What do I need to know?

We’ve done all the homework necessary to get you to and from prison so you won’t have to waste time online. Also included here is all the information you’ll need about the event—like what you can’t bring in to prison, the schedule and so on.

When is Graduation?

Friday, January 24, 2019

Family check-in starts at 12:30p; all cars need to be in the lot by 1:30p. Please eat lunch before you arrive. With so many family members to check-in, please arrive on the early side! The ceremony itself should start by 2p and last approximately 90 minutes. Afterwards you may enjoy a simple meal together and visit until around 5p. This does not count against regular visitation.

Where is it?

Sanders “Sandy” Estes Unit 1100 Hwy 1807 Venus, TX 76084 (972) 366-3334 (**670)

Sanders Estes Unit

Lodging Recommendations

We recommend staying at the Alvarado’s Comfort Inn & Suites 400 Village Park Drive Alvarado, TX 76009 (817) 783-2900 When you call, please ask for the PEP Family Rate – you can also mention you are there to attend a graduation. Questions? Let us know at the bottom of this page.

Directions From:


What is the dress code?

The dress code for the event is business professional. Men can wear either a full suit or a sports coat and slacks (tie is optional), and women should dress conservatively in nice pants, a blouse that covers what it needs to, and a blazer/jacket. Long skirts or dresses that are at least mid-calf are permitted. No sleeveless tops or anything sheer is allowed. Any form of clothing where knees are showing when seated is prohibited.

Where do I park?

When you arrive at the Estes Unit, park anywhere in the parking lot, except in the reserved spaces. Lock your car—unlocked vehicles on TDCJ property will be towed. Come in the front door and tell the receptionist you are a family member here for the PEP Graduation.

What can I bring?


– Car keys – Driver’s license, state ID or passport. (Please bring the same ID you used to RSVP.)

Do Not Bring

– Cell phone, PDA or pagers (This is a felony in Texas!)
– Wallet, purse or briefcase
– Cash, coins or stamps
– Business cards
– Firearms or weapons – those with a license to carry must ensure unloaded firearm is double-locked inside vehicle
– Tobacco products
– Camera
– Medication – if you need to take medication during your visit, please notify us so we can make appropriate arrangements
– Anything else not pre-approved by PEP staff

What is my role?

You are here to celebrate this remarkable achievement in the life of your loved one. For five long months, they have labored towards this goal — and they are here at last! You are also here to cheer on their classmates (or PEP “brothers”). These men have formed a unique bond while in prison, and they have each carried one another through the immense challenges presented by both life in prison and the experience of our Business Plan Competition. Please share in the joy of our community, and applaud everyone’s accomplishment. Sadly, there will be some men whose families could not – or would not – join them for this special day. While you are obviously here for your loved one, take time to meet his brothers in the program and learn about all that they have experienced together.

Please contact us if you have any questions/concerns

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