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GPT Phones, Mail, and Visitation Discussions Please post topics or discussions here that do not fit in the appropriate state or federal forums.

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  #1  
Old 01-03-2019, 09:29 AM
ILLINOIS.PAL ILLINOIS.PAL is offline
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Default GTL Messaging - couple questions

Does anyone have experience with GTL and if so, what's the general turn around time for receiving a sent message?


My pal sent me his first message ever on New Years Day around noon, but I didn't get notified of it until the 2nd at 5p... over 30 hours??? Is that right?


Also, I'm not sure what to do about sending reply stamps. He purchased his own credits, but I don't know if going forward I'm supposed to send credit for his replies? I could do that but when we send postal mail our letters span 6 typed pages to 14 handwritten pages, and GTL gives you 2000 characters for 1 credit (20 credits are $4). I imagine if we put into an email what we sent by postal mail it would run up credits REALLY quick, and I just can't justify paying for that.... so, what do I do about the return reply credits? Do I send them?



We've been writing for 3.5 months now.. I'm super interested to see where communication will go now that we have emailing capability and now that we've decided to speak on the phone....
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:39 AM
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There is no set time for an email to arrive. It can take anything from a few hours to a few days.
Holidays are normally slower as there is less staff to monitor the messages. Emails are quicker than letters though so enjoy.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:39 PM
Melancholyholly Melancholyholly is offline
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When we were communicating that way (before they took the tablets away) I found that shorter messages got through quicker. Sometimes an hour or two, long messages could take longer, even up to 5 days at times. Messages don’t necessarily come through in the order in which they were sent. I can only assume as a CO at the facility has to approve each message they are sometimes leaving the longer ones because it takes more time and effort to skim read than a couple of lines. It was unpredictable but ohmigosh I MISS IT!!

I would ask him about return stamps. When I first started writing to my fiancé he was on restricted privileges so couldn’t use pin debits to purchase message credits so I had to send them if I wanted a reply. But as your friend messaged you that would suggest he can buy credits. So it will depend on his financial situation.

Last edited by Melancholyholly; 01-03-2019 at 12:43 PM..
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2019, 02:27 PM
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When we were communicating that way (before they took the tablets away) I found that shorter messages got through quicker. Sometimes an hour or two, long messages could take longer, even up to 5 days at times. Messages don’t necessarily come through in the order in which they were sent. I can only assume as a CO at the facility has to approve each message they are sometimes leaving the longer ones because it takes more time and effort to skim read than a couple of lines. It was unpredictable but ohmigosh I MISS IT!!

I would ask him about return stamps. When I first started writing to my fiancé he was on restricted privileges so couldn’t use pin debits to purchase message credits so I had to send them if I wanted a reply. But as your friend messaged you that would suggest he can buy credits. So it will depend on his financial situation.



The messages are limited to 2000 characters which is about half a page typed. Both of the ones I sent within the last 24 hours were approved about an hour ago (I'd sent on yesterday around 7p and one today around 1p). I got an email alerting me to their approval (really cool!!!!!)


I don't know why his took so long (maybe the holiday?) but hopefully we'll see a quicker turnaround time going forward.


Also, just given the fact we're limited to half a page, I think we'll keep the messaging on a "thinking of you" basis and use snail mail for any substantial replies. (Lord but we have our first phone call within the next 10 days so there's that option, too!!!)
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:41 AM
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well i thought this was gonna be a great way to communicate but it seems whoever at the prison scans the email for key words is either asleep at the wheel or off friday through tuesday
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:49 AM
Melancholyholly Melancholyholly is offline
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well i thought this was gonna be a great way to communicate but it seems whoever at the prison scans the email for key words is either asleep at the wheel or off friday through tuesday
We would find the odd short one went through some weekends but more often than not there would be nothing. I guess there is less staff on at weekends? Sometimes they would come through late Mondays but often not til Tuesday. It’s a frustrating way to communicate when you have it but when it’s taken away it seems like the best thing since sliced bread 😂
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:45 PM
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Yeah I'm trying so hard to remain grateful and positive that we have a "quicker" way of communicating now (barring phone calls, which, we have our first one scheduled for either this week or next)... but we can't exchange pix.... it's a shared kiosk in their dayroom so there's always people around..... it takes days to go through if sent on a friday..... *sigh* it's irritating enough that snail mail sent from dc (where I am) to outside of Chicago (where he is) takes over 10 days to get to him....


Let me add I have friends who write to inmates and they use jpay, and their emails get to them within hours, if it's during normal hours any day of the week (including weekends).

Last edited by ILLINOIS.PAL; 01-07-2019 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:01 AM
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well jeez either there's a terrible lag inside the prison mailroom or my penpal just doesn't want to email me... cos the last time i heard was thursday. i sent an email friday and one sunday and both have been approved. whatever. guess he's over it lol
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:25 PM
ILLINOIS.PAL ILLINOIS.PAL is offline
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It’s the lag in case anyone is following lol - I got a message he sent Friday at 9.30 tonight (Tuesday) at 5p....
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:00 PM
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I use GTL a lot an I mean ALOT to send my husband messages. An I have been using it for about a year. We also write letters an he calls but the messages get to him very quickly. My man is at Menard Correctional in Chester so Idk if its the staff but when u send him a message he gets it within a couple hours. Any message sent before 2pm he gets that day otherwise any message sent after he will get the next day. Now messages sent Friday after 3pm he won't get until Monday. They don't approve messages over the weekend. So when he sends me messages over the weekend I always get Monday about 730am. Each prison is different but menard is starting to allow video messages to be sent sometime this month or next. So I can send him a short video. When that starts I dont know how long those will take to be approved an get approved but GTL messaging can be really nice especially when u just want to send them something short to say u were thinking about them or if u want him to get something an respond asap an don't want to wait the few days for regular mail to get to him.
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  #11  
Old 01-10-2019, 02:13 PM
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I use GTL a lot an I mean ALOT to send my husband messages. An I have been using it for about a year. We also write letters an he calls but the messages get to him very quickly. My man is at Menard Correctional in Chester so Idk if its the staff but when u send him a message he gets it within a couple hours. Any message sent before 2pm he gets that day otherwise any message sent after he will get the next day. Now messages sent Friday after 3pm he won't get until Monday. They don't approve messages over the weekend. So when he sends me messages over the weekend I always get Monday about 730am. Each prison is different but menard is starting to allow video messages to be sent sometime this month or next. So I can send him a short video. When that starts I dont know how long those will take to be approved an get approved but GTL messaging can be really nice especially when u just want to send them something short to say u were thinking about them or if u want him to get something an respond asap an don't want to wait the few days for regular mail to get to him.

Do they print out the messages or do they just let them know they have messages so they check the kiosk and see them for the first time or...?


My friend sent me one on Friday at 9:30p and I didn't get that until Tuesday at 5p. He sent one Monday night that reached me Wednesday morning at 4a (how strange).


Also, does your husband have a tablet or a kiosk?
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