Huntsville Unit

The Huntsville Unit is a medium-security prison for male inmates that is located in Huntsville, Texas. This facility can house a maximum of 1,705 inmates and is managed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Inmates housed here are G1-G3 security levels, Administrative Segregation, and Transient.

The Huntsville Unit is a regional release site for discharged inmates and paroled inmates. Manufacturing and logistics operations on site include a textile mill, a garment production warehouse, and a mechanical department (gas engine repair, tractor repair, welding, and machine shop). 

One of the oldest prisons in Texas, the Huntsville Unit opened in 1849 and is sometimes referred to as the "Walls Unit." This is because there is a large brick wall that surrounds the prison.

When it opened, Huntsville Unit was only for white Texans because the only penalties available to black Texans were whipping and hanging. During the American Civil War, prisoners at Huntsville produced tents and uniforms for Confederate forces at the prison textile factory.

After the Civil War ended, Huntsville Unit was the only prison in the former Confederate States of America to remain. It later became the first prison in Texas to racially integrate.

The Huntsville Unit houses the state's execution chamber. All Texas inmates, male and female, who are sentenced to death spend their final days at Huntsville Unit. However, death row inmates are housed in a separate facility and transported to Huntsville for their execution.

Execution procedure

On the day an inmate is scheduled for execution, they are transferred from death row at the Polunsky Unit to the Huntsville Unit in the early afternoon. Unlike other states, Texas does not allow an inmate a special meal. This is due to abuse of the privilege by past prisoners. 

Inmates are allowed to make a last statement prior to their execution. By law, executions are scheduled to begin after 6:00 p.m. local time. The inmates are housed until that time about 30 feet from the door of the execution chamber. There is no law prohibiting multiple executions in a single day, but this has not happened since August 2000.

The execution chamber is a 9-foot by 12-foot room with turquoise walls and a gurney with a pillow. Texas uses a single lethal dose of pentobarbital to execute condemned inmates. There are two adjacent rooms that have a view into the execution room through glass windows. One room is reserved for the family or families of the crime victim. The other is for the inmate's family.

Prison Insights

Huntsville Unit

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Visiting Hours and Rules

The visiting hours at the Huntsville Unit are on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Each inmate is allowed one visit per weekend, with a visiting period lasting approximately two hours. 

A maximum of two adults (18+) are allowed at a visit. Children 17 and younger are not 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 visiting questions. The hotline is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Visiting Applications

Before you can visit an inmate at the Huntsville Unit, you must get approved by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Click on the visiting application and instructions below to get started.

Dress Code

The dress code at Huntsville Unit is strictly enforced. If you are not dressed appropriately, your visit will be denied.

  • Sandals, flip-flops, and open-toe shoes may be worn. 
  • Clothing that is tight fitting, revealing, or made with see-through fabrics are prohibited.
  • Sleeveless shirts and dresses are allowed, but must cover the shoulders. 
  • Shorts, skirts no shorter than three (3) inches above the middle of the knee while standing, capri pants or long pants are allowed. 
  • Length is not restricted for children ages 10 and younger. 
  • Clothing with pictures or language that may be considered profane or offensive is not allowed. 

For a complete list of the visiting rules, click here.

What can you bring to a visit?

A photo ID is required for all visitors 18 years of age and older. All other items must be kept in your vehicle except: 

  • 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.

All vehicles and visitors are subject to search. Visitors will be screened by a metal detector prior to entering the visitation area. Pat searches are by TDCJ security staff of the same gender. Children under 18 will not be pat searched by TDCJ security staff, but they will be screened by TDCJ security staff using a handheld or walkthrough metal detector.

Physical Address

Huntsville Unit
815 12th Street
Huntsville, TX 77348

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

(936) 437-1555 (**013)

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name/DOC Number
Huntsville Unit
815 12th Street
Huntsville, TX 77348

You can't mail Newspapers, magazines, and books to your inmate. They must be mailed directly by the publisher, publication supplier, or bookstore. For example, you can order a new book from Amazon, but you must have it mailed directly to the prison with your inmate's name and ID number in the mailing address. 

If you want to buy your inmate a subscription to a newspaper or magazine, just make sure you set up the shipping address just like the inmate mailing address above. Always include the inmate's name and number.


You can send your inmate eMessages through JPAY. To register, please contact JPAY at 1-866-333- 5729 or visit on the web.

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at Huntsville Unit can't receive incoming calls, 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

There are a number of ways to send money to an inmate at Huntsville Unit. Remember, you will need their inmate ID number to put money on an inmate's books.

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. 


1. Visit 

2. Telephone (toll-free): call 1.866.345.1884 for live bilingual agents available 24/7 


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

Programs For Inmates

Educational Programs: Literacy (Adult Basic Education/GED), CHANGES/Pre-Release

Career and Technology Programs: Business Image Management and Multimedia; Printing and Imaging Technology

Apprenticeship Programs: Automotive Technician Specialist; Cook/Baker

Lee College Vocational: Auto Mechanics, Auto Mechanics II

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

Community Work Projects: Services provided to city and county agencies and local organizations.

Volunteer Initiatives: Employment/Job Skills, Substance Abuse Education, Religious/Faith Based Studies and Activities, Support Groups, Mentoring, Victims Awareness, Witness Support Services

Special Treatment Programs: Sex Offender Education Program (SOEP)

Sex Offender Education Program (SOEP) consists of a four-month curriculum to assist sex offenders determined to pose a lower re-offense risk or who may be releasing to an extended period of supervision during which they may participate in treatment. This curriculum is conducted in a didactic format, providing information on a variety of topics (e.g., Healthy Sexuality, Anger and Stress Management, Interpersonal Relationships, Cognitive Restructuring) and is intended to provide the information necessary to impact offenders lacking knowledge to effect change in their patterns of thinking.

Pictures of Huntsville Unit

Careers at Huntsville Unit

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