These are the Sociology I and II interviews. If your case is on appeal, discuss with your lawyer if questions about your crime should be answered. This sociologist will make every effort to be very friendly so they can encourage the offender to talk. Remember that anything said will be available for review by the parole board someday. Again, the less said, the better.
Providing false information can be the basis for disciplinary action. At a later time, you will return to the interview area and repeat the same interview, with the same questions, but this time with a different person.
This is the Sociology II interview. This person may be belligerent and difficult.
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The offender should behave in the same calm, polite manner as he did with the Sociology I interviewer. This second interview is designed to see how the offender handles anger and frustration. Do not get angry! All offenders are given an education achievement EA test and an IQ test. The test results will determine whether the offender is required to attend school. Those offenders should take advantage of this opportunity. If you already have a GED or high school diploma, then you will likely never see the inside of a prison classroom.
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Most real prisons offer college courses and some even offer four-year degrees, but the offender must pay for this himself. Classification depends on a number of factors: what crime was committed, criminal history, age, your prison disciplinary record. All of these factors go into it. There are certain crimes for which good time has very little meaning. Losing good time, however, will harm any offender, including 3g offenders.
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Losing good time can result in loss of privileges and custody changes that also can result in losing the opportunity to be considered for parole. The first important classification for time-earning classification is the custody classification. In the past there were fairly simple classification categories: minimum-in, minimum-out, medium custody, close custody, and administrative segregation. This level is within the sole discretion of TDCJ. There is a specific criterion that has to be met to reach this level. The most frequent assignment is a G2.
If one is serving a 3g sentence that is 50 years or more, they generally must complete 10 years flat to be eligible for G2 or G3 , 5 years if the sentence is non-3g and more than 50 years. That eliminates most of the aggravated offenders. But the people with the lower classification of crimes will fall into this G2 level.
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The next level is G3. This is for newly assigned offenders and people who have had a disciplinary case s , or other types of problems we will discuss in another area. Finally, the most aggravated offenders will be in G5, General Population Level 5. This is for those offenders who have security precaution designators—i. Level One unit is Trusty camps. Generally, only after two years can one achieve the Trusty level and be promoted and be eligible for a level-one unit assignment.
Level Two units will only house those offenders classified as G1 and G2. The Level Three units will only house offenders who are G1 through G3. Level Four units will only house those offenders who are G1 through G4.
Finally, the Level Five, the big units, will house offenders who are G1 through G5 plus administrative segregation. There are a handful of those units. We have a handful of those across the state, and they house a low number of offenders who, by their behavior, need to be segregated from the population. Everyone gets one day of credit for each day spent in prison. The great majority of these crimes require a judicial finding that a weapon was used in the offense, but that is not always true. For example, convictions of indecency with a child may not have involved use of a weapon, but it is currently considered a 3g crime.
If one is not convicted of a crime of violence, or if a weapon was not involved in the crime, good time may have a considerable effect upon the amount of time served. When no weapon or crime of violence is involved, good time credit may apply toward both parole eligibility and toward discretionary mandatory supervision. Good time credit can accelerate the date one gets to return home. If an offender has established himself as a model offender, and has earned one of the higher classifications, he is earning good time at a pretty rapid rate.
Everyone enters prison as a Line Class 1. There are two classifications lower than that—Line Class 2 and Line Class 3. Traditionally, to be promoted to a level above Line Class 1 takes a minimum of 6 months in TDCJ custody, as does each promotion. The prison is no longer using the SAT I category. While in jail before coming to prison, the offender gets credit at a rate of 20 days of good time GT for each 30 days in jail. The good time credit, however, is not credited to the offender until he actually arrives at the prison.
There are different good time earnings assigned to each of those. So for every 30 days of flat time that passes you are gaining 20 days of good time.
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Jobs are assigned at intake, and the most common job is the hoe squad, or field squad. This is also known among offenders as the largest weedeater in the world. For every 30 days one works, 20 days of good time and 15 days of work time will be credited. So every month that goes by, one can possibly get 65 days of time earning credit. As can be seen from the chart, each promotion adds a certain number of days until eventually when SAT III level is achieved, where one can begin to earn the maximum amount of time—75 days for every month.
The new TDCJ arrival will find offenders who have been there a long time. Offenders who come in today are not entitled to bonus time, education time, and that kind of thing. Many changes have occurred in the task of counting time credit, and many methods may be used to calculate the time credit of an old timer. It is quite possible they do not know themselves.
Each level of time credit gets a number of contact visit privileges associated with it. Visitation is not a right; it is a privilege. The warden of the unit has total control over who comes to visit, and the conditions associated with each visit. An offender who enters the unit as a Line Class 1 will be eligible for one contact visit per month.
Any other visits that month will be non-contact.