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Reviews for Harris County Jail


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Reviews for Harris County Jail

Reviews by Whiterain71, Cathy and Kara

JM: Which jail did you visit?
Whiterain71: 1200 Baker Street, Houston TX (the "big" jail)
Cathy: 1200 baker street
Kara: Harris County Jail, located at 1200 Baker Street, Houston, TXT

JM: How long ago was your visit?
Whiterain71: The actual visit with him was about 25 minutes. If they like you (you kept your mouth shut and followed ALL the rules downstairs when you checked in) and they like your inmate (he doesn't cause ANY trouble), you sometimes get 30 minutes. 713.755.7955 http://www.hcso.hctx.net
Cathy: 45 min
Kara: I visited on Saturday, October 20, 2012

JM: How many times did you visit?
Whiterain71: In one month, I visited him 14 times. There are only 4 visit days per week. Tuesday and Wednesday 3:30 to 9:00pm and Saturday and Sunday 4:00 to 9:00pm. 713.755.7955 http://www.hcso.hctx.net
Cathy: once
Kara: First time

JM: How do you go about making an appointment to see an inmate?
Whiterain71: You can't make appointments. CALL FIRST 713.755.7955 http://www.hcso.hctx.net (click on inmate info at top left)to make sure they are allowed visits. Sometimes, they are in "medic" are they did something wrong and had their visits rights temporarily removed. Visits are a "first come, first serve" basis. They are only allowed ONE visit on the visit days. Up to 2 adults and 2 kids. So if your inmate visited with somebody earlier in the day, you will be denied your visit if you show up later. Coordinate with whoever is visiting so you can go together so you both get to visit your inmate.
Cathy: walked in, talked to the gaurd at the window. he was very helpful.
Kara: I waited about an hour and a half. I wanted to be early in anticipation of any corrections I may need to make being that it was my first visit, unfortunately.

JM: How long did check-in process take?
Whiterain71: The actual waiting time - standing in line and being processed, check id, go thru metal detectors - is about 1 1/2 hours - IF you get there ONE HOUR BEFORE they start actual visitation. If you get there later after 3:30 but before 7pm, you wait A LONG TIME downstairs. So get there early and stand in line! Or go at 7pm. But be careful because they say visitation is over at 9pm, but they really will only let the inmate visit up to about 8pm. So you have to judge your time right.713.755.7955 http://www.hcso.hctx.net
Cathy: 15 min
Kara: About an hour and a half

JM: Were the guards accommodating?
Whiterain71: Yes, but only to the people who obeyed all the rules. GO HERE FIRST BEFORE YOU GO TO THE JAIL TO SEE ALL THE RULES 713.755.7955 http://www.hcso.hctx.net
Cathy: yes
Kara: One in particular wasn't aware that my U.S. Passport is "Homeland Security" cleared ID, I also had a valid paper Texas Driver's License, valid due to me surrendering my Michigan Driver's License in order to "legally" acquire another states license. My U.S. Passport involves a much more stringent background check and has been recognized in Canada and Europe. This particular agent was thoroughly unprofessional and obviously not in charge, thankfully. The second guard was great!

JM: What was the visiting environment like?
Whiterain71: LOUD and they make you keep the doors closed when the lines get long, so if you get there late - you have to wait in line OUTSIDE in the heat. They mean that too! GET THERE BEFORE VISITATION STARTS. GO HERE FIRST BEFORE YOU GO TO THE JAIL TO SEE ALL THE RULES 713.755.7955 http://www.hcso.hctx.net
Cathy: load
Kara: Crowded, noisy as more people came in but that is to be expected if you're not early. I was early and witnessed an incompetent employee at his finest. He is needs interpersonal communication training and to learn to be exemplary of the best in law enforcement, to "PROTECT AND SERVE". He is blissfully unaware that CITIZENS as he is visit the jail under unfortunate circumstances and his attitude is not conducive totthat process. I'm sure our exchange was memorable and educational, at best.

JM: How long was your visit? Did the guards ever allow you to take extra time?
Whiterain71: The actual visit with him was about 25 minutes. If they like you (you kept your mouth shut and followed ALL the rules downstairs when you checked in) and they like your inmate (he doesn't cause ANY trouble), you sometimes get 30 minutes. 713.755.7955 http://www.hcso.hctx.net Everything says visits are 20 minutes, but it depends. I never got a visit LESS than 20 minutes though, but I saw other people who did.
Cathy: 45 min , yes they did we had drove 7 hours
Kara: It lasted about 20 minutes and that was more then enough time because of the circumstances of my visit, my inhospitable, unnecessary conversation with the guy downstairs and shouting back and forth between the glass. I was extremely grateful to have seen him and would have left if not focused on the good it would do for his morale. I personally could have just takedown by phone in the privacy of my home. If I didn't have a clear background, I couldn't have been there at all so why get harassed by a worker who initiated an inquiry of me on why I was there? The signs clearly stated, "VISITATION". I answered after he initiated conversation because I was expecting informed professionalism and courtesy.

JM: What was the parking situation like?
Whiterain71: PARKING WAS HORRIBLE. Do not expect to get to park at a parking meter anywhere CLOSE to the jail so you can save money. Not going to happen. And don't park anywhere you know you are not supposed to park because your car WILL GET booted. I watched it happen to several cars. I always parked in the lot behind the jail for $5. It is $5 every day, all day. The machine takes change, dollars and credit/debit cards. DO NOT FORGET AFTER YOU GET THE RECEIPT TO TAKE IT BACK TO YOUR CAR AND PUT IT ON THE DASH. If you don't have a ticket on your dash, they WILL boot your car. They don't care if you paid and forgot, they will boot your car anyway. The lot is pretty big but there are VERY BIG POTHOLES and a lot of metal sticking up out of the lot. Flat tires! You can park anywhere in this lot and pay at any of the pay booths in the lot. JUST REMEMBER THE NUMBER ON YOUR SPACE WHEN YOU PARK YOUR CAR. You have to enter it when you get up to the pay booth to pay. 713.755.7955 http://www.hcso.hctx.net
Cathy: expensive, but conveniant
Kara: The parking was adequate but costs $5.00 for all day, although you aren't allowed but 20 minutes plus wait time.

JM: What advice would you offer to somebody who is going to visit an inmate in this jail?
Whiterain71: GO HERE FIRST BEFORE YOU GO TO THE JAIL TO SEE ALL THE RULES 713.755.7955 http://www.hcso.hctx.net. Bring a change of clothes in case they don't like what you have on. And they are really picky. I know it is hot but DON'T WEAR A TANK TOP OR SHORTS. And throwing a jacket over a tank doesn't work. They still won't let you in. And just go ahead and wear jeans. Shorts are A COMPLETE NO and they will actually turn you away if they don't like if your capris are too short (anything about the knee will NOT work). Plus, the lockers cost 25 cents (nobody tells you that). I LEFT EVERYTHING IN MY CAR except my PICTURE ID and my ONE CAR KEY with the alarm thingie. They only let you take ONE KEY upstairs. And if you get a locker, your one key is your locker key. Put all your crap in a locker or don't take anything in. You can't take in ANYTHING to drink or eat while you are waiting, so don't. They will make you throw it away and then they don't "like" you and will be watching you. You can take a magazine or something to read while you wait in line, but you have to throw it away when they start. They don't like people talking and THEY WILL MAKE YOU LEAVE IF YOUR BABY STARTS CRYING OR RUNNING AROUND. You can't take any pens or pencils upstairs. But I would write notes to him before I went in the jail, put them in my pocket, then show him thru the glass. AND YOU GET THREE CHANCES ON THE METAL DETECTOR, AFTER THAT, THEY WON'T LET YOU IN. Use the bathroom first when you get there (if you have to go), there is a clean public bathroom inside. 1st thing when you walk in the door, go to the right hand side to the back. Look in the book and fill out the info on the slip. Most days during the week, the slip is blue. On the weekends it is pink or white. But it changes, so make sure you have the right COLOR slip. DON'T FORGET TO PUT THE CELL BLOCK ON THE SLIP, or they will get mad and turn you away. It says what it is in the big book. It will be like "3A-2B" or something like that. GET IN THE LINE for your cell block. Like the sign that says 3rd floor is for "3A" on your slip. SITTING IN THE CHAIRS DOESN'T MEAN YOU ARE IN LINE AND these people are serious. GET YOUR SPOT IN LINE, DON'T MOVE OUT OF THE LINE. YOU WILL LOSE YOUR SPOT. WHEN YOU GET UPSTAIRS, GET SOME SOAP OUT OF THE ANTIBACTERIAL DISPENSER IN THE BATHROOM, PUT IT ON NAPKINS, HOLD IT, WAIT FOR YOUR INMATE TO COME OUT AND SIT IN ONE OF THE BOOTHS THEN WIPE DOWN THE GLASS. You will get something gross on your face if you don't clean it first. Trust me. ALL IN ALL, YOU ARE ACTUALLY WAY BETTER OFF IF YOU JUST ACCEPT THEIR PHONE CALLS AND DON'T GO TO THE JAIL UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO.
Cathy: check on line for all info, it will save u time and stress.
Kara: Go early, at least an hour to an hour and a half. Don't dress as if you're going to the club, "it's not that serious", there is nothing remotely "cute" about the circumstances that bring you to visit your one in jail. Notice, I didn't use the term, "inmate". If you go there dressed inappropriately in see through clothing, especially white tops, spandex or shorts higher than mid thigh, you have wasted a trip and most likely will be the butt of jokes by the employees themselves. Use that time to find out how you can help get or give information that will help a lawyer mount a defense, bring children who are of age to not be traumatized by the experience and let your loved one know you love and care for them.

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