Updated January 23, 2020
The Martinez Detention Facility in Martinez, CA, is a maximum security correctional facility operated by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department. This is one of three county jails in Contra Costa County, and is the primary intake point for anyone arrested in the County.
The Martinez Jail houses male and female detainees awaiting adjudication for misdemeanor or felony charges and convicted inmates serving sentences for these crimes. The population requires a more restrictive environment than is found in some other facilities, and the Contra Costa County correctional system overall has been noted for several questionable occurrences. In 2018, five inmate deaths were reported, including one involving a heroin overdose.
Opened in 1981, the Martinez Detention Facility is located in the East Bay region of San Francisco, about 35 miles northeast of the city. The address and phone number is:
1000 Ward Street
Martinez, CA 94553
To benefit family and friends of those detained or incarcerated in the Martinez Jail, our team of California criminal defense lawyers provide important information below. The following topics will be covered in detail:
- 1. Locating an Inmate
- 2. Bail Information
- 3. Phone Contact at the Martinez Jail
- 4. Commissary Account Funding
- 5. Visiting the Martinez Detention Center
- 6. Inmate Mail
- 7. Life at the Contra Costa County Jail
- 8. Alternative Incarceration Programs
- 9. Inmate Property
- 10. Legal Defense for Criminal Charges
1. Contra Costa County Inmate Information
If you believe your loved one may be in custody at the Martinez Jail, you can check online at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s “Public Report” page. By selecting the “Inmate booking report” dropdown, you can call up a detailed PDF list of all recent County bookings.
Locating an inmate by name, you will find listed the date and time of arrest, criminal charge(s) booking number and bail amount, if any. Contra Costa County inmates are identified by age, race, height, weight, hair and eye color.
2. Bail Bonding at the Jail
If a Contra Costa County arrestee is granted temporary freedom through bail bonding, the required amount can be paid at the jail or by using the services of a licensed bail bondsman. At the jail, cash is required other than for a misdemeanor crime, in which case bail can sometimes be paid by credit card.
3. Martinez Jail Phone Communication
All individuals arrested in California are entitled to make a limited number of outgoing phone calls within the first week, and at least monthly thereafter. Calls from the Martinez Detention Center to family or friends are made on a collect basis, and you must set up an account to participate in phone communication.
The California Department of Corrections uses Global Tel*Link (GTL), and you can use the website to set up an “Advance Pay” account for inmate phone calls.
It is important to be aware that all calls from the Martinez Jail are subject to monitoring and recording. To avoid harming your friend or loved one’s case, it is always best to refrain from speaking about criminal charges.
4. Commissary Purchases
Friends and family can order commissary items for a Martinez Correctional Center inmate online or provide spendable funds for an inmate cash account. You can order comfort items, such as snacks and hygiene products, at MyCarePack.com, with a weekly spending limit (per inmate) of $100. Orders placed by midnight on Wednesday should be delivered by Thursday. Note that processing fees are $6.95 per order.
You can also use the “Smart Deposit” function on the MyCarePack site to deposit funds (via debit or credit card) for an inmate to use. Other cash account funding alternatives in Martinez include money orders, cashier’s checks, traveler’s checks or government-issued checks. You can send these in to the jail with checks made out in the inmate’s name. Also include a booking number or birthdate on the face of the check. Personal checks or cash through the mail is not accepted.
5. Martinez Detention Center Visitation
Visitation days at the Martinez Detention Facility are as follows:
Daytime visiting hours are Monday through Thursday, and Saturday and Sunday:
8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m
Evening visitation, which takes place every day except Thursday, is 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Visits are scheduled ahead of time by the inmate, and visitors names must appear on the inmate’s visitor list. Note that these are not contact visits – no physical contact is permitted.
Up to four people can visit an inmate during one session.(Infants and toddlers who are carried in do not count as official visitors.) You must plan your arrival at the jail so you have plenty of time to register for your visit. There should be a time-stamped slip in the lobby visitation tray 30 minutes prior to your scheduled visit.
There are extensive visitation rules detailed on the sheriff’s website. An overview of these rules is below:
- Valid, government-issued photo identification is required of each adult visitor.
- A minor under age 18 must be in the company of his or her parent or legal guardian.
- Children must be closely supervised at all times.
- Nursing mothers must remain covered when breastfeeding a child in the visiting area.
- No food or drink may be brought into the visiting area.
- Do not arrive for a visit under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Tobacco and tobacco products are prohibited.
- Leave personal items at home or in the car, or they must be placed in lockers in the jail lobby. This includes cell phones, laptop computers, cameras, tape or digital recorders, purses, bags and briefcases.
- You may only visit the inmate you are scheduled to see and must leave immediately after the visit has ended.
- If you have been incarcerated in Costa Contra County in the past six months, you may not participate in visitation.
The Martinez Detention Center dress code prohibits:
- Clothing resembling inmate attire, law enforcement or military uniforms
- Clothing exposing private areas, including the breasts, or clothes that are sheer, overly tight, or otherwise revealing
- Skirts or dresses that expose more than two inches above the knee
- Clothes displaying obscene or offensive language or graphics
- Clothes that are styled in typical gang fashion or showing gang related graphics
- Head coverings, including wigs and hairpieces, and gloves unless with pre-arranged staff approval
- Coats, jackets, or overalls
- Bare feet
6. Mail Policies
Martinez Jail inmates can send and receive unlimited amounts of postal correspondence. Envelopes for inmates should be addressed as follows:
Inmates full name, Booking #
Martinez Detention Facility
901 Court Street
Martinez, CA 94553
Mail is typically delivered within two days of receipt at the detention center. All mail is opened and inspected, and correspondence may be read if there is a perceived threat or concern about illegal activity. Legal mail is opened in the presence of the inmate.
Inmates can purchase writing materials and stamped envelopes through commissary. Indigent inmates are provided with the means to send two personal letters per week, as well as unlimited legal mail.
The Martinez Detention Center does not accept the following items through the mail:
- Envelopes with excessive or unidentifiable writing, marks, or stains
- Polaroid photographs
- Oversized items that would be difficult to store in a drawer
- Material that is sexually explicit
- Material that encourages or depicts violence, illegal activity, or hate crimes
- Material that contains instructions for manufacture or use of weapons or unlawful substances
7. Life and Health in Custody
The stated goal of the Martinez Detention Center is to provide for the safety and security of inmates, provide a clean housing environment, and encourage participation in onsite programs. The mission statement includes a commitment to helping inmates acquire “skills, attitudes, and values” to improve their chances of maintaining employment and reintegrating into society.
As is typical, Martinez Detention Facility inmates have access to medical, dental, and psychiatric care, as needed. Inmates are provided three meals a day and basic hygiene items. Library services at the jail include an onsite librarian and a large selection of books and periodicals available for check out.
The staff works with several community and volunteer organizations that offer services, including educational and rehabilitative programs. Inmates may have access to vocational training, parenting classes, adult education, 12-step meetings, etc. A full time chaplain is available for religious counseling and services.
The Martinez Jail includes an emphasis on “inmate industries,” which allows inmates to work in a sign/engraving and frame shop. There is also a landscape program providing hands-on training in this outdoor vocation.
8. Custody Alternatives
There are potential custody alternatives facilitated through the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s office. These include a “Work Alternative Program” (for those sentenced for 30 days or less) and an opportunity to serve longer sentences at home through “Electronic Home Detention.”
Participants in these programs must first be referred by the court, with eligibility depending upon the nature of the crime and other factors. Participants will be assessed a variety of program fees.
A Custody Alternative Handbook provides more details about these programs, and applications are available here.. The phone number to call is (925) 313-4260.
9. Inmate Property
Incoming inmates will often enter with personal property that must be confiscated and stored at the jail. With an inmate-signed authorization release form on file, friends or family can come in and pick-up property for an inmate. Photo identification will be required.
10. Criminal Defense Help
An experienced criminal lawyer at the California Legal Defense Group is available to help you fight criminal charges and attain a better case outcome. Our defense attorneys have demonstrated a strong record of results for past clients, and we can help you beat or significantly reduce criminal allegations, avoid incarceration, and keep your record clean. For a free consultation and case review, please call us today or contact us online.