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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 01-29-2007, 01:15 PM
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Default Denial Of A Special Visit!

Ya'll I'm sooo mad! I got denied of a special visit and I live wayyy over 300 miles away from where my husband is at. He got moved in early January to the Gib Lewis Unit in Woodville, Tx. Jerks if you ask me! Last month I had to raise hell in order to get a special visit because they wanted to deny it but I am fully entitled to it, so I suprassed all the majors, captains, staff etc. and sent a letter to the head warden at the unit and sure enough had a very wonderful and amicable visit. This past weekend I requested another visit (being thats its a new month and all) and the Major that was on duty this weekend denied it! I am sooooooo angry, he had no right! See my husband's current custody level is a G4 and the Major on duty said "I WOULD NEVER GRANT A SPECIAL VISIT TO SOMEONE WITH THAT CUSTODY LEVEL" grrrrrrrrrr...HE HAS NO STINKIN RIGHT! I honestly truly with all my heart believe that those visits are more so for the visitors than the inmates and the TDCJ RULES STATE THAT ANY VISITOR MORE THAN 300 MILES AWAY MAY REQUEST A SPECIAL VISIT! No where does it say that it is dependent on the inmate's custody level! Plus I was able to get a special visit last month in January and he had the same custody level and in December he was in Huntsville and he got approved for a special visit toooo without any hassle! Grrr...I've been upset all weekend, crying and crying. See my husband used to be only 4 hours away so I would up and go all the time and now he is 8 hours away and it takes a lot for me to go see him. I have to take a day off work, unpaid, rent a room, rent a car or book a flight and it seems like these people don't really care what plans or accomadations I have to make in order to see him or not. Since I met all the requirements under that rule for a special visit, I figure I'm entitled to them and I plan accordingly and then all falls through because of some officer on a freaking high horse! Ahhh I'm just sooo mad. Can anyone point me in the right direction of who to talk to or where to complain? Does anyone else have these problems? All the wardens who could overturn this major's decision were out of the office and would not return! Ahhhh!! I'm sorry to go off like this but I just love my husband soo much that driving 16 hours for 2 doesn't seem very fair!

Let me know if I'm totally wrong, but I dont even think sitting there for four hours for two days hurts anyone!

Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:10 PM
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It sounds like its up to the discretion of the officers on duty. Just because the rules state that you may "request" and special visit. Which you where allowed to do. It may not say (I don't know the rules and haven't looked them up) that they HAVE to grant them. I know your upset and traveled along way. Is there a way for you to know BEFORE you go, if there will be a special visit or not? Giving you time to appeal it and make phone calls BEFORE you leave to go.
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:24 PM
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Since you have to request the visit, do you give them one particular date or do you give them a choice? Just curious as to how this works. Are you requesting a day outside of normal visiting hours? It may be something simple like they are going to be short staffed on the day that you requested. Whatever the reason, it is sad and I'm sorry you're going through this.
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:29 PM
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Hey Cherrie,

Thanks for reply. No, there is no way to know until Friday morning, which doesn't give me much time to rent a car or book a flight at a reasonable price. That's the argument I had with them last month. I cannot request a special visit until the Monday of the weekend I am going and I will not know until Friday, the day I leave...not room enough to know what time to schedule a flight or return a car, etc.

I wish I could work supervising all the TDCJ units in Texas and make sure they are all running according to the books and not by emotions, and I would organize it like crazy! Lord knows it needs to be done. A good audit of all the units and the employees!! It seems that all units are different and yet they are all supposed to be under the same rules. Not to mention the mean wardens, guards, majors, etc. that disrespect our loved ones when no one is watching. Blah..I guess I need to write to Ricky Perry or the President for that job! heehee

They need some consistency when it comes down to it. If I've gotten the visit the past two months and his status was the same, what difference did it make this past weekend? Right?
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:30 PM
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Default special visits

Try calling the unit he is in and ask to talk to the Chaplin and see if he will help you..... You can always call Huntsville and ask to talk to the Captain.....
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:31 PM
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Hey Honey,

The specials visits are during the weekends, same hours, same place, just like all the visits. The only difference is when the 2 hours are up, we get to stay another 2 hours both Saturday and Sunday, while everyone else leaves after their 2 hour visit.

I'm sad too. I love him a lot and I'm used to being with him every weekend and now that he is so far its been really tough. *cries*
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:40 PM
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Hey Clemhopper,

Thanks, I will try that. I know the Chaplin has met with my husband. Huntsville only directed me to the Regional Director, they seemed to care less. The Regional Warden was upset at Gib Lewis for not being consistent with me, its almost like playing mind games, but who knows what they will do. All I want to know is why! And I want changes if those are the terms of a special visit! Put it in black and white, cuz it seems that all that is required is the distance. The rule is too ambigious if they want to play the conduct card.

I'l let ya'll know what happens.
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Old 01-29-2007, 04:23 PM
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I know when I went to visit a pen pal in Texas, I applied for a special visit and it was granted, but next time I was turned down because they wouldn't have enough staff that day and I was coming from UK.
They seem to do whatever they want, whenever they want.
I hope you manage to get something sorted out soon.
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Old 01-29-2007, 04:35 PM
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Najum, I agree! If they weren't gonna have enough staff then why even have visitation all day at all? That's just my take on it, they lie! I just dont like it when things aren't done how they are supposed to be, its whenever THEY feel like it and that needs to change! What is worse is people that dont speak up about it. I'm not one to sit there and take their bullshit. I'm sorry but they barked up the wrong tree!
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Old 01-29-2007, 04:48 PM
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****UPDATE YA'LL*****

Called Warden Dawson at Gib Lewis to follow up on the letter I faxed him regarding my situation. Well, he said he'd respond by letter IN A DAY OR TWO! Geesh, now doesn't that give him enough time to come up with an excuse! AH, they're killin' me!

I'l let ya'll know in a day or two what he said! lol
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Old 01-29-2007, 05:32 PM
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ohhhh I Kno What U R Talking Bout But My Situation Is Different From Ur's I'm On Felony Probation And Am Not Able To Visit Buttt My P.o Wrote A Letter Stateing That It Is Ok For Me To Visit Butt They Still Denied Me Thats Crazy If My P.o Said It Was Ok Y Not Let Me Duhhh. It's Not Like I'm Goin To Try And Do Something Crazy In There I Just Want To See My Honey Gosh.....
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Old 01-29-2007, 07:13 PM
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As someone else mentioned, you can request a Special visit...but, that does not mean that they have to give it to you. I would consider it lucky you received one the first time around...considering his custody level. Most will not approve a G4 unless they rarely get visits...once a year or less...things like that. Custody level and recent disciplinary history are just a few things that are taken into account when checking the inmates file prior to approval/denial. I would also count your blessings that the unit does the two day Special visits...many don't allow them either. If you had good luck with one particular Duty Warden (could be the Senior Warden, Asst. Warden, or Major), then I would find out when that particular Duty Warden is scheduled to work again. Set up a visit for that weekend, through that Warden. You can schedule the visit further in advance than a week. The approval will just be placed in the visitation book to wait until the date of the actual visit. It is totally at the discretion of the Duty Warden for that particular week though. It is also always subject to change based on space available. Best of luck.
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Old 01-29-2007, 07:23 PM
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My husband has been a G4 for almost 2 years now, and I have never ever had a problem getting a special visit. I get one once a month both days for 4 hours each day. He's at the Connally unit. I guess it just depends on the warden
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Old 01-29-2007, 07:30 PM
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I used to drive 6 hours one way to see my husband at J. Levy Debadie and they were cool with extended visits there. My husband would put in for the request which had to be in 10 days before the day I wanted to visit and we got approved every month for an all day visit (6.5 hours) on Sat and then 2 hours on Sunday. Once a month. Now he is at Forcht Wade and we have been approved twice for an extended visit but there, they never tell you how long you get (extra) and there are only 18 tables in their visiting shed so its basically a power trip for the guards to "let" you visit longer or tell you that your visit is over...luckiy we have gotten to visit longer than expected.

I think each facility has their own rules that must be followed...
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Old 01-29-2007, 07:33 PM
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what is a special visit?
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:53 PM
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this is what i do never been denied i call the wardens office on wednsday before the visit request spceial and call back on friday i get the approvel and its between the warden and me !!!! it is on his book at check in!!! try it hope it helps
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:08 PM
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A special visit is for people who are coming from 'x' miles away (depends on the place).

They usually get to set up a weekend to see their inmate for a much longer time than usual.
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:18 PM
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That sucks but do they have visits only once a weekend? From what I heard about here in Oregon that most places have visits twice a day and if you live over so many miles you can visit at both times. I wish you the best of luck and just keep trying someday or someone will make a difference.
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:19 PM
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Aww thanks! Ya'll are really great and supportive, I appreciate the time ya'll took to answer and the advice you've given. Thank you sooo much!
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Old 01-30-2007, 08:48 AM
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when it comes to tdcj if they have not changed it (been a long time since i worked for them) they calculate the mileage "as a crow flies" and not the actual distance someone drives. don't know your exact mileage situation but in the past i have seen people denied a special visit because tdcj determined that the mileage was not enough using "their" calculations. as for the units even though there are still "some" good people working for tdcj most who can are rapidly moving on to other agencies or leaving to find positions out of correctional institutions completely leaving most places shorthanded. i really don't see the current situation getting any better with tdcj in the near future. thats the reason i left when i did. wasn't worth all the problems when i could make MUCH better money somewhere else.
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:10 PM
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Well Wizard, that's one thing for sure in that unit is that they ALWAYS seem to be training people, but regardless of that, I'm still well over 500 miles away. I'm way down south by the Mexican Border and he's way past Houston toward the Louisana Border.

I still wish I could organize the units, maybe I should write to Rick Perry and make him realize how horrible some of his units are being run. We've gone through several units since he's been in so long but this is the worst BY FAR that I have ever seen!

I hear ya though, are you happier now at your current job?
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Old 02-14-2007, 03:20 PM
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***UPDATE****

Well, the Warden never responded although he verbally told me he would in a day or two by letter. BUT all is GREAT because I got a special visit this past weekend and it went great! THANK GOD!!!

Thanks ya'll!
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