Estelle Unit

The W.J. "Jim" Estelle Unit is a maximum-security prison for male inmates of various custody levels that is located ten miles north of Huntsville, Texas. This facility is operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and it can house a maximum of 3,148 inmates. The Estelle Unit also houses 212 inmates in a separate substance abuse program facility on grounds.

The Estelle Unit houses custody levels G1 - G5, Administrative Segregation, Safekeeping, Substance Abuse, Geriatric, and Transient. The medical facility treats inmates of all custody levels who require medical treatment.

The Estelle High Security Unit is a self-contained facility north of the main Estelle prison facility. It was the first of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's "super seg" units, which house inmates in administrative segregation. The Estelle high security unit houses many of the most violent male prisoners in the State of Texas. 

The Estelle Unit sits on 5,459 acres and the agricultural operations 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. There is a Textile Mill on prison grounds.

Estelle Unite also has a regional Medical Facility/Geriatric Facility, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), a Video Conferencing Center, and a Special Needs Kitchen.

Estelle Unit is a Regional Digital Medical Services (DMS) hub for electronic specialty clinics. It has an infirmary with 120 assisted living and extended care beds. Specialty clinics on-site are audiology, brace and limb, dialysis, nephrology, ultraviolet therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, optometry, ophthalmology, oral surgery, regional radiology, and regional laboratory. 

The Type II geriatric facility has wheelchair capabilities and assisted disability services (ADS) showers.Special Treatment Programs include Assisted Disability Services (ADS) for vision and hearing, Special Needs Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility (SAFPF), Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI), Turning Point Substance Abuse Treatment Program, and the Administrative Segregation Pre-Release Program (ASPP).

Prison Insights

Estelle Unit

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Visiting Hours and Rules

The visiting hours at the Estelle Unit for the General Population are on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. Visitation with inmates in the expansion cellblock are Mondays and Fridays by appointment only.

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. 

Visiting Applications

Before you can visit an inmate at Estelle Unit, you must submit a visiting application and get approval from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The visiting application and instructions are below.

Dress Code

The Estelle Unit requires that visitors dress conservatively. If you are not dressed appropriately,  you will not be allowed to visit with your inmate. 

  • 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.

Physical Address

Estelle Unit
264 FM 3478
Huntsville, TX 77320-3320

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

(936) 291-4200 (**032)

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name/DOC Number
Estelle Unit
264 FM 3478
Huntsville, TX 77320-3320


Offenders can receive incoming eMessages. To register, please contact JPAY at 1-866-333- 5729 or on the web.

How to Call an Inmate

You can't call an inmate at Estelle 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 Estelle 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


1. Visit 

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 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 required

JPAY allows you to send money to an offender for a service fee. Visit their website at 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), Reading, Special Education, CHANGES/Pre-Release, Cognitive Intervention

Career and Technology Programs: Bricklaying/Stone Masonry; Business Computer Information Systems II; Horticulture; Painting and Decorating

Additional Programs/Services: Faith Based Dormitory, Adult Education Program (upon availability), Peer Education, Reentry Planning, Chaplaincy Services, GO KIDS Initiative

Volunteer Initiatives: Substance Abuse Education, Life Skills, Mentoring, Support Groups, Religious/Faith Based Activities and Studies

Pictures of Estelle Unit

Careers at Estelle Unit

If you are interested in a career with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and would like more information about available jobs at Estelle Unit, click here.