The Kern County Juvenile Hall in Bakersfield, CA, is a detention center run by the Kern County Probation Department. Officially called the James G. Bowles Juvenile Hall (JBJH), this facility holds male and female minors who have been charged with a California juvenile crime. Youth may be detained briefly and released, held for further evaluation and transfer, or committed for a period of time.
Originally opened in 1952, the Kern County Juvenile Detention Facility is one of the oldest juvenile hall facilities in the state of California. It has a population capacity of 108, and average commitment is 42 days. Incarcerated females are generally diverted into the Pathways Academy for a stay of 12 to 36 weeks. Males may remain in JBJH or be placed in the “Furlough Treatment and Rehabilitation Program.”
The JBJH address and phone number is:
1831 Ridge Road
Bakersfield, CA 93305
Below, our team of California juvenile criminal defense lawyers provide detailed information about the Bakersfield Juvenile Hall. For families whose child or teen is currently incarcerated at JBJH, we address the following key topics:
- 1. Intake and Assessment
- 2. Phone Contact and Mail
- 3. Visitation Policies
- 4. Life at the Facility
- 5. Juvenile Legal Defense
1. After an Arrest
Upon arrival at the Bakersfield Juvenile Hall, young detainees are interviewed and given an intake health and mental health screening. They can expect to receive a juvenile detention hearing within 48 hours of intake, excluding weekends and holidays. A judge from the Kern County Superior Court will decide the next step in each case.
Due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns, youth entering Bakersfield Juvenile Hall are screened for Covid-19 symptoms prior to booking. If symptoms are present, medical clearance from Kern Medical is required before custody of a youth is accepted.
If your son or daughter remains in detention, an adjudication hearing will take place within 15 days. The outcome could mean a sentence at this facility or transfer to their “Crossroads” institution. If the charges rise to the level of a felony offense, the juvenile can be transferred to the California Department of Juvenile Justice, or in rare cases, there may be transfer to adult court.
2. Contact With Your Child
Friends and family members may not call in and speak with a James G. Bowles Juvenile Hall resident. New detainees are generally allowed one initial phone call to a parent or guardian. Thereafter, they will be allowed to call home during designated hours, generally in the evening. Outgoing phone calls are facilitated through Global tel.net, which provides prepaid phone cards for inmates. (No collect calls are made.) The phone number to call for assistance is (866) 230-7761.
You can send mail to your son or daughter, but packages are not accepted. If desired, you are permitted to bring in an age-appropriate, softcover book and envelopes/postage for correspondence. (The Bakersfield Juvenile Facility will provide materials to allow residents to send out one personal letter per day.)
3. Visiting the Juvenile Hall
Parents and/or guardians are encourage to come in for an initial, 30-minute visit within two days of their child booking into the Bakersfield Juvenile Detention Center. The hours for the initial visits are from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. If your child/teen is classified as “security level 4,” the visit is by appointment only.
San Bernardino juveniles are allowed two visits a week and up to five visitors per session. General visitation for parents/guardians takes place Sundays and visiting hours are from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. Grandparents and spouses may visit with prior approval only.
In special circumstances, approval may be given for other family members to visit. These “special visits” will take place Saturday between the hours of 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., and depending upon the circumstance, may extend to two hours.
Specific rules for visitors at this facility include:
- You must present valid government-issued photo identification.
- Do not bring personal property into the visitation area. This includes purses and cell phones. Small lockers are provided onsite for items you cannot leave in your car.
- No food or beverages may be brought in, and there are no vending machines onsite.
The dress code rules include the following:
- Do not dress in gang colors (red or blue) or wear gang-related insignias or accessories.
- Do not wear team sports attire.
- Clothing displaying obscenities or offensive language/graphics are prohibited.
- Avoid garments that expose body parts or undergarments. This includes tank tops, spaghetti-straps, mini-skirts, short shorts, and unbuttoned or low-cut shirts.
- No hats or sharp-pointed body piercings.
4. Life and Health in Detention
Residents of the Kern County Juvenile Hall have access to medical care onsite seven days a week and mental health services Monday through Saturday. In an emergency, youth are transported to Kern Medical. Special dietary needs will be accommodated at the facility.
Incoming youth receive educational classes at their normal grade level, and physical education is included. Substance abuse programming and therapeutic classes are also offered. JBJH residents wear different colored shirts corresponding with their “high risk” or “low risk” classification.
The juveniles are given opportunities for work assignments, including kitchen, laundry, and landscaping duties. Earned credits provide opportunities for rewards in the recreational multipurpose room. Optional religious services are available each Sunday.
A Juvenile Electronic Monitoring Program is available for selected, lower risk candidates, allowing for early release and home monitoring.
5. Criminal Defense Help
If your child or teen has been arrested and placed into custody at the James G. Bowles Juvenile Hall, you may benefit from consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our juvenile defense lawyers have assisted many California families, and we can often make a difference in a tough situation. Our team includes former state juvenile prosecutors and police officers, so we understand the system very well. To obtain a free consultation today, please call our 24-hour line: 877-631-3652 or contact us online.