Frequently Asked Questions
eCommDirect - inmate Commissary Purchases
**Effective September 1st, 2020**
Effective September 1st 2020, to purchase on eCommDirect or make a deposit for an inmate, you must be on the inmate’s Approved Visitor or inmate Telephone List.
The TDCJ Commissary and Trust Fund Department utilizes an online program where friends and family may make purchases for eligible inmates up to the maximum quarterly spend. Inmate spends are based on the following months:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I place an eCommDirect order?
- Will I receive confirmation that the items purchased were delivered?
- How can I tell if my package has been delivered to the inmate?
- May a newly received inmate receive purchases?
- What criteria are used to determine eligibility to receive purchases?
- When I am shopping and hit the back button, why am I locked out of the system?
- Will the eCommDirect purchase amount affect what the inmate may spend in the commissary?
- I would like to send the inmate something, is the limit $60 per purchase or $60 per quarter?
- May I place an order over the phone?
- Will I be charged a fee for making a purchase or deposit?
- Why does the system time me out?
- Do I have to make a purchase and a deposit at the same time?
- If I have questions while making a deposit or purchase, who can I contact?
- Can I make a purchase using any online package program?
1. How do I place an eCommDirect order?
- 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.
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?
- 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 email@example.com after five business days.
4. May a newly received inmate receive purchases?
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.)
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. Is the limit $60 per purchase or $60 per quarter?
- January – March up to $60.00;
- April – June up to $60.00;
- July – September up to $60.00; and
- October – December up to $85.00 (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.
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?
- 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.
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?