ellen halbert unit

Ellen Halbert Unit

The Ellen Halbert Unit is a correctional facility located in Burnet, Texas, exclusively designed to house and rehabilitate female offenders. Established in 1984, the unit serves as a part of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and plays a significant role in the state’s criminal justice system. With a focus on rehabilitation, the Ellen Halbert Unit provides various programs and services to help incarcerated women reintegrate into society successfully. In this article, we will explore the history, facility, programs, staff, inmate life, challenges, success stories, and more related to the Ellen Halbert Unit.

Visiting Hours and Contact Information

For families and friends of inmates at the Ellen Halbert Unit, here is essential information for visitation:

  • Visiting Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 5 pm.
  • All visitors must be on the inmate’s approved visitation list before they can visit.
  • The nature of the visit (contact or non-contact) depends on your relationship to the inmate and the inmate’s internal classification.
  • Offenders are allowed one visit per weekend.

Contact Details

For any inquiries or concerns, you can reach out to the Ellen Halbert Unit through the following contact information:

  • Physical Address: Halbert Unit, 800 Ellen Halbert Drive, Burnet, TX 78611
  • Telephone: (512)-756-6171 (084)
  • Inmate Mailing Address: Inmate Name, ID Number, Halbert Unit, 800 Ellen Halbert Drive, Burnet, TX 78611

History of the Ellen Halbert Unit

Establishment and Purpose

The Ellen Halbert Unit was established with the aim of addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by female offenders in the Texas prison system. Named after Ellen Halbert, a former Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the facility aimed to provide a safe and supportive environment for women to undergo rehabilitation and prepare for their eventual reentry into society.

Key Milestones and Developments

Over the years, the Ellen Halbert Unit has witnessed several important milestones and developments. It has continuously evolved to enhance its programs and facilities. This includes the introduction of new educational and vocational training initiatives, expansion of mental health services, and implementation of evidence-based rehabilitation programs tailored to the specific needs of female inmates.

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Facility and Amenities

Location and Architecture

The Ellen Halbert Unit is situated in Burnet County, Texas, on a sprawling campus encompassing several acres of land. The facility’s design and architecture prioritize safety, functionality, and a sense of community. The campus includes various buildings and outdoor spaces that are utilized for different purposes, such as housing units, administrative offices, visitation areas, and recreational facilities.

Housing Units and Capacity

The unit consists of multiple housing units, each accommodating a specific number of inmates. These units are designed to promote a sense of belonging and provide a structured living environment. The capacity of the Ellen Halbert Unit allows for a significant number of incarcerated women to be housed, ensuring that they have access to the programs and services necessary for their rehabilitation.

Recreational and Educational Facilities

To support the holistic development of inmates, the Ellen Halbert Unit offers a range of recreational and educational facilities. The facility boasts well-equipped libraries, where inmates have access to a diverse collection of books, educational materials, and computer resources. These resources allow them to pursue educational opportunities and enhance their knowledge and skills. Additionally, the Ellen Halbert Unit provides recreational areas such as sports fields, gymnasiums, and outdoor spaces where inmates can engage in physical activities and team sports, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

Programs and Services

The Ellen Halbert Unit is committed to providing comprehensive programs and services that address the individual needs of its inmates. These programs are designed to foster personal growth, develop essential life skills, and reduce the likelihood of reoffending.

Rehabilitation and Treatment Programs

The facility offers various rehabilitation and treatment programs tailored to the specific needs of female offenders. These programs encompass substance abuse treatment, anger management, cognitive-behavioral therapy, vocational training, and life skills development. By addressing the root causes of criminal behavior and equipping inmates with the necessary tools for positive change, the Ellen Halbert Unit strives to facilitate successful reintegration into society.

Educational and Vocational Training

Recognizing the importance of education in breaking the cycle of crime, the Ellen Halbert Unit provides a range of educational opportunities. Inmates have access to GED preparation courses, adult basic education, and vocational training programs that focus on developing practical skills. These programs aim to enhance the employment prospects of incarcerated women upon their release, increasing their chances of leading productive lives.

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Mental Health and Medical Services

The facility prioritizes the mental health and well-being of its inmates. Mental health services, including counseling and therapy, are available to address the unique challenges faced by incarcerated women. The Ellen Halbert Unit also ensures access to medical care, including routine check-ups, screenings, and necessary treatments, to maintain the physical well-being of its inmates.

Staff and Security

The Ellen Halbert Unit is staffed by a dedicated team of professionals who are trained in corrections and rehabilitation. The staff members undergo rigorous selection processes and receive specialized training to effectively manage the needs of female offenders. Security is a top priority, and the facility implements stringent protocols and procedures to ensure the safety of both staff and inmates. Regular security assessments and measures, including surveillance systems and controlled access, are in place to maintain a secure environment.

Inmate Life and Activities

The daily routines and activities at the Ellen Halbert Unit are structured to promote personal growth, responsibility, and accountability. Inmates follow a set schedule that includes educational classes, vocational training sessions, work assignments, and recreational activities. These routines aim to instill discipline and provide a sense of purpose to the inmates. Work assignments, such as facility maintenance, kitchen duties, or vocational workshops, offer opportunities for skill development and contribute to the functioning of the unit.

In addition to educational and vocational activities, the Ellen Halbert Unit recognizes the importance of addressing the spiritual and religious needs of its inmates. The facility provides spaces for religious services, counseling, and pastoral support, allowing inmates to explore and practice their faith, fostering a sense of inner peace and personal growth.

Challenges and Controversies

Like any correctional facility, the Ellen Halbert Unit faces challenges and has been subject to controversies. Critics raise concerns about issues such as overcrowding, limited resources, and the efficacy of certain rehabilitation programs. However, the facility remains committed to addressing these challenges through ongoing evaluations, reforms, and collaborations with external organizations and experts.

Efforts are continuously made to improve conditions, expand programs, and implement evidence-based practices that maximize the chances of successful rehabilitation and reintegration.

Success Stories and Rehabilitation Outcomes

The Ellen Halbert Unit takes pride in the success stories of its inmates. Through the various programs and services offered, many women have successfully reintegrated into society and turned their lives around. These success stories serve as inspiring examples of the effectiveness of the facility’s rehabilitation efforts.

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Testimonials from former inmates highlight the transformative impact of the programs and services provided at the Ellen Halbert Unit. They speak of newfound self-confidence, improved life skills, and a renewed sense of purpose. Many former inmates have successfully secured employment, pursued higher education, and rebuilt relationships with their families and communities.

Reintegration into society is a complex process, and the Ellen Halbert Unit recognizes the importance of continued support after release. The facility collaborates with community organizations and offers post-release programs that provide guidance, counseling, and access to resources to facilitate a smooth transition back into society.


The Ellen Halbert Unit plays a crucial role in the rehabilitation and reintegration of female offenders in Texas. Through its comprehensive programs, dedicated staff, and emphasis on individualized care, the facility strives to empower incarcerated women to make positive changes in their lives. By addressing the underlying causes of criminal behavior and providing opportunities for personal growth and skill development, the Ellen Halbert Unit contributes to the goal of reducing recidivism and promoting public safety.

In a society that seeks effective solutions for the challenges posed by the criminal justice system, the Ellen Halbert Unit stands as an example of a facility that prioritizes rehabilitation, offers hope, and works towards transforming lives.


  1. What crimes are typically committed by inmates at the Ellen Halbert Unit? The inmates at the Ellen Halbert Unit have been convicted of a wide range of crimes, including but not limited to drug offenses, property crimes, and non-violent offenses.
  2. How is the mental health of the inmates addressed at the facility? The Ellen Halbert Unit provides mental health services, including counseling and therapy, to address the mental health needs of its inmates. Professionals are available to provide support and develop personalized treatment plans.
  3. Are there any specialized programs for pregnant inmates? Yes, the Ellen Halbert Unit offers specialized programs and services for pregnant inmates, ensuring their unique needs are addressed, including prenatal care, childbirth education, and parenting classes.
  4. Can family members visit the inmates at the Ellen Halbert Unit? Yes, family members are allowed to visit the inmates at the Ellen Halbert Unit. The facility has designated visitation areas and specific visiting hours to facilitate family connections.
  5. How does the Ellen Halbert Unit contribute to public safety? The Ellen Halbert Unit contributes to public safety by providing rehabilitation programs that aim to reduce recidivism. By addressing the root causes of criminal behavior and equipping inmates with the necessary skills, the facility helps prepare them for successful reintegration into society, thereby reducing the likelihood of future offenses.

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