McConnell Unit: Everything You Need To Know About McConnell

This article discussed everything you need to know about McConnell Unit: Everything You Need To Know About McConnell.

McConnell Unit: Everything You Need To Know About McConnell
McConnell Unit: Everything You Need To Know About McConnell

William G. McConnell Unit (also known simply as McConnell Unit) is a maximum security prison that houses inmates ranging from minimum (G1) to maximum (G5) security levels, as well as security detention, safekeeping, and transient inmates.

The facility spans over 299 acres (approx. 121 ha) of land. The facility rests along Texas State Highway 181, 1 mile (approx. 1.6 km) east of the city limits of Beeville, a city in Bee County. McConnell Unit is located in unincorporated Bee County, Texas, and is considered one of the toughest prisons in America.

The Unit consists of 504 cells that are utilized for administrative segregation, dedicated to adult male inmates. The McConnell Unit can hold 2,956 inmates. It also consists of a seventeen-bed assisted living unit used for housing inmates that are too old or sick to be living with other inmates.

The McConnell Unit was named after William G. "Bill" McConnell, the former chief of police of Beeville who passed away in 1987.

The prison employs a total of 473 employees, which include 326 security employees, 95 non-security employees, 12 Windham education employees, 38 contracts medical, and 2 mental health employees. The facility is operated under the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

The unit opened in September 1992 and has since remained functional. The facility lies in the proximity of Corpus Christi, which is a coastal city in the South Texas region of the U.S. state of Texas.

As of 2001 the "administrative segregation" area of McConnell Unit, with 504 cells, had 504 prisoners segregated by race to avoid gang violence. The cells are divided into pods and labeled by letters of the alphabet.

The pods are classified according to the disruption level with the A pod including gang leaders who do not wish to disturb the situation around them and therefore remain quiet, while the F pod has lower-ranking members who make a racket and are tenser. Many of these pods are used to hold members of the Mexican Mafia. This segregated section is considered the most dangerous place in Texas.

Rehabilitation facilities at McConnell Unit

Inmates at McConnell Unit are encouraged to take classes for adult literacy, and adult basic education, and can obtain their GED during their incarceration. Vocational training is provided to inmates in stone masonry, bricklaying, and carpentry.

The facility operations are under unit maintenance as well, which gives inmates plenty of chances to do work on-site. Additionally, inmates at the McConnell Unit are provided work opportunities in the facilities garden and in caring for security horses and canines.

Off-site medical, mental health, and dental services are provided to all inmates. Those inmates who are aged or bedridden are provided the facility of a seventeen-bed assisted living unit within the institution.

As many of the inmates at McConnell Unit are serving life sentences, it isn’t unexpected for old inmates to fall sick and need assistance eventually. The facility makes sure they are not neglected. The facility also runs a manufacturing and logistics operation by providing opportunities for inmates to work in a garment factory.

Educational services at McConnell Unit are provided by Windham School District (WSD). WSD is a non-geographical school district that has been providing educational services to inmates in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, although it is a separate entity from TDCJ.

Its headquarters are located in Building B in the Wynne Unit in Huntsville. The district operates schools on 89 sites. Although many prisoners at McConnell Unit are sentenced to life and are likely to never have to look for a job, they still need education to be productive while serving their time in the facility.

Inmates at McConnell Unit begin at the sixth-grade level when they start an educational program. After earning adult basic education, they can qualify for adult secondary education. Inmates are provided everything they need to prepare for and pass the GED exam and get their diplomas.

How do we search inmates in the McConnell Unit?

When an inmate is incarcerated at the McConnell Unit, their information is subsequently added to TDCJ’s database as the McConnell Unit is operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

For those who are looking to find information about an inmate incarcerated at the McConnell Unit, several steps can be followed. First and foremost, what they should know are the inmate's first and last name, and ID number. Upon being incarcerated at McConnell Unit, inmates are assigned unique IDs which act as their identity and while looking for an inmate, this ID plays a key role.

Read Marion County Inmate Roster: Complete Information, Sheriff's Office, Visiting Hours

To find any information on a particular inmate, start by heading over to and browsing the McConnell Unit’s database by providing the inmate's first name, last name, and ID number.

Other than using the website, you can also call the McConnell Unit visitor Information Line at (361)-362-2300 (**048).

Upon the receipt of the correct credentials, the facility will disclose information about whatever it is that you want to know about the inmate, which may be about their prison account, visiting hours, or other prison policies and regulations. General population offenders and segregated offenders have separate visiting days. Some inmates might also be stripped of their right to receive visits.

To confirm the situation, you have the choice to visit the McConnell Unit and get the required information about an inmate directly. Although, if the inmate hasn’t recorded your name in their visitor’s list, you won’t be allowed to meet them.

What type of facilities is available at the McConnell Unit?

The McConnell Unit is strict in how it keeps the inmates but it doesn’t deny them basic facilities. As inmates serve a long time in the facility, it is necessary to give them enough indulgences so they can keep on going. Following are some of the major facilities available at the McConnell Unit.

  • Educational Programs: All inmates have access to educational programs and are encouraged to take part in the study of literacy (Adult Basic Education/GED preparation and test), CHANGES/pre-release program, and cognitive intervention. These educational programs are all provided by WSD which works alongside the TDCJ to provide educational programs to inmates in most Texas prisons.
  • Career and Technology Programs: The facility provides work opportunities to prisoners so they can keep themselves busy and where they can learn while working. Some of these programs include bricklaying/stone masonry, construction, and carpentry.
  • Medical Capabilities: McConnell Unit has medical assistance available for inmates, managed by the University of Texas Medical Board. These medical services include ambulatory medical, dental, and mental health services. Medical care is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and inmates are monitored closely for possible health deteriorations, especially common in older inmates. Read Dominguez Unit In Texas: Visitation, Inmate Search, Contacts, FAQs
  • Additional Programs/Services: Inmates may take part in programs like Faith-Based Dormitory (two-year program), Adult Education Program (basic and secondary), peer education, chaplaincy services and religious activities, community tours, and GO KIDS initiative which aims to support the kids of prisoners.
  • Community Work Projects: No community work projects are provided to inmates because of the security level. Many prisoners are mafia members which cannot be let outside into unexpecting communities.
  • Volunteer Initiatives: Inmates are encouraged and invited to take part in programs relating to employment/job skills, substance abuse education, life skills, support groups, religious/faith-based studies, and activities.

Is the McConnell Unit dangerous?

McConnell Unit has been an ACA-accredited unit since January 2002. The ACA accreditation does mean something, but considering the security level of the prison, it would be foolish to think that the facility isn’t dangerous. High-risk felons are housed here, many of which are mafia members or involved in national or international level crimes. Many of these people are returning offenders, which means they don’t hesitate.

On 10th October 1993, an inmate named Rogelio Cannady, 21, beat his cellmate, Leovigildo Bonal, 55, to death. Cannady was sentenced to life after being convicted of murdering two teenagers in 1990. Cannady was the first to be charged under a 1993 law that allows prisoners serving 99 years or life for previous murders to be charged with a capital offense. He was convicted in 1997 and executed on 19th May 2010.

On 17th December 1999, Correctional Officer Daniel Nagle was stabbed several times by an inmate Robert Lynn Pruett who was at his office in McConnell. It was the first murder of a prison guard in Texas state prisons committed by an inmate since 1985. Pruett denied killing Nagle but was executed on 12th October 2017.

In 2013, 14 prison guards at McConnell and 11 other individuals pleaded guilty to operating a smuggling ring in federal court. The individuals that were convicted of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) were sent to federal prison. The rest got probation time.

Visiting Hours of McConnell Unit

The McConnell Unit allows inmates to receive visits from people that have been listed in the prisoner’s visitation list which the inmate establishes at the beginning of their sentence and can update periodically.

General population offenders incarcerated at the McConnell Unit are allowed to receive visits on Saturdays and Sundays from 7 am to 5 pm. Inmates who are in administrative segregation may receive visits by appointment only on Fridays. Unscheduled visits aren’t entertained.

Inmates at McConnell Unit can have no more than one visit per weekend. The standard duration of a visit is two hours, although the duration may be shortened if there is overcrowding at the facility or some unexpected circumstances occur which may cut the visit short. Visitors are thoroughly searched, along with their cars once they are on facility grounds and canines are involved in this search. All vehicles are supposed to be secured with windows up and doors locked.

Visitors must bring some form of identification with them which could be their state ID, driver’s license, etc. Minors have to be accompanied by a guardian and can use a photo of their student ID or birth certificate as identification. Special visits can be arranged in case someone is traveling over 300 miles to visit the inmate. These visits are twice as long as standard visits. Spiritual visits, by religious personnel other than family, require approval from the warden’s office.

How to contact the McConnell Unit?

You can use one of the following methods to contact the McConnell Unit and receive any information on the inmate you may need.

Visiting the Facility: You can go to the facility and get the required information from their information center. There, you can make queries and learn anything you want, from visitation hours, dress code, and other prison regulations. The address is William G. McConnell Unit, 3001 South Emily Drive, Beeville, TX 78102, United States.

Phone Number: You can contact the McConnell Unit by calling (361)-362-2300 (**048). You can set up an account on JPay to send messages to an inmate at McConnell Unit. You can't directly call an inmate at McConnell Unit, but inmates do have access to phones during approved daytime hours when they may choose to call you after paying the call fees. Calls are monitored by the staff.

Visiting the Website: Visit the official website of the McConnell Unit and go through their database to reach a particular inmate. The mailing address for inmate mail looks like this:

Inmate Name, TDCJ ID Number

​McConnell Unit

3001 South Emily Drive

Beeville, TX 78102


  • How to send money to the inmates in the McConnell Unit? To send money to inmates at McConnell Unit, you can choose one of these methods: JPay (using Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card), Access Corrections, eCommDirect, money orders, and cashier’s check with a deposit slip to Inmate Trust Fund, PO Box 60, Huntsville, TX 77342-0060.
  • Is the McConnell Unit a pre-release unit? McConnell Unit offers pre-release programs to help inmates get back into society without feeling disconnected. Although, it doesn’t have many pre-release programs, as most of the inmates here are either serving for life or long enough that pre-release programs won’t matter. The facility still tries to do the best it can for inmates.
  • Who is the warden at the McConnell Unit? Elbert Holmes serves as the senior warden at McConnell Unit. David Blackwell serves as the Regional Director while Eric Guerrero is the Deputy Division Director.
  • Is the McConnell Unit safe for workers? The McConnell Unit is safe for most work staff. Despite being a maximum-security prison, the facility does not have many security issues. High-risk felons are housed separately and expert staff is hired to monitor them. The McConnell Unit hires personnel after careful consideration. Because of segregation, even with the danger looming in every corner, the workplace is still fairly safe.
  • Is the McConnell Unit violent? Yes, as is expected of a maximum security prison, McConnell Unit has a history of violence. It is a dangerous facility where high-risk felons like mafia members are kept. There’s a reason it is the toughest prison in Texas.
  • What are some rules to follow when visiting someone at McConnell Unit? Some important things to remember before visiting the McConnell Unit are: Tobacco, lighters, matches, drugs or alcohol, food, cell phones, cameras, recording devices, or any other types of electronics are prohibited within the facility. Creating unnecessary noise and blasting music anywhere on the facility grounds is strictly prohibited. Bringing contraband or paper currency is not allowed.
  • What is the dress code at the McConnell Unit? Hats, sunglasses, masks, bandanas, and any other piece of clothing that covers the face aren't allowed. Tight-fitted, sheer, see-through clothing, or clothes that expose huge parts of the skin like breasts, back, and midriff, are all prohibited. Uniforms of all sorts are prohibited. Visitors wearing clothes with offensive and profane signs or language won’t be allowed to proceed with the visit.

McConnell Unit Photos

McConnell Unit Photos
McConnell Unit Photos
McConnell Unit Photos
McConnell Unit Photos 

McConnell Unit Reviews by Inmates

The McConnell Unit keeps in line with the standards set by ACA and has been accredited for over two decades now.

As far as correctional centers go, McConnell has garnered a notorious reputation over the years due to the violence that goes on behind the bars. In most cases, inmates don’t exactly get to share their experiences.

It is quite easy to imagine just what kind of business McConnell Unit would be with all sorts of criminals housed there.

McConnell Unit, Beeville, Texas

McConnell Unit is a maximum-security prison with a bunch of opportunities for the correction of inmates. The facility offers facilities for education, vocational skills, and rehabilitation.

Inmates at McConnell Unit can receive visits from family and friends while imprisoned. The McConnell Unit isn’t exactly safe for inmates and officers but with the purpose that it serves, it is only to be expected. In short, the McConnell Unit isn’t for everyone. It takes a lot more than guts to work there and survive.
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