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Voting Rights for Felons in Alabama

The state of Alabama allows felons to have their voting rights restored under the following guidelines. You must have completed your entire sentence, including incarceration, probation, and parole, or community supervision. Once completed, you have three options: Contact your local parole or probation office Write to the Board of Pardons and Parole

An Inmate Must Communicate With the Jail Nurses for Good Care

Due to HIPPA laws, most nurses will refuse to discuss your inmate's medical condition with you unless the inmate provides prior written permission. It will be up to the inmate to work the system from inside. These steps will guide both the inmate and his family on the best way to get medical care while […]

Can a Felon Possess a Gun In Illinois?

Illinois law allows certain convicted felons to own or possess guns. Federal law still makes it a crime, and in some cases the feds have pursued prosecution in states that allow it. Only an attorney should advise you on this matter but the basics of Illinois laws are as follows: Your rights can be restored […]

Getting a Felon's Voting Rights Restored in Hawaii

Voting is one of the most fundamental rights given to American citizens, however, once you've been convicted of a felony, whether or not that right will be restored to you is up to the state that you reside in. The laws for Hawaii include: If You Have Been Charged In Hawaii you maintain your right […]

Caring for an Inmate, Even If You Can't Visit the Jail or Prison

Visits are a lifeline for most inmates, but if his jail is very far away, or there are other reasons that make it impossible for you to visit, there are other steps you can take to let him know he is not alone. Lots of mail: Even if you can't write a letter each day […]

Can a Felon Possess a Gun In California?

California law allows some convicted felons to own or possess guns. Federal law still makes it a crime to do so, and in some cases the feds have pursued prosecution of those who possess guns in states that permit it. Only an attorney should advise you on this matter, but the basics of California laws […]

Are Penalties Stiffer For Selling Drugs in a Drug-Free School Zone?

Being accused of dealing drugs or having enough in your possession for resale is a serious situation, but many states have also implemented additional penalties for drug situations near a school. Each state sets its own rules about this, but in most cases it is a higher grade of felony with longer sentences. What is […]

What is an Interstate Compact Agreement for a Felon?

An Interstate Compact request made while you are on probation or parole can take a long time, but there is no other way to have your supervision transferred from one state to another without it. Here are some of the basics that apply to most cases. Your probation/parole officer does not have to agree to […]

When He's In Jail, How to Provide Holiday Gifts for the Kids

Between supporting the family and providing for his commissary, there isn't much left to cover extras. Most communities provide funds to buy Christmas gifts for children of inmates. You just have to know where to look. Angel Tree This organization provides Christmas gifts and fun for children of inmates nationwide. Churches sign up to work […]

Drastically Reduce the Cost of Calls from Your Out of State Inmate

Most facilities contract with a third-party company so you can fund prepaid calls, but if those calls are long distance, it can become cost-prohibitive. Luckily there is a way to pay local call rates for long-distance calls on a prepaid service. First, Do Some Very Basic Research Find out the area code for the jail […]

Drug Addiction and Anger: Why Should I Do Anything for Him After All He Did?

When your boyfriend was doing drugs, there was chaos everywhere he went. Now that he completed rehab and is in recovery, he might need assistance with a few things to get started again. Putting your anger aside and helping him can provide the following benefits. Self-confidence: Whether he admits it or not, when he was […]

Why and How Drugs Are Divided Into Different Classes and Levels

The class of drug is typically included in the criminal charge for possession, sale or use. For examples, the charge would read, "Possession of a Class I drug for resale," or "Possession of a Class II drug". How They're Classed While each agency determines which drugs fall into each schedule, class or level, they are […]

Why The Male Model Doesn't Work for Women Inmates

This is content sponsored by Netflix (producers of Orange Is The New Black) for the New York Times. There are some interesting facts and a few videos worth watching if you are concerned with the incarceration of women and the related issues.   Women serving time in American prisons

Dealing With Allergies While Incarcerated

You are about to take the deal and it comes with jail or prison time. If you have allergies to food, plants, fabric or other environmental things, it is important that the administrators are made aware. Having an allergic reaction while incarcerated is different than on the outside. PODS and cells don't typically make it […]

Rejected for Inmate Visitation: Why did the jail tell me I can't visit?

You had your heart set on visiting an inmate but the jail has said you can't? Here's why: A prior incident: If guards became suspicious of your behaviors during an earlier visit, but cannot prove you did something wrong, you will avoid a charge but be rejected for visits. For example, the guards suspect you […]

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What is an Interstate Compact Agreement for a Felon?

An Interstate Compact request made while you are on probation or parole can take a long time, but there is no other way to have your supervision transferred from one state to another without it. Here are some of the basics that apply to most cases. Your probation/parole officer does not have to agree to […]

He is a Drug Addict, but he Keeps Passing Drug Tests – How?

The probation department has the ability to send a test off to be examined for tampering, but you don't have those same connections. Understanding how they can be cheated will help you test him more effectively. Related: How do America's drug courts work? The Houdini switch Drug users have this down to a science. Everyone […]

5 Steps to Mailing Commissary Money to a Federal Inmate

In addition to these five steps below, keep in mind that when you mail the commissary funds, they must go through the United States Postal Service. You cannot use Federal Express, United Parcel or other similar services. Step 1 Know where to send it. All federal commissary money must be sent to a central post […]

Five Ways to Avoid Violence in Jail or Prison

Jails and prisons can be violent environments, but there are things you can do to minimize your chances of confrontation and trouble. 1. Show no fear – This doesn't mean bullying. It means showing a quiet confidence. Always remain aware of your surroundings, but do it casually without looking nervous. How to build quiet confidence […]

Best Days for Inmate Phone Calls

As much as you would like to talk to your inmate each day, the cost of inmate phone calls makes this impossible for most people. If your budget can only handle a couple of calls a week, tell your inmate to call you on Thursdays and Sundays. Thursday Thursday phone calls give you almost the […]

Why and How Drugs Are Divided Into Different Classes and Levels

The class of drug is typically included in the criminal charge for possession, sale or use. For examples, the charge would read, "Possession of a Class I drug for resale," or "Possession of a Class II drug". How They're Classed While each agency determines which drugs fall into each schedule, class or level, they are […]

Inmate Criminal Charges: Can Inmates get Charged With Crimes in Jail?

In the movies, inmates commit crimes and nothing ever happens to them. In real life, committing a crime in jail will usually get the inmate a new criminal charge. Here is how it works. How will they establish what happened? The jail will investigate any suspected crime, just as if it happened on the outside. […]

How Does a Bail Bond Process Work?

Many states allow defendants to be released from jail to wait for court by paying a percentage of the total bond amount. Percentages range from 10 to 20 percent depending on state law. Understand how the process works to help someone who's been arrested. What is a Bond? A bond is an amount of money […]

Getting a Felon's Voting Rights Restored in Massachusetts

Voting is one of the most fundamental rights given to American citizens, but that right can be lost if you're a convicted felon. It's up to the each state to decide their laws about restoring rights. The laws for Massachusetts include: If You're Charged If you've been charged with a crime, but have not yet […]

Jail Overcrowding: When the State Gets Involved

Jail overpopulation is an issue nationwide. Each state sets limits on how many inmates can be housed at any given time. Click on your state to learn about overcrowding. In many cases, the overcrowded jail obtains a temporary waiver from the state to buy some time to address their problems. When the states step in, […]

When 12-Step Programs Don't Work For You

The 12-Step program is not the only method used in rehabs to assist addicts in getting clean and living sober lifestyles. Some rehabs accomplish the same goals through the following means: Medication Medications are available to assist with addiction. For Opiate addicts, the medication blocks Opiate cravings and in some cases will cause you to […]

5 Ways to Help an Addict While he is Away at Rehab

Unless your friend is still living at home with parents and has no bills or responsibilities, he/she is going to need some help while at rehab. The five main reasons addicts worry about being gone are: Pets: If you are an animal lover, you might offer to take his pet in and take of him […]

Can a Felon Own a Gun In New Mexico?

Generally speaking, federal law makes it a crime for a convicted felon to own or possess a gun or ammunition. If you were convicted of a federal felony crime, you must receive a presidential pardon if you are to ever own a firearm again. Some states, however, have specifically designed laws regarding felons convicted of […]

Getting a Felon's Voting Rights Restored in Hawaii

Voting is one of the most fundamental rights given to American citizens, however, once you've been convicted of a felony, whether or not that right will be restored to you is up to the state that you reside in. The laws for Hawaii include: If You Have Been Charged In Hawaii you maintain your right […]

Basics About Felons and the Right to Possess Firearms

Your neighbor has invited you hunting or you want to buy a gun to protect your home. You did your time long ago and are not even on parole or probation anymore, so what's the problem with owning a gun? The problem is you are a convicted felon, and as such the federal government says […]

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Comments 5

  1. Aquila Ray Thu, Jul 19 2012 9:47 AM

    I Miss U brother Corey Brown. This ya sis Aquila, call me at anytime @ my cell 267-401-8972 or my house 215-724-8548

  2. Shane Gill Fri, Feb 08 2013 2:00 AM

    What's it like to be in jail? I have a hearing soon and I'm scared I'm going to get sent to lockup. I've heard bad stories so can someone tell me if it's going to be terrible. Is Rikers a good jail and would my family get to visit me in person?

  3. NYC Dave Sat, Feb 09 2013 1:55 AM

    Hey Shane it's not that bad once you've been in for a week. You just keep thinking about what you've got waiting for you after you get out and just do your time and don't go back. Rikers Otis Bantum Correctional Center is pretty decent. Just check out the visitation information on the left of this page and it will tell you everything you need to know about how friends and family can visit you in Otis Bantum if that's where you get sent. Good luck man, but don't worry too much.

  4. Peter K. Sun, Feb 10 2013 9:23 AM

    Hi Shane - In some respects jail is what you make of it. Try to keep a positive attitude about it as much as possible. If you dwell on the negative and project your feelings of being afraid, others will pick up on it and you will attract trouble. Everyone likes the person who stays positive in a bad situation.

  5. Nelly Sat, Feb 16 2013 5:06 AM

    How many meals a day do immates get at Riker's Island? How good is the food they serve?

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Visiting an Inmate in the Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center in New York

The New York City Department of Corrections recognizes the importance of keeping in touch with family members or friends during a period of incarceration, and they wholeheartedly encourage visitation periods. They have a number of programs to help ease the inmate back to society after their time in jail is up, and this includes these visitation periods to make their stay more endurable. As compassionate as they are about visitations and the general well-being of an inmate and their loved ones, they also have rules and guidelines to adhere to.

Visitations are from Wednesday through Sunday every week – absolutely no visitations are allowed on Mondays or Tuesdays. There are different schedules for visitations every month, so please visit this site to view a complete schedule to know when you can visit an inmate. Inmates can have up to 3 visitors during a single session, and they are permitted only one visitation a day.

In order to visit an inmate, you must register by the time posted on the aforementioned website in order to ensure your visitation period. The times can vary due to unforeseen circumstances. Also, if you are over 18, you are required to present a valid ID. A driver's license will do, but you can also use a state or government issued ID, a passport, or a military ID. See here for a complete list of acceptable IDs. Visitors under the age of 16 are not required to show ID, but they must be accompanied by someone over the age of 18. Individuals aged 16 or 17  with valid identification may accompany a child under the age of 16 if he or she is the parent of that child and the inmate being visited is also the parent of the same child.  In this case, the 16- or 17-year-old must produce a birth certificate for the child under the age of 16, as per New York City standards. Also refer to the aforementioned website for dress codes and what to bring and what not to bring during a visit. Please refer to this article if you have any more questions on any additional guidelines of a jail visit.

Visiting a family member or a loved one in jail is another way to keep the lines of communication open. A period of incarceration can be tough on friends and family, and especially for the inmate, but keeping in touch is very important. It's a part of the healing process during a difficult time such as this, and while these visits are definitely not under the most ideal of circumstances, they mean a lot to everyone involved.

RELATED: Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Ctr Inmate Search

RELATED: Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Ctr Inmate Services


writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.

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How to use the Inmate Search for Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center in New York

The Otis Bantum Correctional Center was named for the second warden who was in command at the time of his death, and it has a capacity of 1,697. Opened in June 1985, the OBCC was completed in only 15 months by using modern and efficient construction methods and modern designs. The OBCC has dormitory and cell housing, including the Department's 400-bed Central Punitive Segregation Unit.

[Article_Ad_2]If you have a friend or a family member currently incarcerated at Rikers Island in any one of its facilities, you can look them up easily. All you have to do is go to this website, and click on the "Inmate Lookup" link on the left hand side of the screen. It will direct you to the New York City Department of Corrections inmate lookup page. With this site, you have to be very specific on who you are looking for. You have to know the inmate's case number, or a full first & last name, as well as a date of birth in order to execute a successful search. Unlike many other search databases across the country, New York's search database is not for the curious or the intrigued; it is created for those specifically looking for an inmate.

The search database for the NYC Department of Corrections has been reported not to work on some occasions. There is an alternate way to look up an inmate by using the VINELINK inmate search, located here. It will give you a number to call if you want to look up an inmate, or for other inmate information. That number is 1-866-847-1298. It also provides e-mail notifications and other services. It also gives you a link to the New York State Department of Corrections, and you can execute a search that way. The only problem is that it is a statewide search, and since New York State has a very sizeable population (third in the nation, topped by California and Texas), locating your inmate may be a little difficult. However, it is possible to find who you are looking for with this system.

RELATED: Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Ctr Inmate Search

RELATED: Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Ctr Inmate Services


writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.

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Communicating with an Inmate Housed at the Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center in New York

The New York City Department of Corrections is very tough on crime – they don't mess around at all. Especially after September 11th, they don't leave any stones unturned. If they see a threat, they will nullify it! Despite their tough-as-nails approach to crime, they do allow inmates to send and receive mail. They understand that inmates are humans, too, as well as their families and loved ones.

In order to write a letter, you need the inmate's full name, the inmate's book and case number, and the full address of the facility they are housed in. Also, please apply the appropriate postage to ensure the inmate receiving your letter. 

The address for the Otis Bantum Correctional Center is:

Otis Bantum Correctional Center (OBCC)
16-00 Hazen Street
East Elmhurst, NY 11370

There aren't any restrictions on printed material or letters that you can send an inmate as far as how much you can send someone, but pornographic material and images deemed inappropriate will be confiscated. Also, if you choose to send photographs, there are also a few rules to follow: no Polaroid photos, nothing pornographic or inappropriate, and no pictures of the inmate –there have been reports about inmates using pictures of themselves to create fake passes in order to escape Rikers.

The staff at OBCC also allows you to send items and packages through the mail, so long as their guidelines are precisely followed. Permissible items may be mailed to the inmate, and they cannot exceed fifteen pounds. The packages must also be less than twenty-four inches (24") wide, twelve inches (12") high, and twenty-four inches (24") deep. For a complete list of what can be sent to an inmate via mail, please refer to this website. Please note that if you do knowingly send contraband to an inmate, you will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As New York City is fairly liberal on what you can send to an inmate during their stay in jail, they also don't take their jobs lightly, so be cautious and respectful to their rules and regulations!

Writing and sending mail to an inmate keeps the lines of communication open, and it shows the inmate that you care for them. If you are a family member or a loved one, a period of incarceration can be very difficult and tough emotionally as well as physically, but sending letters is a good way to keep in touch during this period, and sending them items will make their time in jail somewhat easier. It always helps when you know someone has your back.

RELATED: Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Ctr Inmate Search

RELATED: Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Ctr Inmate Services


writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.

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