The James A. Musick Jail Facility in Irvine, CA "The Farm"


exterior of irvine jail
James A. Musick Jail Facility in Irvine, CA

The James A. Musick Jail Facility in Irvine is a 1,250-bed facility that accommodates both male and female inmates.  This complex

  1. temporarily houses arrestees until they
    • post bail,
    • are released on their own recognizance (known as an O.R. release), or
    • appear for their arraignment, and
  2. houses convicted defendants who have been sentenced to incarceration.

With respect to convicted defendants, the James A. Musick Jail receives low-security risk inmates who have primarily been convicted of non-violent misdemeanor crimes such as

This jail is interchangeably referred to as "The Farm", "The County Industrial Farm" and "The Honor Farm".  This is due to the emphasis on rehabilitative efforts that this facility has always placed on "farm-type" activities.

The Musick Facility is located on one hundred acres in the unincorporated area of Orange County near the cities of Irvine and Lake Forrest.

13502 Musick Road
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 855-2600

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

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

1. Procedures on How to Post Bail for an Inmate at the James A. Musick Jail

Men and women who are arrested in Orange County will be taken to the Orange County Intake Release Center ("IRC").  Once they are booked, they are transferred to the James A. Musick Jail, to the Theo Lacy Jail or will remain at IRC, also known as the Orange County Central Jail.  The lowest security risk inmates are taken to the James A. Musick Jail.

Bail for the Musick Facility is set according to the Orange County Bail Schedule and will be determined based on the crime(s) for which the inmate was arrested.

"Bail" refers to the money that the inmate (or someone on the inmate's behalf) pays to assure the arresting agency and court that the inmate will make his/her court appearances after being released from jail.

If the defendant attends all court appearances, the bail will be returned at the end of the case.  If the defendant does not attend all of his/her court appearances, the inmate forfeits that money to the court.

There is no cashier at the James A. Musick Jail.  If you wish to bail someone out of this Jail, you must post bail at either

  • the Theo Lacy Jail (located at 501 The City Drive South, Orange, CA 92868) between the hours of 6:30pm and midnight, Monday through Thursday or 8:00am and midnight Friday through Sunday, or at
  • the Intake Release Center "IRC" (located at 550 North Flower Street, Santa Ana, CA 92702) 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Both facilities accept the following forms of bail:

  • Cash (If you pay "or post" cash bail, you must pay the full amount),
  • Cashier's checks (If you pay with a cashier's check, it, too, must be for the full amount.  It must be on a California bank-drawn check payable to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.  Once the jail verifies the funds, the inmate will be released),
  • Personal checks (Make your check payable to the Orange County Superior Court.  The maximum amount that you can write a check for is $7,500.  Be sure that the check corresponds with the issuer's driver's license or California identification card and that it is on a California bank check),
  • Traveler's checks (Traveler's checks should be payable to the Orange County Sheriff's Department and will only be accepted if signed in the presence of a cashier at the cashier's office at the time you are posting bail),
  • Money orders (Money orders - issued from any state - should be payable to the Orange County Sheriff's Department and must be for the exact bail amount), and
  • Bail bonds (Bail bonds are the most common way to post bail, as they only require you to pay a nonrefundable maximum of 10% of the total bond.  The catch is that if the inmate doesn't make all of his/her court appearances, you will be liable for repaying the bondsman the full bail amount.  You can search for a bail bondsman via the Internet or in the phone book.  Make sure you ask for the bondsman's license for verification.  You should also request copies of all documents and maintain them for your records).

Once an inmate has been bailed out from the Musick Jail, he/she will be sent via bus back to the IRC for release where he/she will be available to be picked up.

∗NOTE:  After you post bail, you should immediately consult with an Irvine criminal defense attorney to seek legal representation.  An experienced local attorney can even help you schedule a bail hearing to potentially reduce or even waive the inmate's bail.

And a word of caution - the James A. Musick Jail does not permit you to combine checks, money orders and cash to make a bail payment.  You must post the full bail amount using only one type of payment.

2. How to Get Inmate Information

If you wish to obtain information about an inmate at the James A. Musick Jail Facility, you can

Before you will be given information, you must know the inmate's full name and his/her date of birth.

Typically, inmates who are being held in custody must be arraigned within two (2) 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 the case information for an inmate or defendant being housed at the James Musick Jail, visit the Orange County case information website.

3. How to Contact an Inmate at the James A. Musick Jail

Inmates at the James A. Musick Jail are allowed to make a free outgoing phone call when they arrive at the facility.  Beyond that, inmates are only allowed to place outgoing phone calls that are either collect or made with a calling card.

If you wish to buy a calling card for an inmate, you may

  1. send the inmate money in accordance with the policies set forth under Section 6. How to Put Money "On the Books" At the James A. Musick Jail so that he/she can purchase one at the jail's commissary,
  2. purchase a card online from the Global Tel* Link's website that you can then mail to the inmate directly in accordance with the jail's rules on mail correspondence discussed in Section 5. Rules and Regulations Regarding Mail Correspondence, or
  3. call Global Tel* Link directly at (800) 483-8314 and then mail the card in accordance with the same mail procedures.

These cards are available in increments of $25 and $50.  In order to make sure that the correct inmate receives the card, be sure that the card bears the inmate's booking number and/or full name.

If you opt not to send money or a calling card, be sure to contact your local telephone company to ensure that you are able to receive collect calls and that they are not automatically blocked on your phone plan.

Inmates are not allowed to receive incoming calls.  You may, however, opt to visit an inmate in person or via mail correspondence.  Both of these options are discussed in the two sections that follow.

4. Visiting Hours and Policies

Each inmate at the James A. Musick Jail Facility is allowed to have one 30-minute visit per day from a maximum of two adults and one child under the age of 5.  A minor may visit an inmate without an adult if he/she is a direct blood relative of the inmate and has received prior approval from the Jail's Watch Commander.

4.1. James A. Musick Jail visiting hours

If you wish to visit an inmate at The Farm, you may do so Friday through Sunday between the hours of 8:00am and 6:00pm, with the last sign-up being taken at 5:00pm.  All visits are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Attorneys are not restricted to these visiting hours and may visit an inmate 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.  Members of the clergy are permitted to visit inmates 7 days a week anytime during regular business hours, 8:00am to 5:00 pm.

All visitors must be prepared to show a valid government issued photo I.D. card, such as

  • a California driver's license,
  • a California identification card,
  • a U.S. Passport,
  • an alien registration card, or
  • a U.S. military card.

4.2. Visiting restrictions

All visitors are subject to a search of their person/property and must successfully pass through a metal detector.  Those who refuse to do so will be denied entry.  Those who are found with any type of weapon or object that may be used to injure another will not only be denied entry but may also be arrested on the spot.

If you are on probation or parole, you will not be permitted to visit an inmate at the Musick Jail unless

  1. you are the spouse or child of an inmate,
  2. you received a pre-approval from your probation/parole officer and the Jail's Watch Commander, and
  3. it has been more than 60 days since you were incarcerated.

Visitors must not bring any

  • food,
  • drinks,
  • cigarettes,
  • matches,
  • lighters,
  • cell phones, or
  • anything else deemed "inappropriate" for a jail visit.

Anyone wearing offensive or inappropriate clothing may be denied entry, as will anyone who is disruptive, intoxicated or poses a security threat.  And on that note, anyone found in violation of any law will be subject to arrest.

5. Rules and Regulations Regarding Mail Correspondence

If you wish to send mail to an inmate at the Musick Jail Complex, address it to

[Inmate's name and booking number]
James A. Musick Facility
13502 Musick Road
Irvine, CA 92618

All mail must comport with the facility's rules and regulations below.

5.1. Acceptable mail items

  • Money orders that include the inmate's full name and booking number,
  • photos that are 8x10 or smaller (as long as they do not depict any nudity or sexually suggestive matter), and
  • new paperback reading materials that are sent directly from a publishing company or distributor (,, etc.)  ∗Each inmate at the James A. Musick Jail may only have up to five (5) books at any given time.

5.2. Unacceptable mail items

You are prohibited from sending

  • anything that can't go through an inspection without being damaged,
  • any item that contains foil, metal, glass, wood, hard plastic, rubber or any illegal substance,
  • maps, travel brochures, calendars or posters,
  • cash, credit cards, checkbooks, personal or payroll checks,
  • food,
  • clothing, hygiene items or other personal property,
  • padded envelopes, or
  • any item that an inmate can buy from the Musick Jail's commissary (many of which can be viewed by clicking here).

Prohibited mail will not be delivered to the inmate.

6. How to Put Money "On the Books" At the James A. Musick Jail

Putting money "on the books" is a procedure that conveniently offers family members or friends of inmates at the James A. Musick Jail the opportunity to deposit money into an inmate's in-house bank account.  Any cash that the inmate had at the time of booking will also be deposited into this account unless the money was confiscated by the arresting agency as evidence of a crime.

This account allows inmates to purchase items that are available at the commissary, such as food, drinks, games, and cosmetics while they are incarcerated at the Farm.

If you wish to "put money on the books" you may mail in a money order payable to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.  All money orders must include the inmate's full name and booking number and should be mailed to

[Inmate's full name and booking number]
Intake Release Center
550 North Flower Street,
Santa Ana, CA 92702

If you choose to deposit cash, you may do so 24 hours a day / 7 days a week at the IRC address just listed or at the Theo Lacy cashier's office Monday through Thursday between the hours of 6:30pm and midnight or Friday through Sunday from 8:00am to midnight at

The Theo Lacy Jail
501 The City Drive South
Orange, CA 92868

Inmates at the Musick Jail are allowed to have a maximum of $500 on their account at any given time.  If you send in an amount that will cause the account to exceed that limit, the money order will not be deposited into their account but will instead be held by the property division of the Jail.

7. Procedures Regarding the Return of Property

When inmates are taken to the James A. Musick Jail, any property they have at the time of arrest is collected and stored.  It will either be returned upon the inmate's release or distributed to a designated friend/family member.

If the inmate wishes to designate someone to pick up his/her property, he/she may do so during a regular visit directly at the facility.  The inmate must simply request a release form from a Jail deputy at that time.

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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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