The Southwest Detention Center Murrieta, CA

∗A resource guide providing inmate, bail and visiting information for the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, California

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Southwest Detention Center

When men are arrested in Riverside County, they will be taken to the Indio Jail, the Blythe Jail, the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Larry D. Smith "Banning" Jail, or the Southwest Detention Center, depending on which facility is closest to the arrest location. Women are taken to Robert Presley or Larry D. Smith.

The Southwest Detention Center was established in 1992 but didn't open its doors to accommodate inmates until 1993. Located in an area known as the French Valley, it sits in the southwest portion of Riverside County, adjacent to the cities of Temecula and Murrieta.

And because the Jail is right next door to the Southwest Sheriff's Station / Temecula Police Department, both complexes together are known as the Southwest County Justice Center.

The Southwest Detention Center

  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 Riverside County criminal defense attorneys1 will explain the following:

1. Procedures on How to Post Bail for an Inmate at the Southwest Detention Center

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 Riverside County Southwest Detention Center
4. The Southwest Detention Center's Visiting Hours and Policies

4.1. Rules and restrictions

5. Rules and Regulations Regarding
Mail Correspondence

5.1. Prohibited items

6. How to Put "Money on the Books" at the Southwest Detention Center
7. Inmate Services
8. The Procedures on "Return of Property" at the Southwest Detention Center
9. Work Release in Riverside County

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

You may also find helpful information in our related articles on California's Arraignment Process; How to Post Bail; Bail Hearings; The Riverside County Bail Schedule; Pretrial Hearings; Warrants; The Indio Jail; The Robert Presley Detention Center; The Larry D. Smith "Banning" Jail; and Case Information.

1. Procedures on How to Post Bail for an Inmate at the Southwest Detention Center

After an inmate has been booked into the Southwest Detention Center, his bail will be set by the Riverside County Bail Schedule and is determined based on the crime(s) for which he was arrested.

"Bail" refers to 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 you pay (or "post") bail...and the defendant attends all court appearances...the bail will be returned to you at the end of the case. If, however, the defendant does not attend all of his court appearances, he forfeits that money to the court.

The Riverside County Southwest Detention Center 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 in the Jail lobby seven (7) days a week from 7:00am to 10:30pm.

1.1. Cash bail

If you elect to pay cash bail, you must pay the entire bail amount. If you do, the inmate will be released pending his arraignment.

If the inmate attends all of his court appearances, the bail will be returned at the conclusion of the criminal case (minus a small administrative fee). However, if the inmate does not attend all of those appearances, he forfeits that money to the court.

1.2. Cashier's checks

Cashier's checks are a type of cash bail. This means that if you choose to post a cashier's check, you must also post the entire bail amount. Checks do not need to be from California, but must be bank-drawn cashier's checks made payable to the Riverside Superior Court. Cashier's checks must list the booking number and full legal name of the inmate.

The inmate's release could take a while to secure with a cashier's check, since the Southwest Detention Center will not release an inmate until it can verify the funds. This means that if you post a cashier's check after banking hours or on the weekend, the inmate may still have to wait quite some time before being released.

To ensure that the inmate is released the same day, you should post a cashier's check by 4:00pm in order to allow the Jail to verify the funds before the close of business.

1.3. Bail bonds

Because most people don't have the cash to post full bail, bail bonds are the most common way to bail someone out of jail. When you use a bail bond, you are only required to pay a nonrefundable maximum of 10% of the total bond...that is, assuming that the inmate attends all of his court appearances.

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 experienced Riverside criminal defense attorneys who can help you schedule a bail hearing to hopefully 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 Southwest Detention Center, you may call the facility directly at (951) 696-3050 or you may visit the Riverside County Sheriff's Department's 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.

You may also want case information about an 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 case information or upcoming court dates for an inmate or defendant being housed at the Southwest Detention Center, visit the Riverside County case information website.

3. How to Contact an Inmate at the Riverside County Southwest Detention Center

When an inmate is booked into the Southwest Detention Center, he is permitted to make one free outgoing phone call. After that, he is only allowed to place outgoing calls that are either collect or paid with a prepaid calling card. Inmates are not allowed to receive incoming calls.

If you would like to send an inmate a prepaid calling card, you may send the inmate money in accordance with the policies set forth under Section 6. How to Put Money "On the Books" so that he can purchase a card at the Jail's commissary.

When you have a loved one at the Detention Center, 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.

Fortunately, the telephone isn't the only way to contact an inmate at the facility. You can also visit an inmate in person or correspond via mail. Both of these options are discussed in the next two sections.

4. The Southwest Detention Center's Visiting Hours and Policies

The Riverside County Southwest Detention Center is located at

30755-B Auld Road
Murrieta, CA 92563
(951) 696-3050

Inmates at the Southwest Detention Center are allowed to have two (2) visits per week. Both visits can be on the same day, as long as one is in the morning and one is in the evening. Visits are limited to approximately 45 minutes in length.

All visits must be scheduled ahead of time. If you are planning on visiting an inmate, you must arrange the visit 24 hours in advance by calling (951) 696-3470 from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

The Southwest Detention Center is open to visitors from 8:00am to 10:00pm seven (7) days a week. However, each unit within the Jail has its own visiting hours, which means you should call (951) 696-3050 or review the Jail's visiting hours website before scheduling a visit. Check-in begins 30 minutes before the visit start time and ends 10 minutes before the visit start time.

Each visit may be with a maximum of two (2) adults and two (2) children. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Attorneys and members of the clergy are not bound by these visiting hours. Attorneys are permitted to visit during regular business hours and clergy visits are arranged within the Jail's chaplain's office.

4.1. Rules and restrictions

All visitors of the Riverside County Southwest Detention Center 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.

The only items visitors may bring into the visiting area include a set of car keys and a baby bottle (when an infant is brought into the facility).

Visitors are not permitted to bring anything to the inmates. Additionally, visitors are prohibited from bringing

  • firearms or any other type of object that could be used to injure another person,
  • alcohol or illegal substances,
  • cameras,
  • food,
  • drinks, or
  • cigarettes

into the visiting area. Inherently illegal items will be seized, and the owner will be subject to arrest. Prohibited items will be confiscated.

Similarly, anyone who commits a criminal act while at the facility will be subject to arrest and prosecution. And all visitors are subject to a search and warrant check prior to entering the Jail.

In addition, anyone who doesn't conform to the Southwest Detention Center's dress code will be denied entrance. This means that anyone whose clothing exhibits any

  • gang-related images,
  • sexually suggestive images, or
  • pictures or writing that may be offensive to another person,

or anyone who is dressed too provocatively will not be able to visit an inmate. The bottom line is that the staff at the Riverside County Jail reserves the right to deny entry to anyone they believe may pose a security threat to the staff or the inmates.

5. Rules and Regulations Regarding
Mail Correspondence

Inmates at the Southwest Detention Center are permitted to send and receive an unlimited number of letters each day. If you wish to send mail to an inmate housed at this facility, send it to

[Inmate's name and booking number]
Southwest Detention Center
30755-B Auld Road
Murrieta, CA 92563

Be sure to include a return address because, if you do not, your mail will not be delivered. Similarly, any mail that is stained or dirty will be returned to sender as contaminated.

All mail will be inspected to make sure that it does not contain

  • any contraband (inherently illegal or prohibited items, described below),
  • escape plans,
  • criminal conspiracies, or
  • any other type of threat or compromise to the security of the Jail, staff or inmates.

5.1. Prohibited items

Mail that contains any of the following will not be delivered to the inmates at the Riverside County Southwest Detention Center:

  • more than 10 photographs at a time,
  • photos that contain nudity, sexual undertones, violence or gang-related images,
  • mail written in gel-type ink, crayon, lipstick, or containing glue or "white-out" correction fluid,
  • odor-causing substances like cologne or perfume,
  • instant photos, stickers, labels or stamps of any kind,
  • pens, plastic, glitter, tape, stationary, envelopes, "post-its", craft materials, ribbon, parchment paper, black paper, staples or paperclips,
  • "care" packages, flowers, candy,
  • phone cards, greeting cards or postcards, or
  • cash or personal checks (although U.S. Postal Service money orders are okay),
  • hardback or leather-bound books, or
  • any paperback books that are not mailed directly from the publisher or from a verifiable and reputable Internet/mail order company or bookstore and that are delivered in any manner other than via the U.S. Postal Service.

If you wish to send an inmate a newspaper...and it is not delivered directly from the publisher by mail...it must be delivered to the Jail by an employee of the publisher, clearly marked with the inmate's name.

6. How to Put "Money on the Books" at the Southwest Detention Center

Inmates at the Riverside County Southwest Detention Center are allowed to have in-house money accounts to make purchases at the Jail's commissary. Such purchases may include snacks, drinks, cosmetics or hygiene items and writing materials.

Whatever money is in the inmate's possession at the time of booking will be placed into his account (as long as it was not stored as evidence relating to the arrest). And in addition to this money, anyone else may deposit money into an inmate's account in one of two ways.

If you wish to deposit money in person, you may do so in the Jail lobby seven (7) days a week from 7:00am - 4:00pm and from 6:15pm - 9:00pm. The Detention Center accepts cash or a U.S. Postal Service money order for the exact amount you wish to deposit. The Jail will not provide change.

If you wish to mail money, the only method of payment that will be accepted is a U.S. Postal Service money order that includes the inmate's name and booking number.

Any other form of payment will be returned to the sender.

7. Inmate Services

The Riverside County Southwest Detention Center offers a number of inmate services which are typically used by convicted defendants who have been sentenced to serve their jail time at this facility (as opposed to the new arrestees awaiting bail or arraignment).

Some of these services include:

  • psychological counseling services,
  • work opportunities for inmates who have demonstrated good behavior (such as working in the kitchen),
  • religious counseling and services run by a variety of religious chaplains,
  • recreational facilities,
  • a library, and
  • a commissary.

Although the facility offers some drug / alcohol counseling, defendants who are in need of severe drug treatment programs are typically transferred to the Larry D. Smith "Banning" Jail.

8. The Procedures on "Return of Property" at the Southwest Detention Center

When an inmate is booked into the Southwest Detention Center, his belongings are collected and stored. This property is returned to the inmate once he is released. Alternatively, an inmate can designate another person to claim that property (with the exception of clothing and money) by filling out a property release form. Clothing and money will remain in storage until the inmate is released from the Jail.

That said, there is an exception where money is concerned. An inmate may designate someone to withdraw money from his account within 24 hours of booking. But after the 24-hour period expires, that money will only be released

  1. when the inmate is released, or
  2. pursuant to a court order.

Anyone picking up property must bring valid identification (listed above under Section 4. Visiting Hours and Policies). This does not need to be arranged ahead of time and can be done at the time of the visit.

If you wish to drop off court clothing or prescription medication or wish to have an inmate sign checks or other legal documents, contact the Riverside County Southwest Detention Center directly at (951) 696-3050 Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 4:00pm to make the appropriate arrangements. Once you arrive, check in at the Jail's lobby for assistance.

9. Work Release in Riverside County

If you are sentenced to serve time at the Riverside County Southwest Detention Center, your skilled Riverside criminal defense attorney may be able to convince the judge to allow you to participate in a work release program instead.

Non-violent, low-risk offenders who are eligible to participate in this program work between two (2) and five (5) days a week at an assigned job site where they perform eight (8) to ten (10) hours of labor a day in lieu of one (1) day of jail time.

For more information about Riverside County work release, you can contact the department directly at (951) 922-7330.

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1Our Riverside criminal defense attorneys' offices are located at 4480 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92501. Our telephone number is (951) 734-1600. We also have local offices in Hemet, Palm Springs, Rancho Cucamonga and San Bernardino. And our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers have local law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier.

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