The West Valley Detention Center Jail
San Bernardino County Jail in Rancho Cucamonga

∗A resource guide providing inmate, bail and visiting information for the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino, California

West-valley-jail

The West Valley Detention Center Jail

The West Valley Detention Center...also known as the San Bernardino County Jail in Rancho Cucamonga...is one of the largest county jails in California.  Holding as many as 3,347 inmates, this jail primarily houses medium to maximum security inmates awaiting their trials.  West Valley also houses some convicted defendants as well, who are awaiting transfers to other facilities.

This highly technical facility even allows inmates to make certain court appearances via video so that they do not have to leave the jail.  For example, arraignments...that is, the first court appearance following the arrest...are conducted via video for the San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Chino, Victorville and Barstow courts.

Located approximately one mile in between the 10 and 15 freeways, the West Valley Detention Center is at

9500 Etiwanda Avenue
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
(909) 350-2476

Free parking is available in the visitor's center parking lot.

In this article, our San Bernardino County criminal defense attorneys1 will explain the following:

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

1.1. Cash bail

1.2. Cashier's checks

1.3. Property bonds

1.4. Bail bonds

2. How to Get Inmate Information
3. How to Contact an Inmate at the West Valley Detention Center
4. The San Bernardino County Jail's Visiting Hours and Policies
5. Rules and Regulations Regarding
Mail Correspondence
6. How to Put "Money on the Books" at the West Valley Detention Center
7. Inmate Services
8. The Procedures on "Return of Property" at the San Bernardino County Jail

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 San Bernardino County Bail Schedule; Case Information; Pretrial Hearings; Warrants; and Parole.

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

After and inmate has been booked into the West Valley Detention Center, his/her bail is set according to the San Bernardino County Bail Schedule and is determined based on the crime(s) for which he/she was arrested.

"Bail" refers to the amount of money that a defendant (or typically someone on his/her 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/her court appearances, he/she forfeits that money to the court.

The West Valley Detention Center accepts four types of bail:  cash bail, cashier's checks, property bonds and bail bonds (all of which are discussed 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 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

1.1. Cash bail

If you post cash bail, you pay the entire bail amount.  When you do, the inmate will be released pending his/her arraignment.

If the inmate attends all of his/her 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/she 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 must be bank-drawn and made payable to the San Bernardino Trial Courts.

The inmate's release could take a while to secure with a cashier's check, since the West Valley 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.

1.3. Property bonds

Although property bonds are available, they are rarely utilized.  This is because property bonds allow the court to place a lien on your property.  If the defendant fails to make his/her court appearances, the court is authorized to initiate foreclosure proceedings against you.

1.4 Bail bonds

Because most people don't have the money to post full cash 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/her court appearances.

You obtain a bail bond from a bail bondsman (aka a bail agent).  If the defendant makes all of his/her 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 Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorneys2 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 San Bernardino County Jail in Rancho Cucamonga, you may call the facility directly at (909) 350-2476, or you may visit the San Bernardino 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 West Valley Detention Center, visit the San Bernardino Case Information website.

3. How to Contact an Inmate at the West Valley Detention Center

When an inmate is booked into the San Bernardino County Jail, he/she is allowed to make one free outgoing phone call.  After that, all calls must be collect or made 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 have two options:

  1. 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/she can purchase a card at the Jail's commissary, or
  2. you may go online to Global Tel∗ Link or call them at (800) 483-8314 to set up a $25 or $50 account for the inmate to use.

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 San Bernardino County Jail's Visiting Hours and Policies

Generally speaking, inmates at the West Valley Detention Center are allowed to see visitors Wednesday through Saturday from 8:30am to 9:00pm.  High security inmates and those who have been deemed "problem" inmates may see visitors Saturdays and Sundays.  Inmates in segregated protective custody may see visitors Wednesday through Friday.

In order to visit an inmate, you must call the visitor's line at (909) 887-0364 Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00am to 5:30pm the day before you wish to visit.

Visits are limited to 20 minutes in length, and each visit may include up to six (6) visitors.  Visitors may not bring anything into the facility other than an I.D. (discussed below) and one car key.

Attorneys and members of the clergy are not bound by these visiting hours/restrictions and have unlimited access to inmates.

All visitors of the West Valley 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.

And all visitors are subject to warrant and parole checks.  Visitors who are in violation of these or any other laws will be subject to arrest.

5. Rules and Regulations Regarding
Mail Correspondence

Inmates at the San Bernardino County Jail 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]
9500 Etiwanda Avenue
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739

Mail may be sent via the U.S. Postal Service or through other known carriers (such as FedEx).  Mail should not exceed 5" x 7", unless it is a magazine, newspaper or book.  If you wish to send one of these items, they must be delivered directly from the publisher or a reliable agent (such as Amazon.com).

Be sure to include the inmate's booking number and name on all mail.  All mail will be inspected prior to delivery.

If you choose to send money to an inmate (discussed in the next section How to Put Money "On the Books"), you may send

  1. a U.S. Postal Service money order or a Western Union money order, or
  2. a bank-issued cashier's check.

Money orders and cashier's checks must be payable to the West Valley Detention Center and must include the inmate's name and booking number.

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

Inmates at the West Valley Detention Center are allowed to have in-house money accounts to make purchases at the Jail's commissary.  Such purchases may include snacks, drinks, phone cards, 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/her 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 person or by mail.

If you choose to deposit money in person, you may do so in the Jail's lobby 7 days a week from 8:00am to 10:00pm.  You may personally deposit cash, a money order or a cashier's check as long as they comply with the requirements addressed above in Section 5. Rules and Regulations Regarding Mail Correspondence.

You have these same options if you wish to mail money with the exception of cash.  Cash will only be accepted in person.

7. Inmate Services

The West Valley Detention Center offers its inmates a number of services.  Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • educational programs such as classes to earn a General Education Diploma ("GED"),
  • vocational programs, such as

    • a culinary arts program,
    • laundry services and
    • landscape maintenance,

  • medical, dental and mental health services (West Valley is known for their medical facilities, so anyone who is in custody in San Bernardino with serious medical issues will be housed at this Jail),
  • anger management classes,
  • substance abuse counseling,
  • religious services performed by chaplains from a wide variety of religious denominations, and
  • a commissary.
8. The Procedures on "Return of Property" at the San Bernardino County Jail

When an inmate is booked into the West Valley Detention Center, his/her belongings are collected and stored.  This property is generally returned to the inmate once he/she is released.  If, however, an inmate wishes to release his/her property to another person, he/she must simply sign a release of property form.

If you are designated by an inmate to pick up his/her property, you will receive a call to come and pick up the property at the Jail within 3-5 days.

Anyone picking up property must bring valid identification (listed above under Section 4. Visiting Hours and Policies).   And the name on the release form must be the exact name that appears on the visitor's I.D.  If it is not, there is a good chance the property may not be released.

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. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.


1Our San Bernardino criminal defense attorneys' offices are located at 432 N. Arrowhead Ave., San Bernardino, CA 92401.  Our telephone number is (909) 863-5500.  We also have local offices in Hemet, Palm Springs, Rancho Cucamonga and Riverside.  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.

2Our Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorney's offices are located at 3200 Guasti Road Suite 100 Ontario, CA 91761.  Our telephone number is (909) 483-2814.

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