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews; and persons related by marriage, which are in-laws: father, mother, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, grandchildren, grandparents, and legal guardian.
Offender - For the purpose of this policy, is an individual in the custody of the TDCJ.
Ombudsman Office - The department serves as a single point of contact for offender family members, elected officials, and members of the general public.
Significant Other - For the purpose of offender visitation, is a surrogate parent or a special relationship, such as a foster parent or guardian of an offender’s minor child, that is verifiable by the warden.
Special Visits - Cases that allow the warden or designee to permit contact or general visits or authorize special conditions of visits outside of the ordinary course of established visitation rules. The warden may delegate the authority to review and approve special visits to a designee, such as duty warden, assistant warden, building major, or Unit Classification Committee (UCC) member. Offenders or visitors requesting a special visit shall submit the request in writing or via telephone or e-mail, for applicable units to the warden or designee.
Split Visits - Allow offenders and visitors to divide or breakup a visit in one- or twohour increments. For example, during one two-hour visit, two adults can visit during the first hour and two different adults can visit during the last hour; or during one four-hour special extended visit, two adults can visit during the first two hours and two different adults can visit during the last two hours. Both regular and special visits allow a total of four adults to visit. Prior to being granted a split visit, the visitor must inform the Visitation Officer of the desire to receive a split visit during visitor’s check-in process.
Visitor Identification - For visitors ages 18 and older, is a pictured and signed identification (ID) of one (1) of the following: (1) valid state driver license; (2) state Department of Public Safety (DPS) ID card; (3) Armed Forces ID card; (4) passport; or (5) ID card issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) such as, Visa Border Crossing ID Card (USA B1/B2 Visa BCC). If an identification document other than a passport is used, the identification document must contain a current physical address. Children 17 years of age and younger may be required to provide an ID such as, birth certificate, ID card, or student ID card, (student ID card shall be used only (I-218) November 2015 Offender Rules & Regulations for Visitation Page 5 of 32 for children ages 17 and younger) Identification is required for hardship visitors.
Victims of Family Violence - The victims of family violence who may be issued a card that indicates the individual has been certified as a crime victim and is entitled to protection. These individuals may visit using a post office box in lieu of a physical address, when presenting the certification card and a government ID. In particular, the attorney general is authorized under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 56.82 to protect the address information of victims of family violence.
Visitors List - The official approved list of names, phone numbers, and physical addresses of persons with whom the offender wishes to visit during authorized visiting hours. Each offender is allowed to have a maximum of 10 names on the Visitors List.
Visitors List Change - For the purpose of this policy, is the process of adding or deleting names from an offender’s Visitors List once every six (6) months for institutional offenders and once every 60 days for state jail offenders.
Visitors List Status - Change For the purpose of offender visitation, is the process of updating information on an offender’s Visitors List at any time without the updated information being counted as a “Visitors List Change.” For example, changes to an address, phone number, relationship, adding a different last name, or any other similar updated information may be done at any time.