Below are the most frequently asked questions about TeleStory. Once you have read the FAQ, please contact us to schedule your visit.
What you'll need to know before your first TeleVisit:
TeleStory is open to family members of individuals incarcerated within the NYC DOC. Children of incarcerated individuals are given priority.
TeleStory spaces vary, but can usually accommodate up to six people comfortably. If you would like to bring more people to your visit, ask the scheduler which branches are available to you.
All visitors 16 years or older are required to present valid picture identification at each visit.
TeleStory is available Monday-Friday after 3pm. Brooklyn Public Library closes at 6pm on early nights, and 8pm on late nights. The latest possible visit time is 6:30pm.
The DOC requires at least 48 hours to process our visit requests. We recommend that you book your visits at least a week in advance, since the program is in high demand.
Your televisit begins automatically at the time of your appointment and lasts for one hour. It’s necessary to arrive on time in order to get your full hour of visiting time. If you are running late or need to reschedule your visit, please call or text 718-916-9408 to let our scheduler know.
It depends on the facility your loved one is housed in. Some facilities can accommodate up to 3 visits a week, while others are busier and have fewer available visitation slots. We try to accommodate everyone who requests visitation time, so it’s typical for families to visit once or twice a week maximum.
Learn more about TeleStory in this video:
Where can I find resources for reentry?
Breaking Ground is a resource for permanent and transitional supportive housing. While living at one of Breaking Ground’s permanent or transitional residences, formerly homeless individuals are provided with benefits assistance, primary medical care, mental health care, substance-use referrals, employment assistance, and other referrals as needed.
Brooklyn Defender Services provides quality legal representation to arrested individuals who can’t afford to pay the fee for a private attorney. Each of the BDS’ clients receives an attorney, and investigator, and a social worker to assist with their case and improve their life circumstances while awaiting and throughout their trial.
College Initiative is an educational initiative that provides individuals who have been involved with the justice system with the guidance and assistance they need to succeed in college. College Initiative uses community outreach, academic counseling, and an acclaimed peer mentoring program to guide students through college and often onto secondary degree programs.
Center for Community Alternatives is one of the leading organizations in community-based alternatives to incarceration. CCA offers direct service to NYC, Syracuse, and Rochester, and aims to replace incarceration with community-based programs, and to adopt reintegration as the ultimate goal of sentencing.
Brooklyn Justice Initiatives offers supervised pretrial release with social workers or case workers as well as alternative sentencing options. The organization aims to avoid incarceration by using misdemeanor chargers as opportunities for learning and growth.
The Center for Economic Opportunities is a Mayoral office committed to reducing poverty and increasing equity in New York City. Its programs include Access NYC, which provides assistance with public benefits information, Growing-Up NYC, a one-stop platform for parents and caregivers to access services, programs, and events for their children, and MYC Living Wage & Prevailing Wage, which ensures workers in NYC are paid fair for their labor.
Center for Employment Opportunities helps adults with criminal convictions prepare for, enter, and stay committed to the workforce. The evidence-based program provides life-skills education, transitional job placements, and permanent job placement, with the aim of reducing recidivism and helping participants build careers.
College and Community Fellowship is a nonprofit dedicated to helping women who have been involved with the justice system earn their college degrees. CCF works closely with students throughout their college careers, providing academic support, professional counseling, social support services, technical assistance and scholarships.
CMO Network is a holistic reintegration program that works one-on-one with individuals returning home in addressing their personal challenges. It is a supportive community based in East New York, and offers programs in housing assistance, legal empowerment, and community-building projects as well as comprehensive social support.
Covenant House is a shelter and community for homeless youth that offers crisis care for immediate relief and long-term social and relational support to help youth thrive socially and professionally. Covenant House serves approximately 80,000 formerly incarcerated, homeless, or trafficked youth every year.
Drive Change offers returning youth aged 18-25 years a paid fellowship with which to learn how to succeed in food service in a close-knit, supportive environment. Drive Change uses ingredients from local farms and offers a seasonal menu, available through catering and the DC food truck.
Exodus is a supportive transitional community that provides groups and mentorship programs that assist individuals with the emotional and relational hardships of returning home after incarceration. Coaches work one-on-one with participants towards employment, educational, and financial goals.
An organization providing comprehensive social support upon individuals’ return to their communities. The Youth Reentry Network provides mentorship and supervision to young people incarcerated and formerly incarcerated on Rikers Island. Friends of Island Academy also offers similar community-based programs in specific neighborhoods.
Future Now at BCC is a free educational initiative that enables young people aged 16-24 who have been incarcerated or are out of school to earn their High School diplomas or High School Equivalency credentials, transition into college, and graduate with a degree. Through tutoring classes, college-prep, internship placement, vocational training placement, and a strong peer mentorship program, Future Now helps students to become self-sufficient and academically successful.
Getting Out and Staying Out seeks to reduce recidivism by empowering formerly incarcerated young men through education, career-building, and financial independence. GOSO works with young men 16-24 years old, and partners with community organizations, defenders, and courts to prevent involvement with the justice system.
Greenhope is reentry organization for women with histories of substance abuse that offers residential, day treatment, and outpatient services. It’s parole and reentry programs focus on helping women reunite with their families, treat addiction and mental health, and prevent re-involvement with the justice system.
Hour Children is a nonprofit organization based in Long Island City that provides comprehensive care for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their families. Their services include transitional and permanent supportive housing, job training and placement, case management and therapy, pre and post-release mentoring, mentoring for children with incarcerated parents, and a licensed daycare center and after school program for children of formerly incarcerated mothers.
The Immigrant Defense Project is legal organization that provides a wide array of resources for criminal defenders, immigrant lawyers, family court attorneys, and immigrant communities. These include support in detention litigation and defense, emergency preparedness workshops, ICE raid support and preparedness programs, Know Your Rights workshops, and other resources as needed. The IDP’s Padilla support center works to ensure that non-citizen defendants are granted their 6th amendment rights.
Immigration Services at the Brooklyn Public Library provides free or low-cost legal services, job and career help, citizenship preparation and cultural programs in multiple languages throughout the library system.
Just Leadership is an organization driving policy reform, with the goal to halve nation’s incarcerated population by 2013. The #FREEnewyork campaign works with people impacted by the criminal justice system and partner organizations to transform public policy and reform the criminal justice system.
The Lazarus Douglass Tubman Community is a community-based reentry initiative located in Downtown Brooklyn. It’s a program run by the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance, which builds community around and for residents affected by the Atlantic Yards project. LDTC offers inclusive programming for formerly incarcerated individuals and their families, including educational and cultural programs, voter registration education, substance abuse counseling, Rap sheet workshops, housing assistance, and referrals to outside agencies.
The Legal Aid Center’s Criminal Justice Project promotes reintegration and reduces recidivism through direct legal services upon release. Its services include RAP sheet help, certificates of Relief from Disabilities or Good Conduct, correcting mistakes on background checks, fighting denials of job or occupational licenses, fighting denials of public housing, fighting discrimination in voting, higher education, or guardianship, and collecting evidence of rehabilitation.
The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Justice Practice represents people impacted by the criminal justice system who can’t afford to pay a private attorney. Its 16 programs provide comprehensive legal assistance and make it the largest public defender program in the United States.
Network in the Community is an intensive therapeutic reintegration program that uses cognitive behavioral therapy, substance-use prevention, employment coaching, and other methods of behavioral intervention to help participants build and sustain constructive lifestyles, with the aim of reducing recidivism and creating lasting networks of support in participants’ communities.
Project Liberation is a personal development platform for women involved in the criminal justice system. It uses a holistic approach to reintegration and empowerment by offering workshops, yoga and meditation, and other therapeutic interventions within a supportive community.
Red Hook Community Justice Center is an innovative courtroom in Red Hook, Brooklyn in which a single judge hears Civil, Family, and Criminal cases. Charged individuals are directed towards community restitution projects, short or long-term mental health treatment, and other supportive or psychoeducational programs.
A local organization focused on mitigating gun violence in Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The Crown Heights Mediation Center also offers supportive youth programs, referrals, and mental health resources.
The Urban Justice Center is a social advocacy organization that works to empower New Yorkers through twelve distinct advocacy projects. These include the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, the Corrections Accountability Project, Community Development Project, Veteran Advocacy Project, and the Sex Workers Project. UJC Offers direct legal service, as well as community education and opportunities for political organizing.
The Women’s Prison Association provides women involved with the criminal justice system at any stage with the support needed to find housing, find and prepare for employment, reunite with their children, access substance-use and mental health treatment, and learn practical budgeting skills. All services take place within a supportive community of women impacted by the justice system.