The O.B. Ellis Unit is a multi-custody prison for male inmates located in Huntsville, Texas. This facility can house a maximum of 2,073 inmates and is operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The Ellis Unit also has a Trusty Camp that can house 409 inmates. Ellis Unit also has the Sex Offender Education Program (SOEP)
Ellis Unit sits on 11,427 acres and has numerous agricultural operations. They include Cotton Gin, Cow/Calf Operation, Egg Laying Operation, Farm Shop, Edible and Field Crops, Security Horses, Security Pack Canines, and Swine Farrowing/Nursery/Finishing Operations.
Manufacturing and Logistics Operations at Ellis Unit are the Bus Repair Facility, the Garment Factory, and the Chair Factory.Steve Earle recorded "Ellis Unit One" for the 1995 film Dead Man Walking. The song's lyrics focus on the effect of the death penalty on the guards that carry it out. Ellis Unit housed Texas' death row from 1965 until 1999.
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Visiting Hours and Rules
The visiting hours at the Ellis Unit are on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. Each inmate is allowed one visit per weekend with a maximum of two (2) adults, ages 18 and older. Children ages 17 and younger may visit without being counted in the visitor number.
Please call the Ombudsman Visitation Hotline at (936) 437-4927 or toll free at (844) 476-1289 if you have questions. The hotline is open Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Before you can visit an inmate at Ellis Unit, you must submit a visiting application and get approval from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The visiting application and instructions are below.
- Policy 507.01 - Visitation
- Visitation Form
The Ellis Unit requires that visitors dress conservatively. If you are not dressed appropriately, you will not be allowed to visit with your inmate. The duty warden makes the final decision on whether or not clothing is appropriate.
- Sandals, flip-flops, and open-toe shoes are allowed
- Clothing that is tight fitting, revealing, or made with see-through fabrics is prohibited
- Sleeveless shirts and dresses are allowed but must cover the shoulders.
- Shorts and skirts no shorter than three inches above the middle of the knee while standing, capri pants, or long pants are allowed
- Length is not restricted for pre-adolescent boys and girls, generally ages 10 and younger
- Clothing with pictures or language that may be considered profane or offensive by current public standards is prohibited
For a complete list of the visiting rules, click here.
What can you bring to a visit?
The only items allowed inside the visiting room are:
- A small wallet, clear plastic bag, or change purse
- $25 cash (in coins) for the vending machines
- Visitors with infants or small children may bring no more than three diapers, a supply of baby wipes, and two baby bottles (“sippy” cup for toddlers). These items must be stored in a clear plastic bag.
Visitor Identification: For visitors 18 years of age and older, a pictured government identification (ID) is required.
All other items must be kept in your vehicle. Visitors are not allowed to bring any electronic devices into the visiting room.
1697 FM 980
Huntsville, TX 77343
Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/XszxW5W3mW51qYh97
General Phone Number
(936) 295-5756 (**010)
Inmate Mailing Address(es)
Inmate Name/DOC Number
1697 FM 980
Huntsville, TX 77343
eMessagesOffenders can receive incoming eMessages. To register, please contact JPAY at 1-866-333- 5729 or www.jpay.com on the web.
How to Call an Inmate
You can't call an inmate at Ellis Unit, but they do have access to phones during certain hours. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Texas, please click here.
How to Send Money
The most popular ways to send money to an inmate at Ellis Unit are:
Click here and enter offender number, name and confirm offender. Add deposit amount to your cart and checkout using a Visa, MasterCard or Discover card for a service fee.
MONEY ORDERS or CASHIER’S CHECKS made payable to “Inmate Trust Fund for Offender Name and Number”
- You may obtain deposit slips from offender or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Inmate Trust Fund, PO Box 60, Huntsville, TX 77342-0060
- Send deposit and completed deposit slip to Inmate Trust Fund, PO Box 60, Huntsville, TX 77342-0060
ACCESS CORRECTIONS – SECURE DEPOSITS
1. Visit www.AccessCorrections.com
2. Telephone (toll-free): 1.866.345.1884 for live bilingual agents available 24/7
3. Cash Walk-In at most stores available from 8am to 9pm, some 24/7
4. Visit www.CashPayToday.com or call 1.844.340.2274 to enroll, find locations, or get your barcode for Dollar GeneralDeposits
5. Send money with Debit Card or Cash at Dollar General; new barcode system requiredJPAY allows you to send money to an offender for a service fee. Visit their website at www.jpay.com or call 1.800.574.5729 to send funds using Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card.
Programs For Inmates
Educational Programs: Literacy (Adult Basic Education/GED), Special Education, CHANGES/Pre-Release, Cognitive Intervention
Career and Technology Programs: Computer Maintenance Technician
Lee College Academic
Lee College Vocational: Cabinetmaking; Horticulture; Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
Additional Programs/Services: Faith Based Dormitory, Gang Renouncement and Dissociation (GRAD) Process, Adult Education Program (upon availability), Peer Education, Reentry Planning, Chaplaincy Services, GO KIDS Initiative
Volunteer Initiatives: Substance Abuse Education, Literacy/Education, Life Skills, Support Groups, Religious/Faith Based Studies and Activities
Pictures of Ellis Unit
Careers at Ellis Unit
If you are interested in a career with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and would like more information about available jobs at Ellis Unit, click here.