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Frequently Asked Questions

eCommDirect - Inmate Commissary Purchases

Please Note:

**Effective July 1st, 2022**

Effective July 1, 2022, eCommDirect raised the quarter limits as listed below.

The TDCJ Commissary and Trust Fund Department utilizes an online program where appoved friends and family may make purchases for eligible inmates up to the maximum quarterly spend. Inmate spends are based on the following months:

  • January – March up to $70.00;
  • April – June up to $70.00;
  • July – September up to $70.00; and
  • October – December up to $95.00 (Holiday Spend)

Up to 100 of the top selling items are available for purchase including snacks, hygiene products, correspondence supplies as well as some new packaged items. The online amount purchased will not affect the amount that inmates may spend on commissary items from funds deposited in their inmate trust fund account. In addition to inmates on commissary restriction, inmates in General Population and State Jail levels 4 and 5, Administrative Segregation levels 2, 3 and transition, Death Row levels 2 and 3 and certain medical conditions are not eligible to receive commissary purchases through this program. (See question 5 under Frequently Asked Questions for full eligibility requirements.)

Friends and family can choose to make an online merchandise purchase or an online deposit to an inmate’s inmate trust fund account or both. The online merchandise purchase will be delivered to the inmate within five business days after TDCJ receives the purchase transaction details from Texas.gov. Please note that unit security or staffing issues can override this timeframe. The online deposit to an inmate’s inmate trust fund account will be transferred to the inmate’s inmate trust fund account on the second business day from the day of deposit. online purchases are subject to substitution, if the item is unavailable at the time of distribution.

The online purchase program is available for all eligible inmates. Commissary staff does NOT determine or control eligibility. An inmate may submit an I-60 for eCommDirect eligibility status and may choose to disclose this information to you. Friends and family may contact the TDCJ eCommDirect department at 936-437-4726 or e-mail ecommdirect@tdcj.texas.gov with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I place an eCommDirect order?
  2. Will I receive confirmation that the items purchased were delivered?
  3. How can I tell if my package has been delivered to the inmate?
  4. May a newly received inmate receive purchases?
  5. What criteria are used to determine eligibility to receive purchases?
  6. When I am shopping and hit the back button, why am I locked out of the system?
  7. Will the eCommDirect purchase amount affect what the inmate may spend in the commissary?
  8. I would like to send the inmate something, is the limit $70 per purchase or $70 per quarter?
  9. May I place an order over the phone?
  10. Will I be charged a fee for making a purchase or deposit?
  11. Why does the system time me out?
  12. Do I have to make a purchase and a deposit at the same time?
  13. If I have questions while making a deposit or purchase, who can I contact?
  14. Can I make a purchase using any online package program?
  15. How do I become an approved sender?
  16. Do I need to be on both the Approved Visitation List and the Approved Phone list to be an approved sender?
  17. Why is this item not available?
  18. Are the products that are shown on the website based on my Inmate’s commissary store alone?

1. How do I place an eCommDirect order?

  1. Answer: You can access the eCommDirect website to place your order. You must complete the following for each order:
  • Enter your First and Last Name. (This information must match the Approved Sender’s List.)
  • Enter the inmate's number and the inmate's last name;
  • Add items and/or deposits to shopping cart;
  • Checkout, paying with your Visa, Discover or MasterCard; and,
  • Print your confirmation receipt.

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2. Will I receive confirmation that the items purchased were delivered?

  1. Answer: No, we will deliver the items within five business days after TDCJ receives the order. Please note that unit security or staffing issues can override this timeframe.

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3. How can I tell if my package has been delivered to the inmate?

  1. Answer: The inmate will receive his/her items within five business days after TDCJ receives the order. Please note that unit security or staffing issues can override this timeframe.
  • You may contact the inmate to verify that they received their items, or
  • You may contact the TDCJ eCommDirect department at 936-437-4726 or email ecommdirect@tdcj.texas.gov after five business days.

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4. May a newly received inmate receive purchases?

  1. Answer: No, newly received inmates will not be eligible for purchases until the next calendar quarter.

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5. What criteria are used to determine eligibility to receive purchases?

  • The inmate's custody level (General Population and State Jail Levels 4 and 5, Administrative Segregation levels 2, 3 and transition, Death Row levels 2 and 3 and certain medical conditions are not eligible.)
  • The inmate must not be on commissary restriction. (Inmates on commissary restriction are not eligible.)
  • If the inmate is newly received, the inmate will not be eligible until the next calendar quarter after the inmate's entry. (For example, if the inmate entered the TDCJ on December 2nd, the inmate will be eligible for purchases beginning the next calendar quarter, which starts in January.)
  • Whether or not the inmate is housed at a location that has a TDCJ commissary located on the unit.
  • If a unit is on full or partial lockdown status, inmates are confined to their cells as a security measure to ensure ongoing safety and cannot receive purchases. In addition, the lockdown status must be officially lifted through administration before the unit is considered off lockdown status. The entire unit must be off lockdown before the official lift will begin and inmates can receive purchases.

NOTE: Only one purchase per inmate may be completed per day. (If a friend or family member has locked the inmate out of the system by not exiting the store website correctly, the account will reset on the next business day.)

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6. When I am shopping and hit the "Back" button, why am I locked out of the system?

  1. Answer: Due to security, the system will block you from returning to the website until the next day.

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7. Will the eCommDirect purchase amount affect what the inmate may spend in the commissary?

  1. Answer: No, the eCommDirect purchase is in addition to what the inmate can spend in the commissary.

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8. Is the limit $70 per purchase or $70 per quarter?

  1. Answer: The maximum spend for an eligible inmate is per quarter and is based on the following months:
  • January – March up to $70.00;
  • April – June up to $70.00;
  • July – September up to $70.00; and
  • October – December up to $95.00 (Holiday Spend)

Multiple purchases may be made for the inmate throughout the quarter but there will be a $3.75 fee assessed for each transaction.

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9. May I place an order over the phone?

  1. Answer: No, the order must be placed via the Internet.

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10. Will I be charged a fee for making a purchase or deposit?

  1. Answer: Yes, the fee to make a purchase is $3.75 and the fee to make a deposit is $2.50 plus 2.25% of the deposit. The fee to make a deposit and a purchase at the same time is $3.75 plus 2.25% of the deposit.

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11. Why does the system time me out?

    Answer: There is a 30 minute time limit on this website. Once you have been timed out of the store, you will not be able to go back in and make a purchase until the next business day.

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12. Do I have to make a purchase and a deposit at the same time?

  • Answer: No, you have three options:
    • make a purchase,
    • make a deposit, or
    • make a purchase and a deposit

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13. If I have questions while making a deposit or purchase, who can I contact?

  1. Answer: You may contact the TDCJ eCommDirect department at (936) 437-4726 or e-mail ecommdirect@tdcj.texas.gov.

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14. Can I make a purchase using any online package program?

  1. Answer: No. eCommDirect is the only acceptable package program for TDCJ inmates.

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15. How do I become an approved sender?

  1. Answer: Your inmate will need to add you to their Approved Visitation List, or you will need to contact Securus and register your phone to be placed on the Approved Phone List.

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16. Do I need to be on both the Approved Visitation List and the Approved Phone list to be an approved sender?

  1. Answer: No, you will only need to be on one of the lists to be considered an approved sender.

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17. Why is an item not available from the eCommDirect or unit commissary?

  1. Answer: Fluctuations in inventory can cause the top selling items to be unavailable at times, however this is not an indication of statewide product shortage. Product availability is monitored daily.

    *Items that are not available for purchase from eCommDirect include stamps, property, clothing, and medication items.

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18. Are products available on the eCommDirect website a reflection of my inmate’s unit commissary only?

  1. Answer: No, unit commissaries have over 700 items, where eCommDIrect has up to 100 top selling items depending on inventory levels. The products shown on the website are a portion of all TDCJ units inventory items within the State of Texas. If a certain number of unit commissaries are out of a product, those products will be removed from eCommDirect to reduce products substitution.

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