San Francisco Juvenile Hall

(A resource guide for parents whose children are detained at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall)

The San Francisco Juvenile Hall serves as a detention facility for minors (those under 18 years of age) who get arrested for criminal conduct in the city and county of San Francisco. (Minors reaching the age of 18 during the detention period will get transferred to the San Francisco jail for adults.)

With a maximum capacity of 132 minors, the San Francisco Juvenile Hall provides its incarcerated youth round the clock supervision under the mandate of the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Commission.

Below our San Francisco criminal defense lawyers will explain the following:

1. Intake procedures

2. How to contact a child detained at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall

3. Visiting procedures and visiting hours at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall

4. Rules and regulations on mail correspondence at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall

The Juvenile Hall is located at 375 Woodside Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127. Parking is available in the parking lot adjacent to the building or in the surrounding streets.

1. Intake procedure

If a child is arrested by the San Francisco Police Department, he or she will be held custody in the San Francisco Juvenile Hall. If your child is not released within 24 hours from the time of the arrest, your child will be detained at the facility until otherwise ordered by the court for commitment elsewhere. If your child is placed on probation, all provisions will be decided by the court and will be enforced the Probation Officer.

Detention of your child at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall depends of the severity of the criminal offense committed. Some children will only be required to pay a fine, perform community service or attend counseling sessions mandated by the San Francisco Probation Department. Others may be court ordered to be on probation for approximately 6 months at your own home or a relative of the child where rehabilitation will be more conducive.

Once admitted to the facility, each minor will undergo a comprehensive screening process. This involves physical inspection for possession of any illegal substances or weapons and medical examination to address injuries or other medical issues that are necessary. Upon completion of this procedure, they will be placed into their designated quarters for detention until ordered for release by the court.

All incarcerated youth at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall get provided with the basic necessities to maintain personal care and cleanliness. Each child is supplied on a consistent basis or as necessary while he or she is detained. He or she is not to share these items with other minors and the supplies are not recycled for use with other minors either as a standard procedure for hygiene purposes. All minors are expected to practice proper hygiene at all times. Guidelines on proper hygiene practice are strictly enforced by the facility.

When minors are transferred to a different detention facility due to a court order, their personal clothing will be worn (instead of clothing provided by the facility) and all personal belongings will accompany them to their new housing location. Once they are fully discharge from San Francisco Juvenile Hall, the same procedure applies. Parents will be notified of any change in status as a courtesy by the Probation Officer.

2. How to contact a child detained at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall

By law, any child who is arrested is given the opportunity to contact someone via telephone for notification of his or her location and status. These calls are restricted to immediate family members or the child's attorney. Once contact has been made and someone is properly notified, all subsequent phone calls will be "collect" and will require court approval or authorized by the Probation Officer.

To contact your child's Probation Officer, you may call (415) 753-7800 daily during normal business hours.

3. Visiting procedures and visiting hours at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall

Minors in custody at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall may receive visitors from

  • 4:30 pm till 5:15 pm from Tuesday through Thursday
  • Saturday: Odd Units 2 pm to 2:45 pm, Even Units 12:55 pm to 1:40 pm
  • Sunday: Odd Units 3:25 pm to 4:10 pm, Even Units 4:30 pm to 5:15 pm

Late night visitations are allowed on Monday through Thursday from 6:30 pm till 8:30 pm for those who are not able to visit during normal business hours. Each visit may not exceed half hour for all late night visitations.

Approval from the Director or Assistant Director of the Juvenile Hall as requested by the Probation Officer is required for late night visitations as well as a special written consent for other family members visiting a minor. Regular visitations are restricted to immediate family members such as parents, legal guardians, and grandparents.

Upon entering the facilities for purposes of visitation, you will be subject to search of your person and your belongings for identification and security reasons. For the security screening process, a metal detector is used in the facility. Government issued photo identification is required to be allowed entry and a visiting permit to conduct your visit. Visiting permits are arranged prior to arriving to the Facility with your child's Probation Officer.

Refusal of visitation privilege is upon the independent discretion of Juvenile Hall Supervisors if deemed necessary.

The following will be grounds for refusal of visitation privilege:

  • If a visitor appears to be intoxicated or under the influence of any illegal substance
  • Possession of alcohol, narcotics, or any illegal weapons
  • Behavior/Attitude is deemed to be a threat to the safety environment of the staff and the children in the facility

Visitors may bring snacks on "Saturday" visits only. Only grocery store food items in sealed packages are allowed to be brought to your child and these include the following: cookies, cheese, crackers, candies, chips and other varieties of these items. Soft drinks are allowed if they are packaged in plastic or cardboard containers. These snack items that are brought on Saturdays will also be consumed entirely during the visit.

The following items are not allowed to be brought to your child when visiting:

  • Cigarettes or any form of tobacco
  • Illegal drugs
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Any form of money
  • Food: Fruit, chewing gum, ice cream, milk shakes, soft drinks in cans or glass bottler, hot, cooked or any prepared food items
  • Comic books, magazines, with the exception of newspapers with the approval of the Senior Counselor or Juvenile Hall Supervisor

4. Rules and regulations on mail correspondence at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall

Since phone and visitation privileges are very limited, corresponding through mail with a minor detained at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall is an alternative way of communication. Minors are supplied with the basic necessities that allows them correspond with anyone as often as possible while detained at the facility. That being said, these items are not allowed to be sent in the mail to your child at any given time.

Consequently, all mail correspondence goes through a strict screening process for security purposes. Every single piece of mail is reviewed and scrutinized as a standard procedure. Privacy is limited to correspondence with your child's legal counsel only. All mail correspondence must have a proper return address at all times.

No writings or images may depict gang-related activities on the exterior of the mail correspondence.  Minors are not permitted to receive any form of subscription. No mail correspondence may contain any form of nudity, and images that depict sex, drugs or gang violence. Violation of these regulations will result in disposal and/or non-delivery of the items sent and possible "mail restriction status" of the child.

If your child is detained here or at the main San Francisco jail, we invite you to call us at (415) 333-0300 to speak with a criminal defense attorney.

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