The Fresno County Jail (FCJ) correctional system consists of three main jails and a satellite facility, all located in the heart of downtown Fresno, CA. The complex houses adult detainees and inmates sentenced for California misdemeanor and felony crimes. The vast majority of those held are in the pre-trial stage.
There is a stated capacity of 2,427 inmates, but the Fresno Jail system is experiencing significant overcrowding and currently operates well beyond its intended capacity. The Fresno Sheriff's Office website posts “population statistics” which provides a daily update of the number of inmates and detainees who are “guests” of the County.
Three facilities in the Fresno County Jail system are connected by underground tunnels near the Fresno courthouse, while the fourth, the minimum security “Satellite Jail,” is located about two miles south of the city core.
The addresses of the main jails are:
1225 M Street
Fresno, CA 93721
North Annex Jail
1265 M Street
Fresno, CA 93721
South Annex Jail
2280 Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93721
The Jail Information line to call for general questions is (888) 373-7011.
For the benefit of family members and friends of individuals currently detained in the Fresno County Correctional System, our California criminal defense lawyers team provides key information below. The following important topics are covered:
- 1. Locate a Fresno Inmate
- 2. Posting Bail
- 3. Telephone Contact at the Jail(s)
- 4. Commissary Account Funding
- 5. Visiting a Fresno County Inmate
- 6. Mail Policies
- 7. Life and Health in Detention
- 8. Inmate Property
- 9. Criminal Legal Defense
1. Fresno County Inmate Locator
The Fresno Sheriff provides an online “Inmate Search” function that will help you locate someone currently in custody. By inputting a first and last name, you will receive a list of potential candidates booked into Fresno County, identified by race and birthdate. Clicking on the booking number, you can call up your friend or loved one's specific criminal charges and category (felony or misdemeanor) as well as bail information, if offered.
2. Bail Bonding
In many cases, arrested individuals are given the opportunity to gain temporary freedom by posting a bail bond. It is best to call the information line at (888) 373-7011 to get specific details about your payment options.
A note about California bail: the system is set to change as of October 1, 2019. At that time, the current criminal bail system will be replaced with a new plan, known as “preventive detention.”
3. Phone Communication with Inmates
Under California law, all detainees have the right to make three, free (local) phone calls, including to a loved one and a lawyer. Family members and friends cannot call in to speak with a Fresno Detention Center detainee or inmate. If there is an emergency situation, you are instructed to call the watch commander at (559) 600-8440 or ask to speak to a sergeant at your inmate's facility of residence.
Depending upon the housing unit and disciplinary status, most inmates have access to phones in the “dayrooms,” or common areas of their holding pods. In Fresno, this is generally between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:45 p.m.
Outgoing inmate calls are billed collect or can be prepaid for by friends or family through Legacy Inmate Communications. Some cell phone providers do not allow collect call billing, and you will need to go through this website to establish your connection. Brochures in English and Spanish provide more information, or call Legacy at (888) 729-4326.
You can also leave fee-based voice messages for Fresno inmates through the Legacy service. Voice messages can be left by calling the jail information line at (888) 373-7011, and selecting option #2.
It is important to note that inmate phone calls and messages will be subject to monitoring and recording. Thus, it is always in the best interest of your loved one to refrain from speaking about criminal charges over the phone.
4. Fresno Inmate Cash Accounts
Fresno County Jail inmates have access to basic supplies, but may purchase additional comfort items for weekly commissary delivery. There are a variety of options, including snacks, toiletries, stationary materials, reading glasses, and everyday medications. Each intimate is limited to $175 in commissary purchases per week.
Inmate cash accounts to fund commissary purchases start with cash found on the individual at the time of arrest. Additional deposits may be made by family members and friends in a few different ways:
- Lobby Kiosk – Each Fresno jail has a TouchPay kiosk that accepts cash, credit and debit cards. The main jail lobby hours are 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and the annex facility hours are 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Telephone – Call (866) 232-1899 to set up a TouchPay account. To make a deposit, you will need the facility locator number for Fresno County Jail (293721) and will also need the inmate's booking number.
- Online – You can pay with credit or debit cards at www.touchpaydirect.com. Use the facility locator number above. Fees are assessed for all deposits.
- Online Gift Packs -- You can also order weekly gift packages for Fresno inmates at MyCarePack.com.
Costs to deposit funds are $2.95 to $5.95 per transaction. Note that indigent inmates receive a basic care package that includes hygiene items and correspondence materials.
5. Fresno Detention Center Visitation
Because of the size and scope of corrections in Fresno, visitation days and times are different for each facility and housing pod. The Fresno Sheriff's “Visiting Schedule” provides details about visiting hours, which are available daily at the main jail and north and south annex facilities.
Generally, visitation opportunities are as follows:
Main Jail -- 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.
North and South Annex – 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.
The last sign up for available time slots is 45 minutes prior to visitation end. Note that when an inmate is engaged in an activity, he or she will not be interrupted for visits. (In this case, you can wait onsite until the activity ends.)
Fresno Jail inmates are permitted two 30-minute personal visits each week, and may also be allowed to combine the allotted time into one, hour-long visit. The maximum is three visitors for one session, including children. Visits take place through a window, and you will be speaking through an audio handset. Please remember that your conversations are not private.
Rules for visitation at a Fresno County Detention Center are as follows:
- Minors (under 18) must be accompanied by an adult.
- Children must be supervised (and under control) at all times.
- Loud talking or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.
- Do not sit on the visiting table.
- If you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may not visit (and may be subject to arrest).
- You may bring only your valid ID and car keys into the visitation area. (If you have a baby with you, you can also bring in one blanket, one diaper, and one bottle.)
- Cell phones, purses, cameras, food/beverages, etc. are strictly prohibited. (If you bring in a cell phone, you may be banned from visiting for 90 days.)
A dress code is enforced and applies to male and female visitors of all ages:
- You must remain fully clothed at all times, including undergarments and shoes or sandals.
- No revealing clothing should be worn. Sheer or cut-out items must not reveal private areas and garments should not be excessively tight. All fasteners, including buttons, snaps, and zippers, must remain fastened.
- Shorts, dresses, and skirts should not show more than 3 inches above the knee (while in a standing position).
- Swimsuits, plunging necklines, halters, tank or crop tops, strapless and “spaghetti'-strap tops are not acceptable.
- Clothing should not display graphics including obscenity, gang insignia or symbols, drugs or alcohol, or hate speech.
6. Mail Policies
Fresno County Jail inmates can receive (and send) an unlimited amount of mail. Writing materials and stamped envelopes are available for purchase through commissary, and indigent inmates are provided with materials to send out two letters a week.
All correspondence must be addressed as follows:
Inmate's Name, Booking Number/Jail Identification Number
P.O. Box 872
Fresno, CA 93712
The booking number and “JID” or Person ID must be included for mail delivery, and the inmate's name must match the booking name. (These can be obtained on the sheriff's “Inmate Search” page.)
There are strict policies for items that can and cannot be mailed to Fresno Detention Center inmates. All mail is opened and inspected for contraband. For complete information, visit the jail website page on mail policies.
Generally, you can send letters and postcards and simple greeting cards, but should avoid excess or added décor on cards and envelopes (no crayon, markers, musical features, fragrance, etc.) You may send photos no larger than 4” x 6”, and no nudity or sexually suggestive content is accepted. No padded envelopes or boxes are accepted. Do not send material that is gang related, threatening or contains any type of illegal or dangerous content.
You can order magazines, newspapers and soft-cover books for direct delivery from a publisher or book store. All material must be appropriate, following the rules above.
7. Life and Health at CDC
Incoming Fresno County Detention Facility inmates go through an intake process, including medical screening and a classification assessment. Once behavioral and other factors have been determined, inmates are housed according to their level of security risk.
Health professionals are available to inmates onsite and offsite, as needed. This includes doctors, dentists, nurses, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals. Private prescription medications are not usually administered by jail staff, but medication can be ordered upon approval by a physician. A charge nurse can be reached at (559) 600-9360 regarding inmate medication. Inmates with serious mental health conditions are assessed and provided with stabilization and other services.
Many types of programs are offered to Fresno County Jail inmates. These include academic and life skills programs, religious services, drug and alcohol education, and transitional services. Physical recreation opportunities are provided twice a week.
The Fresno correctional system includes a 20+ member Security Emergency Response and Tactics (SERT) Team, which was formed in response to overcrowded conditions. To handle inmate disturbances that may be life-threatening, highly trained SERT team members are prepared to respond with specialized weaponry and tactical action.
The County takes steps to comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003. There is a zero tolerance policy for sexual misconduct between inmates or staff members, and allegations should be reported.
8. Inmate Property
Fresno inmates can sign paperwork to release confiscated property to a family member or friend. Valid ID will be required for property pick-up. Report to the main jail lobby to request property.
9. Talk to a Criminal Lawyer
If your loved one has been arrested in Fresno County, it doesn't have to mean incarceration and other damaging consequences. The experienced criminal attorneys at California Legal Defense Group have a strong record of favorable results for past clients. We can help you successfully fight criminal allegations and beat the charges or substantially reduce penalties. We offer a free consultation and case review. Please call us today at (855) 396-0370 or contact us online.