Good Questions from Our Readers

This post is under construction.  We are scanning through all of the questions looking for the really good ones that aren’t answered in our posts or that are asked frequently.  As you can see from the different comment sections, there are a lot of questions to go through.  It will probably take quite a bit of time before we finish updating it.

Category:  Commissary

Q.  Is the inmate notified when money is put into his commissary account?
A.  A copy of the receipt is sent to the inmate no later than the next day.

Q.  How does an inmate find out the balance on his commissary account?
A.  There are forms in the day rooms that allow an inmate to request all kinds of information. Commissary balance is one of the things they can ask about.

Q.  If an inmate owes money or retribution will the funds be taken out of the inmate’s commissary account?
A.  Yes. They will take the amount of money owed from the inmate’s commissary account to pay for services such as dental work or to pay for damages caused by the inmate.

Q.  If an inmate orders commissary but gets transferred before he receives the commissary, what happens to it?
A.  The money will be credited back to his account and will go with him to the next detention facility.

Q.  How can I see the balance on an inmate’s commissary account?
A.  Supposedly they do not release that information but some posters have said it was given to them. Call the Banking department at 210-335-6287.

Q. Do inmates get hygiene and toiletry items from the jail?
A. Yes, hygiene items are provided but they are extremely basic. Better quality items can be bought through Commissary.

Category:  Info For Inmates

Q.  Can an inmate send and receive mail to and from other jails?
A.  Yes they can. The same guidelines will apply.

Q.  Is there a fee for GPS?
A.  The monthly fee is $300. For more information on this program contact Pre-Trial Services at 210-335-8930.

Q.  Can an inmate who is in adseg (administrative segregation) work on getting his GED or participate in any of the other programs?
A.  No, they can’t. Segregated prisoners have to be escorted everywhere and kept away from other inmates.

Q.  Can an inmate get married in jail?
A.  No. The jail is not allowing marriages to be performed there.

Q.  What about marriage by proxy?
A.  That can be done.  Someone can be the proxy for the inmate and speak the vows for him but the ceremony still cannot be held at the jail.

Q.  Can prescription or reading glasses be taken to an inmate?
A.  Prescription or reading glasses can be taken to the Front Desk officers to be delivered to the inmate.

Q.  How do I get a Catholic bible and rosary to an inmate?
A.  You can’t get them for the inmate but the inmate can request them from the pastor in Human Services.

Q.  How can I get an inmate furloughed to attend a funeral?
A.  The judge on his case has to approve the request.

Q.  Does the inmate have to pay for medication/prescriptions out of his commissary account?
A.  There is no charge for the medications. Some specialized procedures, like dental work, that can have a fee but it is usually very reasonable.

Category:  Departments

Q.  How does jail court work if you have a hearing date prior to getting locked up?
A.  Courts are assigned automatically by their computer system. There is a process that determines which cases can be handled in Jail Court. Those cases get reassigned. The first court assigned is no longer valid.

Q.  Does the Magistrate take personal checks as payment?
A.  No.

Q.  What is a blue warrant?
A.  A parole violation warrant.

Good Information from our Readers

Don J says: 
Just to bring a couple of things up to date as of last weekend when i was there: Notary Services are “only” Wednesday and Friday, according to a bulletin on the board that the front desk officer suggested I read. I was required to put the documents into either the inmate’s or notary’s hands by mail or fax respectively, and they then obtained the signature and mailed the Power of Attorney back to me. They are very quick and in two cases in the past week they have done the job either the same day or the very next. I did not notice any preference for any specific day of the week. There is another bulletin addressing property sign-out. It gives days and times (which I believe was every day from 4 to 7 or something quite similar, with the exception of cash for bail and car keys to retrieve the impounded vehicle’s keys, which were not subject to the time restriction. I believe there were early hours also, but cannot remember the specifics.
Final caveat: Check with the institutions where you intend to manage the inmate’s accounts in order to make sure the institution will accept the jail’s version. If you have one from an online lawyer website, you should vet it with the bank. Had I been as wise before as I am now, I would have gone to the bank first then gotten their version, then sent that. A little preparation will save time and money.

Deanna says: 
I just talked to someone in the banking department about picking up property and only m-f 8am – 11am and 4pm-7pm. Hope that’s helpful.


8 thoughts on “Good Questions from Our Readers

  1. Greg

    I was wondering …. who oversees the gps/em systems …. what is the daily process/orocrdures? Does a 3rd party support the systems? Who? my questions are technical in nature … such as …. are there limitations? If the defendant lives 20 miles away …. or 200 miles away ( court approved … of course). Is that possible? Is that more difficult to manage? Why?

    • admin

      Greg – We recommend you call P.R. bonds. They should have a number for you. The number for P.R. bonds is 210-335-6315. They are a 24/7 department.

      We would like to ask our readers to help spread the word about our website. Please recommend us to people you know. Thank you.

    • admin

      Heidy – This is a good question. It used to be that inmates could get documents notarized at the law library in the jail but the law library has been closed due to the pandemic. This function must be available to them somehow but we’re not sure how it’s being handled. Do any of our readers have information?

      We would like to ask our readers to help spread the word about our website. Please recommend us to people you know. Thank you.

  2. Richard

    I have a buddy who keeps telling me his commissary funds keep going towards doctor visits and medication and keeps asking for more funds. Is he lying to me?

    • admin

      Richard – We don’t really have an answer for you. Yes, the jail will take medical costs out of commissary funds. That much is true. The question is, is your friend really receiving medical treatment? I doubt you can find out that information due to HIPAA. In fact, for privacy reasons, they may not tell you anything about an inmate’s commissary account at all. I would call anyway. It never hurts to ask. The worst they can do is say no, but who knows, they may be more forthcoming than expected. Banking 210-335-6287.

      We would like to ask our readers to help spread the word about our website. Please recommend us to people you know. Thank you.

  3. Molly

    what happens if an inmate still has money in his account when he is released? does he get to take it or will the person that sent it just lose out on the money because the inmate got out on bail not even 24 hours later. just wondering

    • admin

      Molly – The money is given to the inmate. I believe it is mailed to him/her in a check. The jail does not keep the money and it is not returned to the people who originally deposited it.

      We would like to ask our readers to help spread the word about our website. Please recommend us to people you know. Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *