What are the rules about giving commissary items for Texas inmates?


Quick Answer

As of 2015, most inmates in the Texas Department of Corrections may receive a maximum of $60 in commissary items from family and friends each quarter, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The only available way to order items for an inmate is online at Texas.gov/eCommDirect.

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Full Answer

Calendar quarters are January to March, April to June, July to September and October to December. During the holiday season, the quarterly maximum increases to $85, explains the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Orders placed online require the inmate's number and last name. The purchaser may use the online system to buy specific items for the inmate or deposit funds into the inmate's commissary account. Acceptable forms of payment include Visa and MasterCard, and there is a $3.75 fee for each transaction. An online commissary purchase does not impact the amount the inmate may spend in the commissary.

Inmates on commissary restriction are not allowed commissary privileges, notes the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Level four and five inmates in general population or in state jails; level five and six inmates in protective custody; and level two and three inmates in administrative segregation are also not allowed commissary privileges. Additionally, newly received inmates are not allowed commissary privileges until the quarter after admission into jail. If a unit is on lockdown, commissary privileges for all inmates housed in the unit are suspended until the lockdown is lifted.

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