When our loved ones are facing incarceration it is a scary time for them as well as you. Here are 5 tips for navigating through these waters.
- Register on Vinelink to receive up to date information if your loved one is transferred. While this website is the victim notification system, anyone can register and it’s a good tool to have so you are notified when your incarcerated loved one arrives at a different prison.
- Sign up on Jpay.com. This is the only way to communicate with your incarcerated loved one by email or to send and review 30 second videos or have a 15 minute video connection.
This is also the only way to instantly send your incarcerated loved one money though as part of our advocacy, we want to encourage you to send money via a money order instead which is free. You can send a money order by printing the form on this link: Jpay Money Order Form and mailing it along with the money order and a copy of your driver's license/state ID, or Passport to the address on the form.
Funds will be accepted from anyone the first 60 days in FDC but after that you must be an approved visitor to send money.
- Open a phone account with GTL (soon to be known as Viapath). This is the only way to talk to your incarcerated loved one on the phone. You must first open an account with them and then deposit money into their system. To get started use this link: GTL/ViaPathy ConnectNetwork
- Apply for visitation privileges using the: Request for Visiting Privileges link once your loved one arrives at their permanent institution. You will not be allowed to fill out a visitation application as long as they are at the reception center.
Completed Visiting applications can be mailed to the Classification Department at your loved ones current location (see the Statewide Facility Directory for address information) or submitted as an attachment to an e-mail to the visitation application email address at their current location. (Institutional e-mail addresses for visitation applications utilize the following format: visitapp(facility)@fdc.myflorida.com. For example, the Calhoun CI email will be email@example.com)
Be sure NOT to leave ANY lines blank, if you do your application will be denied.
If the question does not apply to you enter N/A.
Any child over the age of 12 needs an approved visiting application as well.
If you bring a child to visitation of any age, you must have their birth certificate. If you are not their parent you will also be required to bring a notarized letter from the parent.
Be sure to check out our “Know Before You Go” series on our Facebook page. There is a lot of information provided to educate people before visiting.
- Ask your incarcerated loved one to sign a Medical Release of Information (ROI) authorizing you to have access to their healthcare information so you can advocate for them if needed. This is important because without it, no one will provide you any information even in an emergency.
A Power of Attorney (POA) is not recognized by FDC nor is any other authorization except for their own. Your loved one can obtain the proper form from medical by completing a sick call request and stating they would like to be called to medical to sign a release of information. You can also print and mail the form to them by using the medical authorization form on our website at www.floridacarescharity.org go to the far right, click on MORE tab and scroll down to “medical authorization” or use this link: Medical Release of Information Your incarcerated loved one will then need to print the form on their end, sign it and return it to medical.
Also, ask your incarcerated loved one to write in that the authorization does not expire until the end of their sentence. Otherwise medical authorizations expire in 90 days.
If at any time your loved one is taken to an outside facility for treatment or in an emergency, FDC is not required to inform you and their identification is kept confidential at the hospital or doctors office.