Registering my phone number to receive offender phone calls
- Why do I have to register to receive calls? Texas Department of Criminal Justice has adopted a validation process that requires offender friends & family members to register their landline and post paid cell phone numbers prior to the offender being allowed to make calls. This action stems from TDCJ's commitment to providing public safety and protecting victims of crime.
- How do I register to receive calls from a Texas offender? Please see our Registration Requirements page.
- How long will it take for me to get registered and be able to accept a call from an offender? Provided conditions are met, you should be registered within 3 days of the time we receive your online registration or your automated registration. Please provide an email address with your registration so we can notify you when approved.
- How will you use my phone number and email address? CenturyLink will only use your phone number for registration purposes, and only use your email address for notification regarding the status of your registration. It will not be used for marketing or any other purpose.
- How will I know when I'm enrolled? If you gave an email address when you registered, you will receive an email letting you know the status of your enrollment. Please be sure to check your spam folder.
- What if I need to register for more than one offender? A separate registration is required for each offender.
- How does the offender know that I am registered and that he/she can call me? The offender is able to check their list of approved numbers on the telephone system. You don’t have to do anything but wait for them to call.
- What if I move and/or my address changes? Please contact Securus' SCBS Customer Support Center at 1-800-844-6591 to update or correct your billing information.
- What if my phone number changes? If your phone number changes, register your new phone number at register here.
- Can I register more than one number? Yes.
Can I register my cell phone? Yes, you can register a postpaid cell phone (a credit-approved plan where you pay for monthly charges at the end of each month).
Prepaid cell phones are not allowed. A few examples of prepaid companies are Metro PCS, Boost, Cricket and Straight talk.
Billing and Service Questions
Please note: You must first successfully register to receive offender calls before contacting Securus Correctional Billing Services (SCBS), the billing agent for TDCJ. Please do not call SCBS prior to confirming your registration as they will unfortunately not be able to help you.
How can I pay for calls? There are three ways to pay for calls from an offender housed in a TDCJ facility:
- Direct-Collect Billed – You will receive a monthly invoice detailing your calls. This account will be automatically created when you register with the CenturyLink Friends and Family Enrollment Center. You accept the call charges when the offender calls you.
Friends and Family Prepaid – The owner of the telephone number prepays for service. After your telephone number is registered and validated, you can deposit money in your prepaid account to begin receiving calls.
Prepaid allows friends and family members to control monthly spending and avoid interruptions in service.
Securus Correctional Billing Services (SCBS) can assist you with funding your prepaid account. You may contact SCBS at 1-800-844-6591.
- Offender Telephone Account – You can deposit money into the Offender's Telephone account. You do not need to be on the Offender’s Visitor List to deposit funds in an offender's account; however, funds placed in offender accounts become the property of the offender. Friends and family members will not be able to request refunds from these accounts.
I am already approved to receive calls but having a billing issue - who do I contact? Securus Correctional Billing Services (SCBS) is the exclusive billing agent for TDCJ. SCBS can be contacted in several different ways:
- Why does my bill say “SCBS on behalf of CenturyLink? For customers receiving calls from offenders at any TDCJ facility, CenturyLink Public Communications, Inc utilizes Securus Correctional Billing Services (SCBS), a division of Evercom Systems, Inc., to provide billing and collection services on its behalf.
- What if I move and /or my address changes? Please contact Securus Correctional Billing Services (SCBS) Customer Support Center at 1-800-844-6591 to update or correct your billing information.
- I currently have a landline service which does not offer the option for collect calls. Do I still register if I am not paying for the calls? Yes, you have to register in order to receive calls from the offender, regardless of the payment method. To register please go to the CenturyLink Registration page and follow the instructions.
- Why can't offenders make international calls if the called party is paying for the call? At this time the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Policy does not permit international calls. If that decision changes in the future it will be posted on the TDCJ's website.
- Once I'm registered who do I call to put money on my account? You don't have to take any action if you want to be direct billed. If you wish to prepay for phone calls, you can manage your prepaid account directly through Securus Correctional Billing Services (SCBS).
- Can I get a refund on my prepaid account? If you have questions about your SCBS account, call 1-800-844-6591 or visit Securus Correctional Billing Services (SCBS) website at www.securustech.net/tdcj/
- What if I want to block my number from accepting calls? Call Securus Correctional Billing Services (SCBS) support personnel can request a block on your phone. SCBS can be reached at 1-800-844-6591.
- What should I do if there is fraudulent activity on my account? If you need to speak to Securus Correctional Billing Services (SCBS) support personnel to report any fraudulent activity, they can be reached at 1-800-844-6591.
How can offenders fund their Offender Telephone Account? To use this account the offender must have money in their trust account. Offenders can purchase debit time at the commissary just like other goods, using money from their trust account. To fund an offender’s trust account go to TDCJ’s commissary trust website at http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/documents/Deposit_Options_Flyer.pdf.
- All applicable taxes and fees for debit purchases will be deducted by TDCJ at the point of sale
- To use funds from this account, offenders must choose the Telephone option
- Offenders will hear their remaining balance prior to initiating any Telephone calls
How do I avoid being disconnected once I receive a call from an offender? To communicate by telephone with an offender at a TDCJ facility, you need a touch-tone phone. There are additional security reasons that could cause a disconnection. To assure your call is not disconnected do not:
- Attempt to make 3-way call
- Transfer a call
- Put the call on hold
- Use the Call Waiting feature on your phone
- Use a cordless phone
- Use a speaker phone
- I have a rotary dial telephone. How can I accept an offender call if I don’t have a touch-tone telephone? To avoid interruptions in service, we strongly suggest customers use a touch tone telephone, along with touch tone service from their local telephone provider. If touch tone service is not available, customers with rotary service must first register their telephone number with Securus Correctional Billing Services (SCBS) by calling 1-800-844-6591 and agree to accept and pay for all calls without the need to provide standard positive acceptance via touchtone. This registration process allows rotary dial customers to enroll in the “passive acceptance” optional feature. When calling SCBS you must provide both your telephone number AND the offender ID number (s) from whom you wish to receive calls. Please note that this is a special request and can take up to 14 days to process.
- My phone has a block on it. Can you help me? There are multiple reasons why your phone may be blocked. Securus Correctional Billing Services (SCBS) support personnel can assist you at 1-800-844-6591.
- What if I accept a call that was prematurely disconnected? Please call Securus Correctional Billing Services (SCBS) Customer Support Center to report a premature disconnection. You can reach SCBS at 1-800-844-6591.
How do I report a problem regarding CenturyLink or Securus Correctional Billing Services to the TDCJ? Service complaints should be forwarded in writing to:
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Information Technology Division
Offender Telephone System Contract Manager
P.O. Box 4016
Huntsville, TX 77342-4016
NOTE: The Texas Department of Criminal Justice can only address complaints regarding offenders in its custody.
I have been asked to complete the manual form. Where do I find it? If you have been instructed to complete the Manual Form, please click here and follow the instructions included on the form. Notice! This form is only for applications where you have been instructed to use this method and it will result in longer approval times than the automated methods.