The Monterey County Jail is located in Salinas, CA, a coastal city in the central California region. The jail houses male and female adult offenders who are in the pre-sentence stage or have been convicted for a California misdemeanor and/or felony crime.
Though this is an expansive, 825-bed facility, the Monterey County Jail has been facing overcrowded conditions. Monterey County has been forced to defend several lawsuits in recent years pertaining to inmate safety at the jail, and recently lost a $1 million case. Current expansion efforts, expected to be complete in 2019, will increase capacity to about 1,400 inmates and address modernization concerns.
The Monterey County Correctional Facility is located about 60 miles south of San Jose and about ten miles from the coastline. The address and phone number is:
1414 Natividad Road
Salinas, CA 93906
Offered below is information for family members and friends of individuals currently detained in the Monterey County Correctional System. Our team of California criminal defense lawyers provides key information on the following topics:
- 1. How to Locate an Inmate
- 2. Bail Bonding in Salinas
- 3. Telephone and Messaging Services
- 4. Commissary Cash Accounts
- 5. Visitation for Monterey County Inmates
- 6. Mail Policies
- 7. Life and Health in the Detention Center
- 8. Sentencing Alternatives
- 9. Inmate Property
- 10. Criminal Defense Help
1. Monterey County Inmate Information
The Monterey County Sheriff’s Department provides an updated, online list of current inmates. Information includes the date of booking, inmate age, booking number, and housing location within the detention center. You can also view the criminal charges, classification (felony or misdemeanor) and bail amount, if granted. If you would like more inmate information, you are free to call the jail at (831) 755-3782, option 1.
2. Bail Bonding
In many cases, detainees at the Monterey County Detention Center will be granted the opportunity to post bail and gain temporary freedom from incarceration. If bail is granted, friends or family members can make payment in cash (or personal checks up to $1,000) or alternatively, use the services of a bail bondsman. For specifics regarding bail bonding options for your friend or loved one, call the jail directly.
3. Monterey County Phones and Communication
New detainees at the Monterey County Jail have the legal right to make initial free calls to local phone numbers, allowing contact with family/friends and with a criminal lawyer. However, friends and family members are not permitted to call in and speak directly with a detainee or inmate.
Phones are provided in the custodial housing units, and inmates can use them to make outgoing personal phone calls between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. These calls are made collect or can be prefunded through TelMate’s “gettingout.com” website. For questions or assistance, call TelMate at (800) 844-6591.
TelMate options for MCCF include opportunities to leave voicemail (at a charge of $1.35 each) and electronic, written messages, similar to email or texts. (Note that all messages will be read and approved before they are posted.)
There are a few options for funding phone calls. You can set up collect call billing for your landline, prepay for any outgoing inmate calls or set up ‘Quick Connect” acceptance for your phone number. Fees will be assessed for all services, and there are 21 cent-per-minute rates charged as well.
It is important to be aware that all inmate phone calls and messages will be subject to monitoring and/or recording. For this reason, it is in your loved one’s best interest to refrain from speaking or writing about pending criminal charges.
4. Inmate Cash Accounts
An individual trust account is set up for each Monterey County Jail inmate, and this is used to pay for commissary items and other incidental expenses. Typical commissary selections include snacks/treats, hygiene items, stationary materials and other comfort products.
Family members and friends can contribute to Salinas inmate cash accounts in one of a few ways:
- Lobby Kiosk – There is a kiosk machine in the front office lobby of the jail, which accepts cash and credit/debit card deposits for inmates.
- Online – Using your TelMate account, you can make deposits into the inmate’s commissary account at gettingout.com. Handling charges will be assessed for each deposit transaction.
- Telephone – Call TelMate at (866) 516-0115 to make a deposit by phone (which also involves transaction fees).
- Mail – You can send a money order to the jail payable to MCSD Prisoner Trust Fund. Include the inmate’s name and booking number on the check.
You also have the option of ordering a care package for an inmate from icaregifts.com. A selection of assorted edibles are available on this site.
5. Visiting a Monterey County Inmate
NOTE: Due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns, inmate visitation has been halted. Call the jail at (831) 755-3700 for the latest updates.
Monterey Jail inmates are allowed a minimum of one hour of visitation time each week. This can be divided into two 30-minute visits. The visiting room can accommodate one adult and one child per visit.
Visitation at the Monterey County Jail takes place every day. Weekday visits are evenings between 6:00 and 10:30 p.m. and weekend visitation begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 10:00 p.m. (earlier on Sunday). Note that each housing pod has different visiting hours. The online visitation schedule provides an outline by housing location, or you can call the jail at (831) 755-3782 to verify your friend or family member’s time slots.
Rules for visitation are as follows:
- You must present a valid, original (no photocopies) identification card to sign up for a visit. This means a government-issued photo ID, birth certificate, or alien registration card.
- Minors can visit in the company of a parent or legal guardian. Paperwork must be provided, such as a birth certificate or proof of guardian status. Emancipated or married minors must show original paperwork to prove their status.
- Do not bring in any items into the visitation area other than your ID/paperwork and keys. If you have an infant, you may also bring one bottle and one diaper.
- Cell phones are strictly prohibited. If you arrive carrying a phone, you may be cited and lose the phone.
- No smoking, chewing tobacco or gum.
- You may be subject to arrest if you bring any controlled substances, marijuana, alcohol, firearms, or explosives onto the jail grounds. If you arrive under the influence, you will be subject to arrest.
- If you leave the visitation room for any reason, you may not return.
- Any rule violation or disruptive behavior by an adult or child may end the visit.
- Unless with prior written consent, you cannot visit the jail if you have a prior felony conviction or have been incarcerated in a California jail.
The MCCF dress code for visitation prohibits:
- Bare feet
- Unfastened buttons or zippers
- Clothing displaying obscenities, offensive language or graphics
- Any attire known to be associated with gang membership
- Revealing or transparent clothing such as short shorts, tank tops, crop tops, strapless or spaghetti straps, halter tops
6. Mail Policies for Inmates
Monterey County Detention Center inmates can receive (and send) personal correspondence in unlimited quantities. Writing materials and stamped envelopes are available for purchase through the jail commissary.
Incoming envelopes must always include your full name and return address. Mail can be addressed as shown below:
Inmate Full Name
Booking Number ( if known}
1410 Natividad Rd,
Salinas CA 93906
All personal mail is opened and inspected before it is passed along to an inmate. (Legal mail will be opened in the inmate’s presence.) There are a number of items that may not be enclosed in the envelope, and no packages are allowed.
Forbidden items include:
- Greeting cards, store bought or handmade
- Postage stamps and stationary
- Pornographic materials
- Letters adorned with perfume or glitter
- Polaroid photographs
- Photos over standard size
- Any “inappropriate content”
If in doubt, call the jail before sending anything. You are permitted to order softcover books or other reading material to arrive directly from the publisher or vendor, such as Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.
7. Life and Health in Detention
The Monterey County Jail was built in the 1970’s. In addition to adding 576 beds, the current expansion project is aimed toward modernizing the facility and allowing more access to group programs. The new layout will include two-bed cells rather than a dormitory style housing environment, and allow for improved oversight of residents.
The correctional facility includes an infirmary, with medical, psychiatric and dental treatment available. Prescription medication is dispensed, as needed. Note that family members can drop off current prescriptions for inmates, but they must be in the original container.
The Salinas Jail includes a number of separate housing units. Inmates are placed in housing according to their criminal history, observed behavior, age, and other factors, such as gang affiliations. As much as 30 percent of the jail population is known to be affiliated with a gang.
Some sentenced inmates can participate in work crew opportunities within the jail, on the grounds, and along highways and roads.
Amenities offered at this jail include educational and vocational classes, a chapel with religious services, a library, and 12-step substance abuse programs.
The Monterey County Correctional Facility complies with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 via the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center. Inmates who wish to report sexual harassment or sexual violence can call (831) 771-0411 collect.
8. Work Alternative Program
The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office facilitates a Work Alternative Program for inmates approved to participate in this alternative sentencing opportunity. Participants (sentenced for 40 days or less) must work a minimum of two 8-hour days a week.
You must apply for this program within five days of your court date. Call (831) 759-7230 to schedule an appointment. There is an enrollment fee of $195.
9. Inmate Property
Incoming inmates will have their money and property confiscated and stored pending eventual release. If desired, incarcerated inmates can sign an authorization form to allow a family member to come in and pick up property. Money and property must be picked up within the first 10 days of incarceration. Individuals coming in for property pick up must have appropriate photo ID.
10. Legal Defense for Criminal Charges
The experienced criminal attorneys at California Legal Defense Group are dedicated to helping accused individuals defend their constitutional rights. Our lawyers are aggressive advocates with a thorough understanding of the California criminal justice system. We are frequently able to assist clients to substantially reduce penalties (or get all charges dropped). For a free consultation and case review, please call us today or contact us online.