How do I register to receive calls from a TDCJ offender? Send a notice, on your letterhead, containing the following information in the body of the letter:
Attorney phone number (must match number registered with the state bar association)
Attorney phone number must be on the company letterhead
Attorney state bar association number, and state of registration
If not the Texas bar, the phone number of that bar association
A list of the TDCJ number(s) and the offender first/last name(s)
A statement that you have an attorney-client relationship with the listed offender(s)
How long will I be able to talk to the offender? Calls are limited by TDCJ to a maximum of 30 minutes from the time that the phone call is accepted by someone at the attorney’s office. For example, a receptionist answers and accepts the call, but the attorney is on another call, and it takes 4 minutes to connect with the offender. There will be 16 minutes of conversation time remaining between the offender and the attorney.
Our office has an automated receptionist system. Will the offender be able to contact me? The offender will be able to call your office; however, the call must be positively accepted. Typically, automated reception systems do not have any ability to accept a call. Also, the offender will not be able to dial an extension. In almost all situations, the offender will not be able to complete the call.
Can the receptionist place the call on hold until the attorney is ready to receive the call, and maintain the entire 15 minute call for communication with the offender? No. The call must be accepted within 60 seconds of it being answered at the attorney’s office. After 60 seconds, the call will be timed out and disconnected. The call length timer starts when positive acceptance of the call is made.
If the call is placed on hold, will silence on the line trigger a termination of the call? After the call is accepted, silence alone will not disconnect the call. However, it is possible that a “click” or some other line noise during the silence may be seen as a three-way call attempt, and disconnect the call.
Many offender telephone systems have algorithms to detect the transfer of a call, or patching someone onto a three-way call, which causes the call to terminate. Will this be a problem if the receptionist answers the phone and transfers it to me? Your receptionist will be able to transfer the call to one of the extensions within your company, but calls may not be forwarded to outside numbers.
How many minutes per month is allowed per offender? TDCJ now has unlimited minutes per month for each eligible offender.
How will the calls be billed? There are three separate payment methods:
Direct-Collect Billed – You accept the call charges when the offender calls you. You will receive a monthly invoice detailing your calls. This account will be automatically created when you register with the Friends & Family Enrollment Center.
Friends & Family Prepaid – Telephone number owner prepays for service. Once the account has been established, anyone can fund the account. Refunds are available for 365 days from date of last activity.
Offender Prepaid Debit – You can fund the Offender's Prepaid Debit account. You do not need to be on the Offender Visitor List to fund the account. Funds placed in offender accounts become the property of the offender, and can be used to call anyone. Friends & Family members will not be able to request refunds from these accounts.
Will calls be monitored or recorded? No
How do I register a cell phone? Send in your registration using the suggested attorney registration letter. Once it is received, a representative will contact the attorney and facilitate a 3 way call with the wireless provider to determine if the cell phone is a prepaid or postpaid phone and to verify the owner of the cell phone. The attorney has to be present to be on the 3 way call. Other staff cannot participate on this call for the attorney. Note: The cell phone has to be registered with the state bar.