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Bryan Federal Prison Camp Topics & Discussions relating to the Women's Federal Prison Camp located in Bryan, Texas

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Old 02-13-2018, 04:59 PM
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Default Information request! I SS March 5, 2018, to Bryan Federal Prison Camp

I will SS March 5, 2018. I'm not sure how to use this forum but was hoping to get any and all information I could. I will be leaving my 11 year old son with my mother. That is going to be so difficult. Is there anyway I can talk to you directly? If not any and all information would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:04 PM
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Awwww sweetie, I'm so sorry you're going through this How is your son doing with all this? I'm glad you have your Mom to look after him for you, that's one less worry for you.

Have a safe & speedy journey....in the meantime, read here as much as you can & post any questions you have.

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Old 02-13-2018, 06:05 PM
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Be sure to ask any questions you have so the answers you receive will be helpful to you, but also to other folks who are facing the same type of problems as you are.

You will be able to call home every day (only 300 minutes/month though, which works out to around 10 minutes/day) and email him too if your Mom has an email address. They can also visit you.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:08 PM
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Every facility is different so this book will only get you so far:
https://www.amazon.com/Girls-Guide-F...70_&dpSrc=srch

It's by a couple of former FPC inmates, neither of whom was at Bryan. And I don't know how good it is.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:32 PM
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Over the past 6 months while I was looking for information for my husband, there have definitely been people mentioning Bryan. I would put it in the search box and see what you can find. If you have ever been to overnight camp, my husband who is very anti-overnight camp, would say it is like a bad overnight camp.

There is no air conditioning in the camps so it may be extra hot down there in the summer.

It is manageable, and is definitely not as bad as he had anticipated. Just do the best you can and you can make it through. Keep your head down and your chin up and you can do it!

I can answer questions as a spouse on the outside, but again he's a male at a camp so I can't really answer female camp questions.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:39 PM
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My husband’s camp in FL had A/C but no heat.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:45 AM
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Pls let us know how long your sentence is. That will help with some of the answers and understanding your concerns, since a 6 month is much different from a 10 year. I saw both, and all in between, at Bryan. and btw, Bryan has both a/c and heating.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:03 AM
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My sentence was for 30 months. So if I understand correctly I will have to serve 25 months. I don't have the drug and alcohol problem so I will not be able to do the RDAP program. I've heard not so nice things about the half way houses so I am likely to stay at Bryan for the entire time. While I have had lots of answers from PM I have a few more questions.

1. I noticed on the the Commissary that you can purchase a Poncho? Is that really needed.

2. Laundry? I noticed you can buy detergent and tokens.

3. Access to Ice? I saw you can buy and 20 oz and a 64 oz tumbler.

4. When you buy envelopes do they come with the postage on them? I saw where you can buy stamps for .45 ea. I know that isn't enough to mail a letter. I didn't even think they made .45 stamps anymore. I believe it costs .48 or .49 cents these days!

"They" will be taking 50% of all the money that is put on my books to go toward my restitution. So everything will cost me DOUBLE. We don't have a lot of money and so I have to think of everything I will need to get started and then live sparingly.

Thanks to all for your help!
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:41 AM
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Every single person I talked with would have preferred to stay at their camp. By the time you leave you will have a comfort level, a routine, and friends. The HWH was the only time I felt like I was locked up. Fortunately, because of circumstances (there was a fire where I was supposed to go), I only had 3 months there (from a 24 mo sentence). It's not horrible from a safety concern, but awful food, new routine and rules to get used to, etc. Stay at Bryan if you can.

Laundry? Yes, each unit has a laundry room, with washers, dryers, irons.

Ice machines outside of each unit. If that's important, you can get different sizes of containers. I never used it.

Commissary list is probably just outdated. You will get current value stamps, and will buy them separately from envelopes.

Poncho? Yes, that will be your raincoat. You can always wait and get it later. I was lucky enough to get hired into the Horticulture program and we got actual yellow slickers or long ponchos.

You will also be able to pick up things along the way. Unless things have changed, we used to put things we didn't want on top of the trash cans inside the unit. That meant they were available for the taking and we weren't throwing away usable things. I got my walking shoes that way, as well as two of the plastic tumblers. I was sorry I threw away the baggie that my initial bathroom stuff came in (they give you a little toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, etc.) Everything becomes useful. Remember that everyone is in the same boat, and you will find help along the way. (I always kept an extra pair of shower shoes in my locker to give to a new girl coming in.)
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:15 AM
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You will earn 119 days (about 3.8 months) off of your 30 month sentence, which wouldn't be a long enough time to qualify for RDAP even if you were eligible.

The commissary list probably wasn't adjusted for the higher cost of stamps. You will need to purchase stamps & envelopes, but the stamps will be current. Sometimes right after a postage increase, you either have to buy 1 cent stamps, or attach two 45 cent stamps to each letter (if the stamps you get from commissary aren't correct). They may be selling "forever" stamps, the same stamps but they just cost more after each rate increase, and they are always good for a one ounce letter.

Why do you think the bop will take half of your commissary deposits for restitution? Unless there is some unusual reason (I don't even know what that would be since the bop isn't required to follow judge's orders, only treat them as a "recommendation"), you will be covered by the Inmate Financial Responsibility Program rules (IFRP). Here is the bop program statement.
https://www.bop.gov/policy/progstat/5380_008.pdf

For me, I was started out at the minimum payment, $25.00 every 3 months, until I had had a full year of commissary/phone activity. Then the amount of my payment was recomputed based on the total amount of money that was in my account during the previous 12 months. Based on an average balance of about $400/month, my IFRP payments grew to $75.00 per month. The program is voluntary LOL, but if you don't agree with the payments, you will be punished for failing to volunteer with a commissary restriction.

As for the HWH, try to find out from your unit team where you are likely to go, and then have someone on the outside investigate that HWH, with location being very important to your decision. You can now decline HWH placement without being punished (a fairly recent change).

You will be issued a prison jacket or coat, so a poncho is up to you.

Laundry is prison-specific. All of the inmate washers & dryers were removed from FCI Petersburg after many years of availability. FCI Loretto had a paid laundry for inmates, with the money paid to buy a "laundry card" at the commissary.

If they sell laundry soap, chances are that they have available washers. The tokens may be comparable to Loretto's laundry cards. Most folks who can, avoid the prison laundry altogether, for a number of reasons.

Ice and microwaves are almost always available, but some prisons (again the awful Loretto prison) remove them, making popcorn contraband and forcing "tap water coffee".
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:23 AM
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Quick note on laundry. Bryan had a program where you could take anything that was issued to you (not something you bought at commissary) to the actual Laundry to be washed for no charge. Most people went to the unit laundry room, which was approx 15'x20', with 4-5 washers on one side, and 4-5 dryers on the other side, and a few chairs and one ironing board. All very open and not at all scary.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:18 PM
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My judge at sentencing said they would take 50% of all money sent in for me. And then 10% after release. I realize I have a to work at repayment but it seems this is punishing my family. It isn't their responsibility to pay my restitution.

Good to know that I can have ice. I hate room temp water, lol.

Just want to be prepared. Don't want to burden my family anymore than I have too. Or the ladies I will be living the next couple of years with.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:25 PM
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Can someone explain how the email works. Looks like you pay so much a minute to use the system. Then is there a fee for each email sent and/or read?

Also. 300 min a month for phone calls. BUT then you are charged for each minute of use?
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:23 PM
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Email costs you 5 cents/min whenever you are logged into the computer terminal, to read or write messages. You will send an invitation email to everyone you want to write to. They must reply to that message to be approved, so tell them to check their spam folder too.

To use the inmate telephone system, you need to give a list of every phone number you want to call to the counselor, who enters them into the ITS computer. The time that takes depends on the counselor's availability, and when they input the phone numbers. Then you have to wait to receive your 9 digit phone pin # in the mail Then you can use the phone & your pin # to transfer money from your inmate commissary account to the ITS phone account to purchase prepaid phone minutes, or you can call them collect (their phone must be able to accept collect calls). Phone rates are 6 cents/min for local calls to the prison, all other US calls cost 21 cents/min and collect calls cost the recipient 25 cents/min with no other charges added. Call forwarding is forbidden by the bop, so some local phone numbers, like from google voice are forbidden and can result in the loss of all phone use for up to 6 months.

You get up to 300 phone minutes/month with no carryover of unused minutes (400 in Nov & Dec.). If your prepaid ITS account hits zero during a call, it will be hung up.

Phone minutes and monthly commissary spending limits (about $325,00 a month with $50.00 extra in Nov. & Dec.) refresh to the next period on the same day each month. The 5th number in your bop ID (xxxxX-xxx) times 3, plus one, so if your number is 7, you will get new limits on the 22nd of each month.
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:34 AM
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My husband and I were in the same case. He went to Bastrop Camp first. I kept a stopwatch by the phone when he called. If I saw we sent over a minute, I knew we could keep talking for 55 more seconds (that's longer than you think)! You'll want to watch your minutes so you don't run out before end of your month.

Some ladies got a cell phone with a local (to the camp) area code, regardless of where they lived. Then when their husband called, he dialed a local number at the lower cost/minute.

Also, remember that all calls are routinely monitored. Don't think they listen to every single call, but you won't know when they do.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:35 AM
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That brings up an important point that is not at all obvious.

The only safe way to have a local number to call is what Patient2 just recommended. Patient2's advice is good. But there are also a lot of traps out there.

Google Voice or those call forwarding services that advertise can and do get people in trouble.

The penalties start with loss of phone privileges but if the BOP wants to they can do much worse. From what I read here it sounds like they have a zero tolerance policy about the phone rules. Make a point of knowing all those rules.

You may already know that but if somebody going to Bryan looks up this thread years from now it may help her.

fbopnomore can give you a lot of information, better than mine.
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:47 PM
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The calls are recorded, and kept forever, so they can be retrieved and monitored in the future too. Evidence I read about in one federal prosecution included transcripts of years of inmate phone calls to a "co-conspirator".
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbopnomore View Post
The calls are recorded, and kept forever, so they can be retrieved and monitored in the future too. Evidence I read about in one federal prosecution included transcripts of years of inmate phone calls to a "co-conspirator".
This is correct. All calls and all emails are recorded and maintained for what might be eternity.

They listen in live too - more often in higher security, but even in camps calls are recorded.
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:53 PM
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I take for granted that OP is law-abiding.

It's still a good idea to think through whether anything you say could get misunderstood.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:45 PM
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A friend told me about Iplum.com. A phone service you add to your current telephone service (it's an app for iPhone and android). It's just .99 cent a month and then .01 cent a minute to use. You pick the number you want.

This would be cheaper than adding a cell phone to a family plan. Just a thought!

Can't be thankful enough for all the good advice given on this site. Thank you!
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:58 AM
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The problem is finding out if the bop "approves" that app, or considers it to be call forwarding. If you can get an answer to that question from the bop (try asking your counselor of the ITS CO in charge), you will be very lucky. I was only able to find out that changing the main phone number on a cellphone to a local number from the prison is not "call forwarding" regardless of where the cellphone is physically located.
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Old 02-19-2018, 01:08 PM
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Cool

I guess I'll be giving them a call tomorrow! Today being a holiday!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fbopnomore View Post
The problem is finding out if the bop "approves" that app, or considers it to be call forwarding. If you can get an answer to that question from the bop (try asking your counselor of the ITS CO in charge), you will be very lucky. I was only able to find out that changing the main phone number on a cellphone to a local number from the prison is not "call forwarding" regardless of where the cellphone is physically located.
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeniH View Post
A friend told me about Iplum.com. A phone service you add to your current telephone service (it's an app for iPhone and android). It's just .99 cent a month and then .01 cent a minute to use. You pick the number you want.

This would be cheaper than adding a cell phone to a family plan. Just a thought!

Can't be thankful enough for all the good advice given on this site. Thank you!
This is call forwarding NOT ALLOWED!!! Be smart don't try to be smarter then the last person because if your thinking of it someone has done it and been caught. I went months without speaking to my husband and could have tried to circumvent the system but it was never worth the cost in the long run.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xolady View Post
This is call forwarding NOT ALLOWED!!! Be smart don't try to be smarter then the last person because if your thinking of it someone has done it and been caught. I went months without speaking to my husband and could have tried to circumvent the system but it was never worth the cost in the long run.
Yes ma'am. You are right. I don't want to lose contact with my family.
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Old 02-21-2018, 07:14 PM
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In reading the rules and guide lines it says that you can't change clothes in your cell/room because their isn't a door. Curious how the schedule works as far as that goes. What are we sleeping in? Do you get up go to the bathroom to change clothes? Seems like that would be a lot of back and forth to change clothes.
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