Updated January 20, 2020
The Central Detention Center in San Bernardino, CA, houses adult detainees and County inmates sentenced for California misdemeanor and felony offenses. As a West Coast hub for the U.S. Marshals Service, this San Bernardino Jail also houses a large number of federal inmates.
One of four detention centers under the direction of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, The Central Detention Center (CDC) is the primary booking facility used by east valley police and sheriff stations. Like many busy California jails, the CDC is not without safety concerns; the facility was recently in the news for a fatal incident of inmate-on-inmate violence.
The address and phone number of the Central Detention Center is:
630 East Rialto Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92415
Public Information Number: (909) 350-2476
Our team of California criminal defense lawyers provide important information to assist family and friends of detainees currently held at the San Bernardino CDC. The following topics are covered:
- 1. How do I search for an inmate in San Bernardino?
- 2. How do I post bail at the Central Detention Center?
- 3. Can I call an inmate?
- 4. How do I put money on an inmate’s account?
- 5. What are the visiting hours and policies?
- 6. Can inmates send and receive mail?
- 7. What is life like at the San Bernardino Jail?
- 8. Is there a work release option?
- 9. How can an inmate’s property be collected?
- 10. Legal Defense Help
1. How do I search for an inmate in San Bernardino?
The Sheriff’s Department provides an online Inmate Locator search engine that can help you find out if your loved one is currently in custody at the CDC. After inputting a first and last name and birthdate (or approximate age), you will call up a list of booked and incarcerated individuals in San Bernardino, each identified by height/weight and other descriptive characteristics. The Inmate Locator provides each subject’s custody location, booking number, scheduled court date, criminal charges, and bail amount, if eligible.
2. How do I post bail at the Central Detention Center?
If your loved one has been granted temporary bail release, you can post bail in one of a few ways: cash, certified checks, money orders, property bonds, and surety bail bonds provided by a licensed bonding agency. The Central San Bernardino Jail accepts bail payment seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
3. Can I call an inmate?
In keeping with the laws of California, all incoming detainees at the Central Detention Center are allowed to make at least five local phone calls. They can use this opportunity to phone a criminal attorney, as well as loved ones. Family members and friends cannot call in to reach a detainee or inmate at the jail, but may be able to pass along an urgent message. In case of emergency, ask to speak with a shift supervisor.
Inmates housed in the Central Detention Facility usually have access to phones in the common areas of the jail each day. They can place collect calls or use prepaid minutes to make outgoing calls. You can fund phone communication by depositing money in the inmate’s cash account (see below).
It is important to remain aware that inmate phone calls are always subject to monitoring and recording. It is best to refrain from speaking about criminal charges to avoid harming your friend or loved one’s case.
4. How do I put money on an inmate’s account?
Incarcerated inmates at the Central San Bernardino Jail have the opportunity to purchase commissary items each week. The selection includes basic snack foods, hygiene items, and correspondence materials/postage. To assist with commissary expenses (as well as phone calls, medical copays and other incidentals) friends and family can deposit funds in inmate cash accounts.
Note that there is a weekly limit for all commissary orders of $100 and a $40 weekly phone expense limit. Upon release from the jail, any excess funds will be returned to the inmate by check. Inmates who leave with an unpaid negative balance on their cash account may be subject to debt collections action.
There are a few ways to provide funds or gifts for a San Bernardino CDC inmate:
- Lobby Kiosk – The Central Detention Center has a machine in the lobby available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can make unlimited cash deposits in the machine (change is not available) or use credit or debit cards.
- Checks – You can send in a cashier’s check or money order made payable to the Central Detention Center. Include the name and booking number of the inmate on the memo line or within the mailing.
- Online Gift Packs — You can also order gifts for CDC inmates at the online San Bernardino commissary store, which offers a selection of snacks, desserts, and toiletries. Plan to order 48 hours in advance of your desired date of delivery (which is Tuesday through Fridday). Inmates are limited to one iCare bag per week.
5. What are the visiting hours and policies?
Visiting hours at the San Bernardino jail will vary depending upon the housing unit of your loved one. Female inmates can have visitors Wednesday through Sunday only, while male inmate visitation is scheduled all week. The number to call to schedule a visit is (909) 887-0364. The line is answered Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You must schedule your visit 24 hours in advance.
Central Detention Center inmates are allowed one visit per day, and a maximum of five visitors (including children) per session. You must arrive to check in 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment or your visit may be cancelled.
San Bernardino Sheriff’s general detention center visitation rules include:
- A valid, government-issued photo ID must be presented at entry
- No tobacco, illegal drugs or weapons are allowed in the facility
- Do not bring cell phones or any type of audio, video, or photo recording devices
- Minor children must be supervised at all times within the visitation area
- Visitors should dress “appropriately,” which means no clothing displaying gang symbols, obscenity or references to violence, drugs or alcohol. Also, clothing should not be revealing or suggestive. The torso and upper legs should be covered.
Visits at the CDC will not be private and conversations may be monitored and recorded. Be careful not to say anything incriminating pertaining to criminal acts or charges.
6. Can inmates send and receive mail?
You can send an unlimited amount of mail to a Central Detention Facility inmate, and inmates are allowed to purchase writing materials and stamps through commissary.
Mail should include your name and return address and should be addressed as shown:
Inmate full name, Booking Number
Central Detention Center
630 East Rialto Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92415
All envelopes will be opened and there are strict policies for mail, with many items classified as contraband. Envelopes and paper (or cards) should be plain, with no added glue, stickers, crayon markings, lipstick impressions, fragrance, glitter, or musical inserts. You cannot send packages, so no food items, etc.
You are allowed to send up to 10 photographs sized 5 x 7 or smaller. These photos should not depict nudity or sex acts, violence or gang-related images. Softcover books and magazines can be ordered for inmates, and should arrive directly from a vendor or publisher (i.e. Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble). Do not send in books in your own packaging.
7. What is life like at the San Bernardino Jail?
When new inmates arrive at the Central Detention Center, they go through an intake assessment process. This includes screening for any medical conditions requiring immediate attention, as well as determination of classification status. Depending upon criminal background, charges, and staff observations, inmates may be housed in minimum or maximum security units.
The CDC and other San Bernardino correctional facilities take steps to comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department asserts a zero tolerance policy toward inmate sexual abuse, and any incidences should be reported.
There is access to medical and dental care onsite as well as mental health and substance abuse treatment. Inmates can wear prescription glasses or dentures and use necessary medical devices, including mobility aides.
Through staff and a variety of volunteer organizations, a number of services and programs are provided to CDC inmates. These include academic classes and vocational training, religious services, individual and group therapy, and 12 step programs. Inmates are allowed at least three hours of outdoor recreation each week.
A 2013 pilot program through the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department allows selected inmates to enter a firefighting training program. Both male and female candidates have participated in “fire camp” and served on firefighting crews.
The Central Detention Center was originally opened in 1971, then closed down for a few years in the early 1990’s (for budgetary reasons). A negotiated contract with the U.S. Marshal’s Service allowed the jail to reopen and provided for much-needed federal grant money. The jail has since been modernized with newer furnishings, updated kitchen, and security features.
8. Is there a work release option?
A work release program is available to San Bernardino inmates. Candidates must receive court approval to participate and must complete required classes. Inmates can work for an approved, past employer as well as provide manual labor for public facilities and agencies.
All participants in the San Bernardino County work release program will be required to wear a GPS ankle transmitter. A program fee of $15 per day is assessed. (However, inmates who are unable to pay this fee may still be allowed to participate in work release.)
9. How can an inmate’s property be collected?
Family and friends can drop off specific items for Central Detention Center inmates. These include current prescription medications (in original, sealed packaging), legal documents, and jail-approved clothing.
Incoming inmates will often enter with personal property that must be confiscated and stored at the jail. Upon signing an authorization release form, friends or family can come in and pick-up property for an inmate. Identification will be required.
10. Legal Defense Help
If your loved one has been arrested in San Bernardino County, he or she can often avoid incarceration and other harsh penalties with the help of an experienced criminal lawyer. The California Legal Defense Group has a strong record of results for past clients, and we can help you successfully fight criminal charges and keep your record clean. We offer a free consultation and case review. Please call us 24/7 or contact us online.