|82675 St. Hwy. 111, Indio, CA 92201 Map
|John J. Benoit Detention Center Information Page
The Indio Jail, run by the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, houses inmates who were arrested and are awaiting their arraignment as well as convicted defendants who have been sentenced to serve time in jail.
If an inmate is arrested in the Coachella Valley (which includes Palm Springs, Palm Desert and Cathedral City), he/she will typically be taken to the Indio Jail or to the Larry D. Smith “Banning” Jail, depending on which is closer to the arrest location.-
Public parking is available in the visitor parking area at the Larsen Justice Center across the street from the jail.
In this article, our Palm Springs criminal defense attorneys1 will explain the following:
- 1. How do I post bail at the Indio Jail?
- 2. How do I search for an inmate in Riverside County?
- 3. Can I call an inmate?
- 4. What are the visiting hours and policies?
- 5. Can inmates send and receive mail?
- 6. How do I put money on an inmate’s account?
- 7. What are the Procedures regarding the Return of Property?
- 8. Is there a work release option?
If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.
When an inmate is arrested and booked into the Indio Jail Facility, his/her bail is set according to the Riverside County Bail Schedule and is based on the specific crime(s) for which the inmate was arrested.
“Bail” refers to the money that the inmate (or someone on the inmate’s behalf) pays to assure the arresting agency and court that he/she will make his/her court appearances after being released from jail.
The Indio Jail accepts three types of bail: cash bail, cashier’s checks and bail bonds (all of which are discussed at length in our article How to Post Bail in California). Bail payments are accepted 24 hours a day / 7 days a week at the jail facility.
When you pay or “post” cash bail, you pay the full bail amount. Once you post this money, the inmate is released pending his/her arraignment. If the inmate attends all of his/her court appearances, the bail will be returned following the conclusion of the criminal case (minus a small administrative fee). If he/she does not, the defendant forfeits your money to the court.
Similar to cash bail, cashier’s checks must be payable for the entire bail amount. The Indio Jail only accepts California bank-drawn cashier’s checks.
Make the check payable to the Riverside Superior Court. Cashier’s checks must list the booking number and full legal name of the inmate.
If you do not have the funds to pay the entire bail, you can still post bail by securing a bail bond. When you obtain a bail bond, you are only required to pay a maximum 10% of the total bail amount.
This means that if, for example, the inmate’s bail is set at $50,000, cash bail would be equal to the full $50,000. However, if you elect to use a bail bond, you would only pay a maximum of $5,000 to a bail bondsman, and he would pay the rest.
The downside is that bail bondsmen keep your 10% as their fee. So if the defendant makes all of his/her court appearances, you pay nothing more, but you do not get that 10% back. If the inmate doesn’t make those appearances, you will be liable for repaying the entire bail amount to the bondsman.
You can search for a bail bondsman via the Internet or in the phone book. Make sure you ask for the bondsman’s license for verification. You should also request copies of all documents and maintain them for your records.
*NOTE: Once you post bail for an inmate at the Indio Jail, you should immediately consult with an experienced Palm Springs criminal defense lawyer who can schedule a bail hearing to argue that the bail should be reduced or eliminated. A skilled Riverside County attorney can also review the case to help develop the most comprehensive legal defense to help your loved one fight his/her case.
If you wish to obtain information about an inmate at the Indio Jail Facility, you can contact the jail directly at (760) 863-8252. You’ll need the inmate’s full and correct legal name and possibly his/her date of birth. A booking number is also helpful.
You can also access information online through the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s inmate information website.
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 Indio Jail, visit the Riverside County case information website.
Inmates at the Indio Jail Facility are allowed to make a free outgoing phone call when they are first booked into the facility. Beyond that, all outgoing phone calls must be collect or made with a calling card. In order to obtain a calling card for an inmate, you can send money to the inmate so that he/she can purchase one at the jail’s commissary, or you can purchase one on-line.
If you choose to purchase the calling card for the inmate, you must go through the Global Tel* Link’s website or call (800) 483-8314. These cards are available in increments of $25 and $50.
In order to make sure that the correct inmate receives the card, be sure to specify the inmate’s booking number and full and complete name. You may also want to contact your local telephone company to make sure that neither collect calls nor these type of calling card calls are blocked on your phone.
Inmates are not allowed to receive incoming calls. You may, however, opt to visit an inmate in person or via mail correspondence. Both of these options are discussed in the two sections that follow.
Inmates at the Indio Jail Facility are allowed up to two (2) 45-minute visits per week. Each visit may include up to two (2) visitors and one (1) infant. Visitors should sign-in 45 minutes before their scheduled visit time and will have 30 minutes to complete the sign-in process.
Visitors are not allowed to bring anything to the inmates…anything of necessity will be provided by the jail, and nothing else is permitted.
Visitors of the Indio Jail Facility must comply with the Jail’s dress code or otherwise they may be refused entry. Any type of clothing that
- relates to gang affiliation,
- depicts sexual or lewd comments or pictures,
- is too revealing, or
- is potentially offensive to others
All visitors must bring valid picture identification including
- a California driver’s license or identification card,
- a U.S. Passport,
- an alien registration card, or
- a U.S. military card.
***And a word of caution – anyone who has an outstanding warrant or is on probation or parole will not be allowed to visit an Indio inmate and may be arrested on site. The same goes for an inmate who brings any illegal or prohibited items, such as
- weapons, or
into the facility.
And if, for any reason, the Indio Jail staff believes a particular visitor may pose a security threat to the staff or any inmate, they reserve the right to deny that visitor admission into the facility.
The visiting hours for inmates at the Indio Jail Facility vary, depending on which “tank” and “cell” the inmate is housed. The complete visiting schedule may be viewed online by clicking here.
Attorneys and clergy members are not restricted by visiting hours and may have access to inmates whenever they wish, as long as a deputy is available to accommodate the request.
You are permitted to send mail to Indio Jail Facility inmates as long as you comply with the facility’s policies.
All incoming mail is opened and inspected in front of the inmate to whom it was sent. It is inspected to prevent any illegal or inappropriate materials from possibly being used by the inmates to threaten or compromise the security of the facility.
If the mail contains any illegal materials, criminal charges may be filed against the sender. If the mail contains any legal but prohibited items, it will be returned to the sender.
Mail must be marked with a return address. If it is not, it will be stored with the inmate’s property and will go undelivered. And if your mail is dirty or stained, it will be classified as contaminated and returned to sender.
Prohibited items that may result in mail being returned to the sender include:
- more than 10 pictures per letter or any pictures that contain nudity, violent acts and/or gang-related images or content,
- any writing that is in a gel-type ink, crayon or lipstick,
- instant photos, stickers, labels or stamps of any kind,
- odor-causing substances like cologne or perfume,
- anything with glue or “white-out” fluid,
- 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 money orders are okay).
If you wish to mail an inmate a book, magazine or newspaper, it must be prepaid and delivered to the facility by the U.S. Postal Service and by no other mail courier. It must also be mailed directly from the publisher or from a verifiable and reputable Internet/mail order company or bookstore.
The following types of books and magazines are prohibited, regardless of whether they come from the publisher or not:
- hardback or leather-bound books,
- obscene or sexually oriented publications or writings,
- any material that tends to incite murder, arson, riot, racism or any other form of violence (which includes any depictions or descriptions of gang-related activity), and
- any materials that relate to illegal gambling or illegal lotteries.
Mail should be addressed to:
[Inmate’s full name and booking number]
P.O. Box 1748
*Don’t forget the envelope MUST have a return address in order to be delivered.
Inmates at the Indio Jail Facility are allowed to have access to money to make purchases within the facility. These purchases include
- hygiene products,
- writing materials,
- phone cards, and
- co-payments on any non-emergency medical service(s).
If you wish to put money into an inmate’s account, you can do so in person at the jail or via mail.
If you wish to make a deposit in person, you may do so Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 9:00pm in the jail lobby. Bring cash or a U.S. Postal money order for the exact amount you would like deposited (the jail will not make change).
If you choose to mail money for an inmate to use in his/her account, you may only send a U.S. Postal money order. If you go this route, make sure you put the inmate’s name and booking number on the front of the order. *Don’t forget to mail the order in strict compliance with the Indio Jail Facility’s rules and regulations regarding mail described above in section 5).
When an inmate is booked into the Indio Jail Facility, his/her belongings are collected and stored. Inmates are allowed to “release” their property (with the exception of clothing and money) to anyone they wish by signing a property withdrawal slip. Clothing and money will remain in storage until the inmate is released from the facility.
There is one exception regarding money. Anyone may withdraw money from an inmate’s account within 24 hours of booking with the inmate’s permission. After the 24-hour period, the money will be released
- when the inmate is released, or
- with 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 Indio Jail directly at (760) 863-8252 daily between the hours of 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Pick up and drop off take place in the jail lobby.
If you are sentenced to the Indio County Jail, 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.
1 Our Palm Springs criminal defense attorneys’ offices are located at 777 East Tahquitz Canyon Way, Ste. 200, Palm Springs, CA 92262. Our telephone number is (760) 430-0400. We also have local offices in Hemet, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside 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.