|Address||1173 Front St. |
San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
|Find an inmate||Inmate locator (this link also lets you schedule a visit, send email, and order care packages)|
- books and then transfers inmates to other San Diego correctional facilities;
- temporarily houses arrestees until they are released on bail or their criminal case resolves; and
- houses convicted defendants who have been sentenced to incarceration in a county jail.
The largest population at the San Diego Central Jail consists of the “special handling inmates”, which are people who:
- are representing themselves (known as “pro per” representation),
- are facing high-publicity trials,
- have serious medical challenges, or
- are under psychiatric care.
In fact, the San Diego Jail provides a wide variety of medical and psychiatric services: The facility offers on-site dialysis, infectious disease control and dental care, and the psychiatric unit is the largest acute psychiatric treatment facility in the county.
In this article, our San Diego County criminal defense attorneys will explain the following:
- 1. How do I post bail in San Diego?
- 2. How do I search for someone arrested in San Diego?
- 3. How can I stay in touch with an inmate?
- 4. When can I visit San Diego Central Jail inmates?
- 5. Where do I send mail to?
- 6. How do I pick up inmate property?
- 7. How do I put money on the books?
- 8. What services does the jail offer inmates?
If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.
You can post bail 24/7 in person at the San Diego Central Jail, located at 1173 Front St. You can also post bail at one of the other San Diego detention centers during their operating hours.
The SDCJ accepts either:
- cash for full bail amount
- personal check for full bail amount up to $10,000 (if the jail supervisor approves you using a personal check)
- bank-drawn cashier’s check for full bail amount
- money order for full bail amount and that is bank-drawn, from the U.S. Postal Service, or provided by Western Union
- bail bonds, where a bonding agent posts bail for you in exchange for you paying them a 10% fee
Note that cashier’s checks and money orders must be made payable to the San Diego County Treasurer and must include the inmate’s full name and booking number.
Also note that you will get the bail money returned at the conclusion of the case unless the defendant no-shows at court, in which case the bail money gets forfeited. If you hired a bail bondsman and the defendant misses court, they can go after you for the full bail amount minus the 10% fee you already paid.
You can obtain information on inmates at the SDCJ 24 hours a day / 7 days a week by
- calling the Jail directly at (619) 615-2700, or
- visiting the San Diego Sheriff’s “Who’s in Jail” inmate information website.
You cannot call inmates at San Diego Central Jail, though they may make free 15-minute calls to you.
You can also send email to SDCJ inmates: Simply run an inmate search, and click on the “email inmate” option.
You can schedule 30-minute video visits any day of the week through Securus.
To schedule an in-person visit at SDCJ, simply run an inmate search, and click on the “schedule a visit” option. You can also call the jail at (619) 610-1647 to schedule an in-person visit; phone anytime from Wednesday through Sunday from 6:30am to 6pm.
In-person visits must be scheduled at least 24 hours ahead of time, and there are no available slots on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In-person visits are limited to three visitors (including children).
Learn more about SDCJ visitation policies.
To send letters and photos to your loved one at San Diego Central Jail, address the envelope to:
[Inmate’s Name and Booking number]
San Diego Central Jail
Mail Processing Center
451 Riverview Parkway, Building C
Santee, CA 92071
Letters without a return address will not be delivered. You may not mail packages, but you can have softcover books or magazines mailed directly from the publisher or retailer.
Learn more about SDCJ mail policies.
San Diego Central Jail inmates can release the property they were arrested with (such as car keys, etc.) to you by filling out a property release form. You can then pick the property up 24/7.
You can use a credit card to either:
- put up to $500 in a San Diego Central Jail inmate’s account here; or
- order a care package through the SDCJ commissary here.
There is a $3.25 service fee.
Learn more about SDCJ commissary policies.
The San Diego Central Jail offers a number of services to its inmates. Some of these include:
- a commissary where inmates can purchase a variety of items such as food, reading materials, hygiene products, games, etc.,
- outdoor recreation,
- televisions, board games and playing cards,
- educational courses and high school equivalency (G.E.D.) certificates,
- religious counseling and services conducted by chaplains from a variety of religious denominations,
- counseling classes in the areas of substance abuse, parenting, anger management and domestic violence, and
- on and off-site medical services for mental and physical disabilities.