Santa Monica Jail and Station


The Santa Monica Jail is located within the Santa Monica Police Station.  The jail serves as a holding facility for men and women who are arrested in the city of Santa Monica by the Santa Monica PD or California Highway Patrol.

Arrestees are temporarily held at this facility until they

  • are released on their own recognizance (known as an
    "O.R." release),
  • post bail, or
  • are taken to court for their arraignment.

After their first court date male defendants (who remain in custody) will generally be transferred to the Los Angeles Twin Towers Jail, or the Los Angeles Men's Central Jail. Female defendants will be transferred to the the Century Regional Detention Facility.  This is typically because they cannot post bail or they have been convicted of their offense.

The Santa Monica Jail is staffed by a Police Services Management Supervisor, 14 Jailers, and two Jail Attendants.

The Santa Monica Jail processes approximately 4200 people annually. It houses a maximum capacity of between 96 inmates. It is located at

1725 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 458-8482

Parking is located to the south of the courthouse, next to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Parking rates are $1.60 every 20 minutes, $8.00 maximum per day.

On event days there is a flat rate of $8.00. Metered and coin operated parking is available in a parking lot north of the courthouse and directly in front of the courthouse on Main Street.

In this article, our Los Angeles County criminal defense attorneys1 will explain the following:

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, please contact us at Shouse Law Group.

1. Procedures on How to Post Bail for an Inmate at the Santa Monica Jail

After an inmate has been booked into the Santa Monica Jail, his bail will be set according to the Los Angeles County Bail Schedule and based on the crime(s) for which the inmate was arrested.

bail bond sign on shop window
Posting a bail bond tends to be the most common way to bail someone out of jail.

"Bail" is the amount of money that is designed to assure the arresting agency and court that the defendant will make his court appearances after being released from jail. Anyone can pay (or "post") bail on an inmate's behalf.

If you choose to post bail for an inmate, the Santa Monica Jail accepts two forms of bail: cash bail and bail bonds (which are discussed in detail in our article "How to Post Bail in California"). Credit cards and checks are not accepted.  The Jail cannot refer you to specific bail bondsmen.

You may post bail directly at the Santa Monica Police Station (same location as jail) 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

1.1 Cash Bail

If you elect to post cash bail, you must post the full amount. Once you post cash bail, the inmate is released pending his or her first appearance before a judge. If the inmate attends his court appearances, the bail will be returned following the conclusion of the criminal case. If he does not, the defendant forfeits your money to the court.

1.2. Bail bonds

Most people don't have funds to post cash bail or a cashier's check. As a result, posting a bail bond tends to be the most common way to bail someone out of jail. When you post bail you are only required to pay a maximum 7-10% of the total bail amount.

However, bail bondsmen keep your 7-10% as their fee. If the defendant makes all of his court appearances, you do not have to pay any more. But you do not get that 7-10% back. If the inmate doesn't make those appearances, you will be liable for repaying the entire bail amount to the bondsman.

It generally takes about 20 minutes to obtain a bails bond from a bondsman and then generally from 1-2 hours for the inmate to be released from custody from the Santa Monica Street Jail.

Bail bondsmen advertise through the internet, phone books, television, and billboards. Make sure you verify the bondsman's license, and keep copies of all documents for your records.

2. How to Get Inmate Information about an Inmate at the Santa Monica Jail

In order to obtain information about an inmate at the Santa Monica Jail you may

  1. call the Santa Monica Jail at   (310) 458-8482,
  2. call the Los Angeles Inmate Reception Center (the "I.R.C.") at (213) 473-6100, or
  3. access information via the web on the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's inmate information website. ∗The L.A. Sheriff's Department provides information for all inmates in Los Angeles County.

Inmate information is generally not available until at least two hours after booking.

Before a deputy will release information, you must provide the inmate's correct full legal name or his booking number.

Generally, inmates who are being held in custody must be brought before a judge within two (2) court days of being arrested. At that point, the judge will either continue the arraignment or will set the case for a pre-trial hearing.

If you wish to look up this type of case information for an inmate being housed at the Santa Monica Jail, visit the Los Angeles County case information website.

3. How to Contact an Inmate at the Santa Monica Jail

Inmates cannot receive incoming calls or messages. When an individual is booked into the Santa Monica Jail, the jail staff typically allows the arrestee 30 minutes to one hour to make free local telephone calls to arrange for bail, inform family members as to their whereabouts, and contact an attorney.

Thereafter, calls must be placed on a collect basis. If you know that a friend/family member is being held in the Santa Monica Jail, you may want to contact your local telephone carrier to make sure that collect calls are not blocked on your telephone plan.

Inmates are only temporarily housed at this facility. Thus they are not there long enough to receive mail.

However, you can personally visit an inmate at the Jail, in accordance with the facility's visiting hours and policies described below.

4. Visiting Hours and Policies

visiting hours written on chalk board
Visiting hours are seven days a week from 10:00am to 11:30am.

Inmates may generally visit with one (1) guest and one (1) child once a day. Those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult with valid identification to visit.  Visiting hours are seven days a week from 10:00am to 11:30am.

Visits typically last a maximum of 15-30 minutes. Visiting hours are subject to change without notice. Thus, it is a good idea to call the Santa Monica Jail at (310) 458-8482 prior to your visit to make sure the inmate

  1. is permitted to receive visitors, and
  2. will be present in the jail and not in court.

Appointments are not required.  Visits are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Attorneys and members of the clergy are not bound by these restrictions and may visit an inmate 24 hours a day / 7 days per week.

All visitors must bring valid picture identification, such as

In addition, all visitors are subject to a search of their person and property. Visitors may not bring anything illegal to the facility nor may they bring anything to the inmates.

5. Procedures for the Return of Property

When an inmate is booked into the Santa Monica Jail, his belongings are collected and stored. This property is returned to the inmate once he is released or transferred to a county jail.

Alternatively, an inmate who was arrested on a misdemeanor charge can fill out a property release form designating another person to claim that property.

Inmates who are arrested on felony charges must receive approval from a detective before they will be permitted to release their property.

If an inmate has chosen you to pick up his property from the Santa Monica Jail, you must bring a government issued I.D.  This procedure is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Call us for help...

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If you or loved one is charged with a crime and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

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