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Remote Video Visitation - Video Calls

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Lisa MB
Lisa MB's picture
Remote Video Visitation - Video Calls

My pp from Michael Unit in Texas has sent me a newspaper clipping with the announcement that video calls are underway or upcoming for some locations. They call them "Remote Video Visitations." These video calls are 60 minutes long and will cost 10 $ per call. Inmates are currently limited to one video call per month. The locations in question are: Hutchins State Jail, Travis State Jail, Clements Unit, Connally Unit, Crain Unit, Jester III Unit, Micheal Unit, Montford Unit, Sanchez State Jail, Stiles Unit, Wynne Unit and Garza West Unit. Since he asked me to register there I did so but I had to cheat on the registration form a little bit, because they actually only accept addresses from the USA and Canada, so I gave his address. We will see how this all will turn out. Everyone who is interested can look/register here: https://securustech.net/tdcj/index.html#tdcj-video-visitation

 

 

ST4s
ST4s's picture

On the one hand, thanks for the useful information, and on the other, good luck with your "cheat on the registration form" plan. From the link you provided: "Signing up for a Securus Video Connect requires you to submit a photo of your government issued ID and a photo of yourself. These photos are submitted to TDCJ for approval."

I guess that means you’ll need a fake Texas ID now, to match your fake address, for Texas law enforcement to review. Here’s hoping we don’t see your name pop up on the inmate profile pages here anytime soon.

Kirsten
Kirsten's picture

Autsch! Sorry, but... that was not smart. Hope, they won't investigate you, Lisa.

Mica.21
Mica.21's picture

I might add something regarding the magical world of video visitations. Regarding my Oregon and Illinois PPs (that have 2 different video visiting systems) I had to "cheat" on the form writing my real address (I also live abroad) but choosing a random US state because I had to, specifying my REAL address though, and then I used my own passport, with copy sent to the visiting staff if needed.
Now, I got accepted and even received a call from the visiting lieutenant saying I got approved and we then scheduled visits normally.

Idk about Securus and Texas but in the few occasions that I had to file a visiting form that only allowed to check the boxes for US or CA you just need to identify yourself, that's the purpose of those forms. Meaning they should know who you are and then decide if or not to approve you.
You should be very clear to whoever approves you for visitations and give them additional info if needed, that's what I did and everything was fine.

I hope I was clear enough.

Lisa MB
Lisa MB's picture

ST4s and Kirsten, now you've made me feel insecure. I have already received a confirmation email from Securus and shouldn't they have recognized the address of Michael Unit?

Mica,21 I am not sure whether I properly understand "how" you did it, WHEN did you specify your real address? Has anyone approached you and asked you?

Anyway, the next step will be to inform my pp about it and wait what he will say about it.

Lisa

Mica.21
Mica.21's picture

I mean after creating the Securus account, whether you used your real or "fake" address, what it is important is the procedure to identify you. It will be the staff in the prison who is gonna check your identity, so you should provide your actual ID/Passport. I don't think they will check your address on the Securus account because I mean even if I lived in the US I can say and write that I live in Malibu, but what is REALLY authentic is your ID. For sure you need to upload some sort of ID copy or number and that is what visiting staff will look at.
Just in case, you should call the unit and ask them for more info or to provide a copy of your passport. Do not call Securus cause they only act as third party, who's gonna monitor and approve visits are cops of that prison, not Securus :)
I hope I am clear now :)

ST4s
ST4s's picture

Hey Lisa, I can’t speak to Securus’ or TDCJ’s internal workflows for reviewing visitor applications, but I’m aware the common thread among law enforcement agencies (and make no mistake that prisons are exactly that) are to check the person’s credentials with the NCIC – National Crime Information Center, a service of the FBI. It’s a criminal background check.

For Texas visitation/phone calls, I recall having to complete the forms online, uploading an image of my government ID and phone bill, and waiting a bit. I don’t recall if they had a statement such as this, as you’ll find on other jurisdictions’ visitor applications:

“The criminal penalty for making false statements is a fine of not more than $250,000 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both (See 18 U.S.C. § 1001).”

In other words, it’s not in your best interest to provide false information to law enforcement. Securus is not law enforcement, though TDCJ is, and is one of their clients. What information they shuttle between themselves, I have no idea.

And on a broader topic, every hurdle and roadblock we face here on the outside, trying to communicate with folks on the inside (this color ink, that color paper, phone restrictions and so on) began with a clever scheme to circumvent the rules. Not that I’m here to enforce anyone’s rules, but the logical endpoint in breaking them is it makes things harder for everyone else – us out here, and especially our friends in prison.

Mica.21
Mica.21's picture

I agree with you,
my experience with this video visitations world has never been with Texas or Securus so I don't know much, I was suggesting some ideas maybe. In my case I ALWAYS spoke on the phone/email with visiting staff at the facilities who cleared me and know me so if there's any doubts I suggest to always contact the prison and actually ask them.
(Once I even had to send emails up til the warden cause they couldn't find my criminal record, spoiler alert: I don't have a criminal record hahaha)

Lady_TaTas
Lady_TaTas's picture

I agree with ST4, you truly shouldn't provide false information. When I went to get on my boyfriends visitation list, I had to fill out the form, send in my copy of ID and utility bill. The application states the following:

EXPLANATION AND INSTRUCTIONS: This questionnaire will provide the institution with the information needed to determine your eligibility for approval as a visitor for the above named offender. Please answer all questions fully, truthfully and accurately. Failure to answer any question and/or falsification of any answer will result in disapproval of your application

There is no prosecution or threatening of law, but I would definitely say they probably wouldn't take kindly to learning information is false..