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Ferguson Unit (FE) Texas:
Jim Ferguson Unit (FE), otherwise known as Ferguson Unit, is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) prison for men located in unincorporated Madison County, Texas. The prison spans a massive area of 4,355-acre (1,762 ha) and is located on Farm to Market Road 247, near Midway and 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Huntsville at 12120 Savage Drive.
Ferguson Unit is a multi-custody prison. This facility can hold a maximum of 2,100 male offenders in the main unit and an additional 321 inmates in the Trusty Camp. Offenders at this prison range from G2 to G5 custody levels.
In 1965, Ferguson Unit, with a capacity of 1,136 prisoners, housed most of its inmates in individual cells. At the time, it was housing 935 individual cells and two dormitories with 100 prisoners each.
History of Ferguson Unit
The unit was named after James E. Ferguson Jr., also known as Pa Ferguson, a Democratic politician and a governor of Texas. In 1935, Ferguson Unit housed White and African-American prisoners. The current Ferguson Unit opened in the June of 1962. Jack Delbert Kyle, the warden of Ferguson, supervised the construction of the current facility, which began in the fall of 1959. This is when the facility was redesignated as a young-offenders unit, for men between the ages of 18 and 25. The first prisoners were moved into the facility on March 2, 1962.
In May 1965, the prison housed 1,047 prisoners, with a capacity of 1,136 prisoners. As of May 1965, the then 34-year-old Kyle was the youngest warden in the history of the Texas Prison System.
How to send a mail to Ferguson Unit
In Ferguson Unit, sending mail is one excellent way of passing the time as well as staying in touch with the outside world. Writing letters is highly encouraged in Ferguson Unit. Whether you are writing to a friend or family, however, some protocols will need to be followed while writing mail.
One of the most crucial things to remember is to write the address of the inmate to which the letter is sent, correctly. There is a set pattern that needs to be followed in that regard and it has the following appearance.
- Inmate Name,
- TDCJ Facility Number/Unit Name PO Box or Street address City,
- Zip Code
Attaching photos with mail is allowed only but they must be 4”x6”. Polaroids must not be sent.
Magazines and books are allowed. However, they must be from reputable vendors or original publishers like Amazon.com, etc. Also, they should be soft back.
How to send inmate money to the Ferguson unit?
At Ferguson Unit, inmates can get haircuts and hygiene products among various other items. To purchase these accessories, families can send inmates money. This transfer can be made through some methods. These methods are listed below.
Jpay can be deposited online. Another way is by calling over the phone at 1-800-574-JPAY.
A similar method to JPay is TouchPay Money. It can be loaded online as well. The alternative way is to call 1-877-868-5358. To transfer, you can use debit cards, credit cards, or MoneyPaks. MoneyPaks are available at retailers nationwide and you can buy them using cash.
- Texas.gov uses a Visa or MasterCard, you can add money to an inmate's account or buy commissary items for them through this.
- Western Union or ACE use Quick Collect for Western Union and can be used for this purpose.
- MoneyGram: When you are depositing money via MoneyGram, use the received code 3570.
Money Orders and Cashier's Checks that are sent addressed to the offender's name and number to Inmate Trust Fund, P.O. Box 60, Huntsville, TX 77342-0060.
Monthly Checking Account Debit: Through this, you can set up automatic monthly deposits from your checking account. To start the process of transferring money, send an ACH form and a voided check to:
- Inmate Trust Fund
- P.O. Box 60, Huntsville
- TX 77342- 0060
- Phone Information for Ferguson Unit
- Ferguson Unit can be contacted through the following telephone number
- (936)-348-3751 (**011)
Any information regarding setting up phone or mail accounts as well as about inmates can be received via this contact number. You can also get information regarding visiting hours through this telephone line.
Visiting Hours Ferguson Unit
Visitations of family and friends at Ferguson Unit are conducted on Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors are allowed to bring a clear Ziploc bag with up to $25 in quarters to use in the visiting room vending machines.
Visiting hours are from 8 am-5 pm. Ferguson Unit also conducts visitation on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm but the favorite is Saturday and Sunday.
Visits are two hours in duration and depending on the offender’s classification and status, they can be either contact or non-contact. Visits outside this time are not entertained and prisoners are not allowed to see anyone outside this time frame.
Moreover, inmates are allowed to meet only the approved visitors. If the visitor’s name is not on the approved list, they will not be able to meet the detainee. The offender establishes this list during the initial intake process and may update the list periodically throughout their incarceration. For the offender to add you to their approved visitors' list at any time they must know your full name, date of birth, and current address. If the inmate does not know this information you should send it to them in a letter, otherwise, you won’t be able to meet them. You can then verify you are an approved visitor by calling the unit.
Inmates are allowed only one visitor per week. Visitors and their vehicles are subject to search before the meeting.
All visitors that are 18 years or older must present a valid photo identification which can be any of the following:
- State driver's license
- An identification card issued by the State or Visa border crossing ID card
- Military ID
- State Department of Public Safety ID
Anyone 17 years and under may also be required to present an ID in the form of a birth certificate or student ID. It is preferable for minors to be accompanied by a guardian or parent when they come for a visit.
Active Inmates search in Ferguson Unit
To get information on any inmate currently incarcerated in Ferguson Unit, the best way is to contact the State Prison for information on the inmate or visit them online at their website. Once there, you can find them based on their conviction or any other credentials. You can get all the information about an inmate, including their detention and release dates
You can also call the Ferguson Unit at (936)-348-3751 (**011) to get information about a detainee and make any queries that you require. Moreover, you can visit the facility at 12120, Savage Drive, Midway, TX 75852, and get information firsthand.
How to call an inmate?
Prisoners at Ferguson Unit are allowed to receive phone calls from only those whose names are on the approved list established by the offender himself. All other calls made by anyone outside the approved list are blocked and the inmates are not allowed to receive them.
There are a few protocols you will need to follow before calling an inmate. They are as follows.
- You will need to create an account on texasprisonphone.com before you can make calls with an inmate.
- Phone calls can be paid collected, prepaid through the receiver of the call, or prepaid by the inmate from Ferguson Unit.
- Phone hours are allowed from 7 am to 10 pm, and calls are limited to 30 minutes increments.
- Family and friends can send e-messages using JPay.
- Again, all calls are checked for security reasons and calls that do not follow regulations will be blocked.
Programs for inmates in Ferguson Unit
Ferguson Unit offers many programs to the inmates so they can acquire some sort of skills before stepping out into the world again. Agricultural operations at Ferguson Unit include Edible and Field Crops, Farm Shop, Bull Management Center, Swine Farrowing/Nursery/Finishing Operations, Security Horses, and Security Pack Canines. Similarly, Manufacturing and Logistics Operations on camp include a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Facility and a Mop and Broom Factory.
Ferguson Unit has over 82 employees, responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the facility and dealing with any anomaly. Offenders housed at the Ferguson Unit get life-changing skills, including business practices, computer technology, management, and farming.
Inmates can receive religious counseling, should they seek it. Ferguson Unit has an international network of Prison Ministries under the chairmanship of Chaplain Gerald Saffel.
Careers at Ferguson Unit
Jobs available at the Ferguson Unit include positions for Correctional Officers, Vocational Nurse, Librarian, Neurologist, Clerk, Technician, General Manager, Warehouse Worker, General Laborer, Dentist, and Instructor.
Ferguson Unit also employs Equipment Operators, Laundry, Food and Supply Management, Maintenance Supervisors, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), and Parole Officers.
Ferguson Unit is often short-staffed, a phenomenon, very popular in prisons and correctional facilities. As such, vacancies appear very often.
Phillips State Prison reviews
Like most prisons and correctional facilities, Ferguson Unit faces criticism from many; inmates and families alike. That being said, there is always room for improvement, regardless of how perfect the design may seem.
Ferguson Unit has a rating of 2.9 out of 5 based on 50 reviews. Many inmates claimed to have experienced inhuman behavior while incarcerated. Others reported rude staff, racism, and corruption.
One former inmate called hell better than being sent back to Ferguson Unit,
“I changed myself for my kids and family. Prison doesn't rehabilitate you. You rehabilitate yourself. If I had to choose between Ferguson & Hell, Send me to hell...surely, it’s a better place.”
A family member of an inmate went on as follows,
“I am very dissatisfied with this unit because my son is incarcerated there and there is a guard that I have had to call on today about harassing my son.”
Frequently asked questions about Ferguson Unit
Who is the warden at Ferguson Unit? Adrian Amonett is the Senior Warden at Ferguson Unit.
Where is the sheriff’s office in Ferguson Unit? Sheriff Bob Adam’s office is located at 2005 E Main Madisonville, TX 77864.1
What is the dress code for the visitors at Ferguson Unit? All visitors must follow the Texas Department of Criminal Justice dress code. The dress code is strictly enforced in the prison, and violating it is grounds for your visit being denied.
- To ensure compliance, be sure to dress conservatively and always contact the facility if you have any questions.
- We recommend you always leave a change of clothes in your car or bring it any other way so that if an article of your clothing is deemed inappropriate or unsuitable, you can quickly change it and not miss out on your visit.
- Any piece of clothing containing images or language that is offensive or profane in nature is not allowed.
- Shorts and skirts should not be any shorter than three inches above the middle of the knee while standing.
- Flip-flops, slippers, sandals, open-toed shoes, and steel-toed boots are not allowed in the facility.
- All shirts worn by men and women must have their shoulders covered, dresses included.
- Clothing that exposes the midriff, back, shoulders, cleavage, thighs, or other large areas of skin is prohibited.
- Clothes that are tight fitting, including spandex, leggings, tank tops, tube tops, yoga pants, etc. are not allowed.
- Clothing that is sheer or see-through is also prohibited.
How many times are visits allowed at Ferguson Unit? Inmates are limited to one visit per weekend only. Visits are usually only two hours in duration, but the length of a visit may vary if overcrowding exists or other circumstances arise.
What can be brought along to Ferguson Unit? You are allowed to bring up to $25 in quarters contained in a small clear Ziploc bag to purchase items from the vending machines inside the visiting rooms. Paper currency is prohibited.
Cell phones, tablets, computers, cameras, recording devices, electronic devices of any kind, food, drinks, tobacco, and related products such as lighters and matches are not allowed to enter the facility, leave these items in your car or other means of transport.
If you are traveling with an infant or a small child, you can bring a clear Ziploc bag with up to three diapers, a small number of baby wipes as required, and two "sippy" cups or plastic baby bottles, children must be attended to properly. In case of disruptive children, you can get your visit terminated.
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