TRULINCS (also known as CorrLinks) is according to BOP: “The Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TRULINCS) is a new program currently being deployed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to provide inmates with some limited computer access, to include the capability to send and receive electronic messages without having access to the Internet. This program is designed in part to assist in the inmate’s eventual release to the community. Electronic messaging has now become a standard form of communication within most American homes and businesses, and it can now be used to help inmates stay connected to their families. Strengthening or re-establishing family ties helps inmates improve the likelihood of a successful re-entry into the community, thus reducing the potential for recidivism.”
Now, this isn’t the email most people think of. The email sent from the family goes to a “server” to be monitored by BOP. From there it goes to the inmate on a computer. Because of this, it could take up to two hours for the inmate to receive the email and as much as two hours for his/her family to receive a reply. So you would have to allow four hours turn around time.
Below are the forms the inmate needs to sign up for TRULINCS in the beginning. Keep in mind, it cost $0.05 per minute for the inmate to use this service, unless he uses the free services, like the Bulletin Board (where BOP put memo and other info, some of which you’ll see here) or the Law Library. At Herlong, there where two rooms with computers: the main inmate computer room, and the law library. The Law Library had two computers which allow inmates to use only the free services for up to two hours at a time. If an inmate logged off, he would have to wait 15 minutes to log back in. However, in the Law Library, inmates had no access to the Public Messaging (email family and friends). In the inmate computer room, the inmate had access to everything except the Law Library functions. At the time I was there (May 2011 – May 2012) “Music”, “Request to Staff,” and “Surveys” were not accessible in either room.
Below are pics from the “Bulletin Board” option of TRULINCS, which is how an inmate might see it at Herlong FPC. To see how TRULINCS looks from the Inmate’s family computer, click here: Corrlinks.