The Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility

A resource guide providing inmate, bail and visiting information for the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility in Oakland, California


Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility

The Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility -- commonly referred to as the Glenn Dyer Jail ("GDJ") -- can house up to 834 male inmates at a time.  Individuals who are arrested in Alameda County are either taken here or to the larger Santa Rita Jail, depending on

  1. the gender of the arrestee (women are exclusively taken to Santa Rita),
  2. which facility is closer to the arrest location (if the arrestee is a male),
  3. the arrestee's medical needs (severe medical needs are handled at Santa Rita), and
  4. whether the GDJ is at capacity.

Operated by the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, the Glenn Dyer Jail

  1. temporarily houses arrestees until they

    • post bail,
    • are released on their own recognizance (known as an O.R. release), or
    • appear for their arraignment, and
  2. houses convicted defendants who have been sentenced to incarceration.

In this article, our Oakland criminal defense attorneys1 will explain the following:

1. Procedures on How to Post Bail for an Inmate at the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility

1.1. Cash bail

1.2. Cashier's checks

1.3. Bail bonds

2. How to Get Inmate Information
3. How to Contact an Inmate at the Glenn Dyer Jail
4. Visiting Hours and Policies

4.1. Rules and restrictions

5. Rules and Regulations Regarding Mail Correspondence at the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility
6. How to Put "Money on the Books"
7. Inmate Services
8. The Procedures on "Return of Property" for the Glenn Dyer Jail

8.1. Picking up property

8.2. Dropping off property

9. Sheriff's Work Alternative Program (SWAP)

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

1. Procedures on How to Post Bail for an Inmate at the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility

After an inmate has been booked into the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility, his bail is set by the Alameda County Bail Schedule and is determined based on the crime(s) for which he was arrested.

"Bail" is the amount of money that a defendant (or typically someone on his behalf) must pay in order to be released from jail.  It is intended to assure the arresting agency and court that the defendant will appear in court as expected.

If the defendant attends all of his court appearances, the bail will be returned at the end of the case.  If the defendant does not attend all of his court appearances, he forfeits that money to the court.

The Glenn Dyer Jail accepts three types of bail:  cash bail, cashier's checks and bail bonds (all of which are discussed in detail in our article on How to Post Bail in California).  And if you choose to post bail for an inmate, you may do so directly at the Jail lobby 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

1.1. Cash bail

When you pay or "post" cash bail, you pay the full bail amount.  Once you post cash bail, the inmate is released pending his arraignment.  If the inmate attends his court appearances, the bail will be returned following the conclusion of the criminal case (minus a small administrative fee).  If the inmate does not attend those appearances, he forfeits your money to the court.

1.2. Cashier's checks

Similar to cash bail, if you opt to use a cashier's check, you must post the entire bail amount.  The Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility only accepts certified bank-drawn cashier's checks that are payable to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. Cashier's checks should list the booking number, personal file number and full legal name of the inmate.

And because the funds must be verified before the jail will release an inmate, the inmate's release may take a while.

1.3. Bail bonds

Bail bonds are the most common way to post bail, as they only require you to pay a nonrefundable maximum of 10% of the total bond.  You obtain a bail bond from a bail bondsman (aka a bail agent).  If the defendant makes all of his court appearances, you pay nothing on top of the 10%, but you do not get that 10% back -- it is the bondsman's nonrefundable fee.  If the inmate doesn't make those appearances, you will be liable for repaying the entire bail amount to the agent.

Local bail bondsmen advertise via the Internet and in the phone book.  Make sure you verify the bondsman's license and retain copies of any documents for your records.

∗NOTE:  After you post bail, you should immediately consult with one of our Oakland criminal defense attorneys.  Our experienced local lawyers can even help you schedule a bail hearing to potentially reduce or even waive the inmate's bail.

2. How to Get Inmate Information

If you wish to obtain information on an inmate incarcerated at the Glenn Dyer Jail, you may call the Jail directly at (510) 268-7777, or you may visit the Alameda County Sheriff's Department inmate information website.

You must provide the inmate's full name and date of birth before a deputy will give you information about a specific inmate.

Typically, inmates who are being held in custody must be arraigned within two (2) days of being arrested.  At that point, the judge will either continue the arraignment or will set the case for a pre-trial hearing.  If you wish to look up the case information for an inmate or defendant being housed at the GDJ, visit the Alameda County case information website.

3. How to Contact an Inmate at the Glenn Dyer Jail

Inmates at the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility are allowed to make one free outgoing phone call at the time of booking.  Beyond that, all outgoing calls must be collect or made with a prepaid calling card.  Inmates are not allowed to receive incoming calls.

If you wish to purchase a prepaid calling card for an inmate, you should deposit money into his account (discussed below under Section 6. How to Put "Money on the Books" so that he may purchase one at the Jail's commissary).

If you have a loved one in the GDJ, you may want to contact your local telephone carrier to make sure that collect and calling card calls are not blocked on your telephone plan.

The good news is that contact with inmates at the Jail is not limited to phone calls.  You can also visit an inmate in person or correspond via mail.  These options are discussed in the next two sections.

4. Visiting Hours and Policies

The Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility is located at

550 Sixth Street
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 268-7777

Inmates at the GDJ are permitted to have two 30-minute visits each day with a maximum of two (2) visits per week.  Up to eight (8) persons may participate in each visit.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who must also bring a notarized copy of the child's birth certificate.

Visiting hours at the Glenn Dyer Jail are held Thursday through Sunday.  The exact days and times vary, depending on the unit in which the inmate is housed.  This means that prior to planning a visit, you should either call the Jail directly at (510) 268-7777, or review the visiting hours on the Jail's website.

Once your visit is over, you may visit another inmate by seeking another visiting pass in the Jail lobby.

Attorneys and members of the clergy are not bound by these visiting hours and may visit inmates 7 days a week between 8:00am and 3:00pm and between 5:00pm and 10:00pm.

4.1. Rules and restrictions

All visitors must present a valid government issued photo I.D. card, such as

  • a California driver's license,
  • a California identification card,
  • a U.S. Passport,
  • an alien registration card, or
  • a U.S. military card.

All visitors are subject to a search of their person and property.  And any visitor who

  1. has been detained in an Alameda County Jail within the last six (6) months, or
  2. was convicted of a felony and served time in the California state prison

will only be allowed to visit an inmate with prior approval from the GDJ's Commanding Officer.

Visitors are not permitted to bring anything to the inmates.  In addition, visitors are not allowed to bring/wear any of the following into the facility:

  • revealing, sexually provocative clothing or clothing with images or writing that relate to sex, drugs, violence or gangs,
  • food or drinks,
  • alcohol, drugs or any other illegal substances,
  • illegal weapons or other objects that can be used to cause injury to another person,
  • purses, briefcases, wallets, keys, cameras, cell phones, pagers, tape recorders, baby strollers/carriers, etc.

Visitors who

  • eat, drink or smoke on the premises,
  • are intoxicated or under the influence of any controlled substance,
  • loiter in the facility,
  • leave children unattended,
  • attempt to have physical contact or exchange any items with an inmate, and/or
  • engage in loud conversations, boisterous laughter or any disruptive behavior

will be evicted from the premises and.depending on the exact violation.could even be arrested on the spot.  And the staff at the GDJ reserves the right to deny entry to anyone who it believes poses a safety threat to the staff or inmates at the Facility.

5. Rules and Regulations Regarding Mail Correspondence at the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility

If you wish to send mail to an inmate at the Glenn Dyer Jail, send it to

The Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility
[Inmate's name, booking number and personal file number]
550 Sixth Street
Oakland, CA 94607

Be sure to include a return address on the outside of the envelope.  If you fail to do so, your mail will not be delivered to the inmate.  And any sexually explicit drawings on the envelope will cause the mail to be returned to the sender.  Similarly, any mail larger than 8 �" x 14" will also be returned to sender.

Mail is distributed to inmates Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Paperback books, newspapers and magazines are the only packages that inmates may receive.and that is only if they are mailed directly from the publishing company.  No more than 4 of these items may be received at any given time.

The Jail staff will open and inspect all general mail outside the presence of the inmate.  If the inmate doesn't consent to this process, mail will simply be returned, marked "refused".  Legal mail will be opened in the presence of the inmate.

The only type of mail that will be given to inmates are photos (not Polaroid photos) and letters - any stamps, paperclips, stickers, glue, etc. will not be accepted.

If you wish to mail an inmate money for his account (discussed below in the next section), the Glenn E. Dyer Jail only accepts money orders made payable to

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office
c/o Inmate's name and personal file number

6. How to Put "Money on the Books"

Inmates at the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility are allowed to have access to money to make purchases at the Jail's commissary.  Such purchases may include snacks, drinks, medicine, cosmetics and hygiene items.

If you wish to deposit money into an inmate's account.a process known as putting money "on the books".you may deposit either cash or a money order for the exact amount you wish to deposit.  The GDJ will not provide change, nor will it accept any other form of payment.  Anyone making a personal deposit will be required to provide identification and must know the inmate's name and personal file number.

If you want to deposit cash, you must do so in person.  Money orders may be delivered in person or via mail.  Although the Jail is available to take your deposit 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, the staff requests that you make money deposits during the Jail's normal lobby hours of 8:00am to 6:30pm.

If you are mailing a money order, make it payable to

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office
c/o Inmate's name and personal file number.

And make sure you comply with the other rules regarding mail correspondence discussed above under Section 5. Rules and Regulations Regarding Mail Correspondence at the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility.

Inmates who were incarcerated in this facility within the last six months may not deposit money into another inmate's account.

7. Inmate Services

The Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility is proud of the wide variety of services that it offers to its inmates.

Examples of some of these services include:

  • residential substance abuse treatment for men and women (intensive personal treatment programs, as well as narcotics anonymous "N.A." and alcoholics anonymous "A.A."),
  • educational services (such as testing to help inmates obtain their high school equivalency diplomas "GED" and computer training),
  • counseling services (such as anger management and parenting classes),
  • religious services and counseling,
  • a recreational yard for activities such as handball, basketball and volleyball,
  • music programs and motivational speakers,
  • a library that includes free access to current magazines, newspapers and books, and
  • television privileges with 26 channels to choose from.
8. The Procedures on "Return of Property" for the Glenn Dyer Jail

When an inmate is booked into the GDJ, his belongings are collected and stored.  This property is returned to the inmate once he is released.  Alternatively, an inmate can fill out a property release form designating another person to claim that property.

8.1. Picking up property

If you have been asked by an inmate to pick up his property, you must bring a valid photo I.D.  You should also call (510) 268-7777 ahead of time to make sure the property is ready for you to pick up.  Once an inmate requests a release of property, it can take up to seven (7) days for the request to get processed.

If the inmate had a car impounded at the time of his arrest, and you are trying to have that car released, you must contact the arresting agency to determine (1) if and when the vehicle may be released, and (2) what documentation you will need to secure that release.

8.2. Dropping off property

If you are dropping off courtroom clothing for an inmate, you may do so at the Jail lobby within 72 hours of a

You may drop off a maximum of 2 sets of clothing, and it must be exchanged on a one-for-one basis with any clothing the inmate already has stored in the property department.

If you wish to drop off property such as prescription glasses, contact lens solution or dentures, you may bring them to the Jail lobby in a sealed package.  However, the GDJ provides all medications through Prison Health Services, so some items may not be accepted from visitors.  The staff at Glenn E. Dyer recommends that before you drop off property, you first coordinate with Prison Health Services at (510) 268-7758.

9. Sheriff's Work Alternative Program (SWAP)

In lieu of a jail sentence, certain defendants may be eligible to participate in the Alameda Sheriff's Work Alternative Program (SWAP).  This program is available to those defendants who

  1. qualify as a "low-risk" offender (based on the crime for which the defendant was convicted and on his criminal history),
  2. were referred by the sentencing judge, and
  3. were sentenced to less than 30 days in jail.

SWAP allows qualifying defendants to work 8-10 hours a day in lieu of one day of confinement.  There is a nonrefundable fee of $65 to apply to this program.  There is also an additional fee of $12 per day that you participate in this program.

This is simply one reason why it is critical for a defendant to consult with an experienced local criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest.  An attorney who is knowledgeable with respect to the alternative sentencing programs that are offered by local law enforcement agencies is the key to securing this type of sentence.and to avoiding incarceration.

Call us for help.
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If you or loved one is charged with a crime and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. 


1Our Oakland criminal defense attorneys' offices are located at 2010  Crow Canyon Place, Suite  100, San  Ramon, CA 94583.  Our telephone number is (510) 347-1500.  Our San Francisco Bay area lawyers also have local law offices in San Francisco and San Jose and service the entire Northern California region which includes (but is not limited to) Santa Clara, Contra Costra and Alameda.

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