The Imperial County Sheriff's Department runs two correctional facilities in El Centro, CA: The 314-bed Herbert Hughes Correctional Center (HHCC) and 288-bed Regional Adult Detention Facility (RADF). Both jails house male and female adult offenders who are in the pre-sentence stage or who have been convicted for a California misdemeanor and/or felony crime.
The main Imperial County Jail, HHCC, is located about 20 minutes north of the California/Mexico border.
The address and phone number is:
Herbert Hughes Correctional Center
328 Applestill Road
El Centro, CA 92243
Offered below is information provided for family members and friends of individuals currently detained in the Imperial County Correctional System. Our team of California criminal defense lawyers provide key information on the following topics:
- How to Locate an Inmate
- Imperial County Bail Bonding
- Telephone and Messaging Services
- Commissary Cash Accounts
- Visitation for Imperial County Inmates
- Mail Policies
- Life and Health in the Detention Center
- Criminal Defense Help
1. Imperial County Inmate Information
To find out if your friend or loved one is currently incarcerated in an Imperial County Detention Center, you can call the main jail at (442) 265-2220, and select option #1. A staff member will provide details about criminal charges, housing location, booking number and bail amount, if any.
Alternatively, you can go to the national VINE website, which provides detailed, online information about all U.S. criminal bookings and sentenced inmates.
2. Bail Bonding
In many cases, detainees at the Imperial County Correctional Facility will be given an option to post bail, providing temporary freedom from incarceration. If bail is granted, friends or family members can come to the jail to make payment, which must be in cash (exact amount only), a cashier's check or a bail bond issued by a licensed agency.
It is important to note: California criminal bail laws are due to change as of October 1, 2019, when they will be replaced with a completely new system (known as "preventive detention”).
3. Imperial County Phones and Communication
New detainees have the legal right to make initial free phone calls to local numbers, allowing them to reach out to family/friends and seek help from legal counsel. However, friends and family members are not allowed to call into the jail and speak directly with a detainee or inmate. Phone are provided in the housing units, and inmates are allowed time to use them for outgoing personal calls.
Inmate communication in the Imperial County Detention Center is facilitated through TelMate, which has a gettingout.com website. Options include opportunities to leaving voicemail (at a charge of $1.00 each) and electronic, written messages, similar to email or texts. (Note that all messages must be pre-approved before they are posted.)
Phone calls can be prepaid for through the website, or set up to allow for “Quick Connect” credit card acceptance. You can also set up collect call billing to your landline through TelMate. Fees are assessed for online deposits or telephone assisted calls and there are per-minute rates charged as well. The phone number to call is for help is (866) 516-0115.
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 wise to refrain from speaking or writing about pending criminal charges to avoid damaging your loved one's case.
4. Inmate Cash Accounts
An individual funding account is set up for each Imperial County Jail inmate, and this is used to pay for commissary items (and may be used for medical co-pays also.) Typical commissary selections will include snacks/treats, hygiene items, stationary materials and limited entertainment products.
Family members and friends can contribute to Imperial County inmate cash accounts in one of a few ways:
- Lobby Kiosk – There is a Telmate kiosk machine located in the front office lobby. The machine accepts cash and credit/debit card deposits, which go directly into the inmate's account.
- Online – After creating an account, you can pay with credit or debit cards online at gettingout.com. Handling charges will be assessed for deposit transactions.
- Telephone – Call TelMate at (866) 516-0115 to make a deposit by phone (which also involves transaction fees).
5. Visiting an Imperial County Inmate
Visitation at the Imperial County Correctional Center includes onsite visitation and video visits scheduled from your home computer. (Note that onsite visits will also take place through video screens placed in the lobby.) The jail allows for onsite visits every day beginning at 9:00 a.m., with the last available time slots at 9:00 p.m. Each inmate, unless under restriction, is allowed a minimum of two, one-hour visits each week (with a limit of one visit per day).
The various inmate housing units at the Imperial County Jail have specific visiting hours at the jail. The Sheriff's Office provides a visitation schedule, or you can call (442) 265-2220 to find out specific visitation opportunities for a specific inmate. Note that visitors must sign up for a visit one hour ahead of schedule.
Home video visits are facilitated through TelMate. To get started, you must set up an account at the gettingout.com website (or call (866) 516-0115 for help). There are video visitation kiosks in each of the Herbert Hughes Correctional Center housing units. Visits are scheduled by making an online request for the inmate to accept.
To participate in video visitation, you must have a computer with a webcam, microphone, and Adobe Flash software installed, and must have access to high speed Internet. You can also use an Android mobile device for video visits.
Rules for visitation onsite in Imperial County include the following:
- You must present a valid identification card to sign up for a visit. This means a government-issued photo ID, birth certificate, or alien registration card.
- Minors can visit as long as they are in the company of a parent or legal guardian. Paperwork must be provided as proof of guardian status.
- There is a maximum allowance of two visitors per session. A child will count as a visitor unless he or she is a baby carried in an adult visitor's arms. (There is a maximum of two carried babies per visit.)
- Do not bring in any items for the inmate, including mail, clothing, or food.
- You are restricted from bringing any personal items to the visitation area except your identification, keys and a wallet. No purses, bags, backpacks are allowed. Disallowed items will be store in lockers in the jail lobby.
- There is a dress code, which prohibits wearing revealing clothing for jail visits. This means no see through or low cut clothing, no tank tops, spaghetti straps or strapless tops, and no shorts, skirts, or dresses that reach higher than mid-thigh.
6. Mail Policies
Imperial County Detention Center inmates can receive and send an unlimited amount of personal correspondence. Writing materials and stamped envelopes are available for purchase through commissary.
Envelopes coming into the jail must include your first and last name and full return address. Mail can be addressed as shown below:
Inmate's Full Name
The Herbert Hughes Correctional Center (H.H.C.C.)
P.O. Box 680
El Centro, California 92244
Inmate's Full Name
The Regional Adult Detention Facility (R.A.D.F.)
P.O. Box 679
El Centro, California 92244
Generally, envelopes sent into a California correctional center should be plain without added stickers, glue, glitter, lipstick marks, perfume, etc. If you would like to send in softcover books or other reading material, they should be ordered directly from the publisher, Amazon.com, or Barnes and Noble. Do not send in material that is obscene, gang-related or an incitement to violence, drug use or racial hate crime.
7. Life and Health in Detention
The HHCC, which was built in the early 1960's, includes six, “dormitory style” housing units and a multi-purpose room. The RADF was built later, in the 1970's, and was placed into use as a correctional facility in1981. It has 12 two-person housing “modules” and also includes a medical unit.
Incoming inmates receive a medical screening and classification assessment before they are assigned to a residential unit. Housing assessments for sentenced inmates will consider the criminal charge, history, health, and observed conduct.
The Imperial County Correctional Center provides detailed online information for families of detainees and inmates who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. You can call the jail at (442) 265-2220 and select option four to reach the medical department. The sheriff's department provides an online Inmate Medication Information Form, as well as a Spanish version.
There are a number of programs offered for Imperial County inmates, including educational classes and programming targeted toward rehabilitation. Inmates can work toward their general education diploma (GED), take ESL classes, and attend sessions on anger management, parenting and employment readiness. Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous meetings are also facilitated.
Imperial County Jail residents are given opportunities to participate as an inmate worker, working in the kitchen, commissary, or laundry or on housekeeping duty, grounds or roadside cleanup or vehicle cleaning. Outdoor crews are limited to sentenced inmates who have not been convicted of a violent or sexual crime. Participating inmates are eligible to receive weekly pay as well as work credit.
The Imperial County Correctional Facility works to remain in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003. This includes a “zero tolerance policy” for sexual violence or inmate or staff sexual harassment. An online 2018 PREA annual incident report is provided by the Imperial County Sheriff.
8. Legal Defense for Criminal Charges
The experienced criminal attorneys at California Legal Defense Group are dedicated to helping accused individuals defend their constitutional rights. We have often been able to assist past clients to beat criminal charges or obtain substantially reduced penalties. Our lawyers are aggressive advocates with a thorough understanding of the California criminal justice system. For a free consultation and case review, please call us today at (855) 396-0370 or contact us online.