Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Catching Chain

Well it finally happened. My husband caught chain this morning. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, "catching chain" simply means he was transferred. My husband's cellmate's mother emailed me to let me know that he had caught chain at 3:00am this morning. What I don't know is whether he is on medical chain, for his neck, or whether he has been transferred to a trustee camp. If he has been transferred to a trustee camp, that means that I will have to wait another 90 days to receive a phone call from him. You see in order to be allowed the one 5 minute every 90 days call, an inmate needs to be on his unit of assignment for 90 days and case free and all that. Well this week would have been his second 90 days at his unit of assignment and he was due to call me in the next few days - a call I was so looking forward to but now, in all likelihood, I will have to wait another 3 months to get that 5 minute call. I don't know whether to be happy if it's medical chain because that at least means TDC hasn't forgotten about him or heartbroken that I may have to wait another 90 days before I can hear from him again. Ask any husband or wife of an inmate and they will tell you that all they really want to know is if their spouse is OK and all they really want to hear is I love you. For those of you lucky enough to have regular contact with your spouse or partner, please be thankful for every moment you have. Cherish the visits and phone calls even if the calls are only 15 minutes long. Tell your spouse you love them one more time and really and truly mean it. Let them see in your eyes and hear from your heart how much they mean to you because there are people, like me, who would give absolutely anything for that 15 minute call. I am sure there are some who would say 3 more months isn't so bad but, in all honesty, for me, it feels like a lifetime.


  1. Made me really sad to read this.

    Take good care.

    Helen Gerhardt
    PA Network Against Torture (we're working to end solitary confinement which sure is torture.)

  2. My man's gotta do this any minute now. We are in Texas, with a two year old that can see him weekly now. Why would they move him to another state before Christmas? Because the system isn't made for anything but failure. Thanks be to God somehow some of these men see light, in the darkness. I know my man is a light for others like him and for me as well. This is the only way I can look at it. Spread love. It's all you really got for sure.

  3. Catching chain is truly a stressful time for both your loved one and you. They never know when they are going. It's one of those "roll it up" you're moving out kind of things. The best way I found to deal with the uncertainty of catching chain is to constantly check the JPay site. It will tell you when he moves. You can see the unit change if he is gone. It usually takes about 2 days but sometimes chain can take longer than two days so you could very well know where he is before he is able to tell you. Unless you're husband's charges aren't from Texas that is the only reason they would transfer him to another state. Now, if he is in Texas, his original stop would have been at an intake unit. Gurney or something like that. He will only stay there for at most 6 months or so and then be moved to his regular unit somewhere in Texas. There really doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason as to where inmates go when they catch chain and having his family living close isn't even a consideration for TDCJ. It's tough. Believe me I know but you are a mother. You are a prison wife. Trust me!!! There are none stronger!!!

    Keep strong. Keep your head up.


  4. My son caught chain today.he only served til will be Dr at intake unit or what will happen since he only has few months

  5. I can only comment on what happens in Texas. If your son's outdate is September, he first goes to a medical unit for intake. He will spend some time there and when he catches chain that may be to his permanent unit until he is due to be released in September. It is possible, however, that he will be transferred to another unit before being released. There really is no rhyme or reason with transfers in TDCJ if that is where he is. Hopefully, whatever unit your son has caught chain to will be the only one he goes to until his released. Keep your head up and your heart strong!

  6. My husband caught chain about an hour ago. We're in TX. He is up for his first parole in December. I'm so confused. Where is he going? When will he be able to call? If he gets paroled does he come home right away. This is by far the hardest thing we've ever been through. Especially with the kids AND the God :(