How to Call an Inmate in Texas

The Offender Telephone System (OTS) in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice allows eligible inmates to make paid telephone calls to friends and family, in accordance with the TDCJ Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Offenders.

Information or registration

Before you can receive calls from a TDCJ offender, you must first register your telephone number:

  • Internet: texasprisonphone.com Note: You will need the offender’s TDCJ ID Number to register to receive phone calls from him or her. If you do not know their number you can find it through the online offender search at http://www.tdcj.texas.gov/offender_information/index.html or by phone at (936) 295-6371 or (800) 535-0283. The phones are answered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday.
  • Telephone: (866) 806-7804

What is required to register?

In order to receive calls from an offender, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) requires that you register and meet the following requirements:

  1. The name on your driver’s license must match the name on your telephone service bill/listing
  2. You must agree to the following conditions:
  • You are the registered owner of the phone that will accept calls from any offender you register for.
  • You will allow offender calls to this phone.
  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You will not forward calls, make 3-way calls or use a speakerphone on calls received from any offender you register for.
  • You understand that eligible offenders are not allowed to speak to any adult that is not listed on their Approved Calling List.
  1. If you don’t possess a Texas Driver’s License or State ID, you will be asked to upload a photo or photocopy of your out-of-state driver’s license.
  2. If you have a cellphone, you will be asked to upload a legible copy of your last cell phone bill, it cannot be a screenshot, it has to be an actual phone bill that you would receive from the phone company, that shows:
  • Cell Phone Number
  • Customer Name
  • Cell Phone Company Logo
  • Billing Address (Note: Usually on the first 2 pages)
  • Monthly Basic Phone Charge (Note: This is usually on the Account Summary Page)
  • Date of phone bill
  • We are sorry but we are not able to accept LifeLine (Government Assistance) cellphones

(If you are registering a pre-paid cell phone and you do not receive a phone bill from your prepaid provider, you will need to send a screenshot from your online account that shows your name and billing address, telephone #, date, and company logo.)

(If you send an edited phone bill or screenshot, your enrollment will either be delayed, or a block will be placed on your account prohibiting you from being approved.)

Telephone calls can be placed in the following manner

  • Collect calls – charges are accepted when the offender calls.
  • Friends and Family Prepaid – the owner of the telephone number establishes an account in which to deposit money to pay for the offender’s calls.
  • Offender Telephone Prepaid Debit Account – the offender or family can deposit money into the offender’s account.

For fees and rates click here.

The following rules apply to the system

  • Phones are available from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., unless conditions dictate a change.
  • Calls are limited to 30 minutes.
  • You will hear a warning message one minute before being disconnected.
  • Offenders have unlimited minutes per month.
  • All calls, except to the Attorney of Record, are subject to monitoring and recording.
  • Calls may only be made to home landline telephone numbers, post-paid cell phones, and pre-paid cell phones. No calls are allowed to internet services, 800 numbers, businesses, pay phones, or international numbers.
  • To receive calls, the name on the registrant’s driver’s license or state identification card must be reflected on their telephone listing or bill.
  • To register, you will be required to confirm that you:
    • Are the registered owner of the telephone number.
    • Agree to allow the offender to call the phone number.
    • Are at least 18 years old.
    • Will not forward calls, make 3-way calls or use a speakerphone on calls received from the offender.
    • Understand that eligible offenders are not allowed to speak to any adult that is not listed on their Approved Calling List.

If a victim does or does not wish to receive calls from offenders, they should contact:

Victim Services Division
8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 265
Austin, TX 78757
Telephone: (800) 848-4284

E-Messaging Service

E-messaging allows friends and families to send electronic messages to offenders. To learn more about the service and to set up an account, click the following link: E-messaging.

Complaints about the vendor service for the Offender Telephone System or E-Messaging Service should be forwarded in writing to:

Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Information Technology Division
Offender Telephone System Contract Manager
PO Box 4016
Huntsville, TX 77342-4016
E-mail: [email protected]

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