San Luis Obispo County Jail


exterior of the SLO jail entrance
San Luis Obispo Jail: 1585 Kansas Avenue San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

The San Luis Obispo County Jail is located along the central coast of California, in the city of San Luis Obispo, CA. Originally built in 1971, this 683-bed facility houses male and female adults sentenced for California misdemeanor and felony crimes. The San Luis Obispo correctional system includes an “Honor Farm” for low-level, non-violent offenders.

Like many California detention facilities, the San Luis Obispo Jail is not without controversy; the SLO Jail has been in the news1 recently regarding a number of inmate deaths, most of which were attributed to medical conditions.

The San Luis Obispo Detention Facility is located about 100 miles north of Santa Barbara, CA. The address and phone number of the jail are:

1585 Kansas Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(805) 781-4600

For the benefit of family members and friends of individuals currently detained in the San Luis Obispo County Correctional System, our California criminal defense lawyers team provides key information below. The following important topics are covered:

1. County Inmate Search

The Sheriff's Department provides an online ”Who Is In Custody“ search engine that can help you find out if your loved one is currently detained at the SLO County Jail. After inputting a first and last name, you will call up a list of booked individuals held at the San Luis Obispo Detention Center, each identified by age, height and weight. The Inmate locator provides each subject's booking number, custody location, scheduled court date, criminal charges, and bail amount, if applicable.

You can also call the jail at (805) 781-4600. The staff will confirm an arrest, detail the criminal charges and provide bail information. (To obtain information by phone regarding dates for a court appearance, the number to call is: (805) 781-5670.)

2. Posting Bail

Usually, San Luis Obispo detainees will be given an option to post bail in order to gain temporary release from custody. If bail is granted, friends or family members can come to the jail to make payment, or alternatively, use the services of a bail bondsman. For specifics regarding bail bonding options for your friend or loved one, see the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's website or call the jail directly at (805) 781-4600.

3. San Luis Obispo Jail Telephone Policies

Family and friends are not permitted to call and speak with an incarcerated individual at the jail, and messages cannot be relayed. However, under California law, three free phone calls are offered to those booked into custody. Once incarcerated, inmates will have access to telephones from which to make outgoing, collect calls or advanced pre-pay calls. At the SLO Jail, phones are generally available between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Pre-paid calling cards for inmates are available for purchase 24 hours/day from Global Tele-Link (GTL) at 1-800-483-8314.

Be advised that all inmate phone calls are subject to monitoring and recording. (Therefore, it is best to avoid speaking about criminal charges so potentially incriminating statements cannot harm the inmate's case.)

4. Inmate Money and Care Packages

San Luis Obispo County Jail inmates are provided basic supplies, but may wish to purchase additional comfort items, such as snacks/treats and preferred toiletries. Friends and family can deposit money in an inmate's account for commissary purchases in a few ways:

  • In person – You can add funds to an inmate cash account by bringing cash, a money order, cashier's check or official bank check to the jail reception window.
  • Online – You can use the Access Securepak website to order commissary items for Tuesday delivery to SLO inmates. Note: there is a $75 limit for inmates in the main jail and $100 limit for Honor Farm.
  • Phone – Make purchases by phone by calling Access SecurePak at (800) 546-6283.
  • Mail – You can send a money order, cashier's check or official bank check through the mail.
san luis obispo visiting hours
SLO Jail Visiting Hours

5. San Luis Obispo Jail Visitation

Visitation options at the San Luis Obispo Jail include appointments for remote video visitation or onsite jail visits. Appointments can be scheduled through, and must be made at least 48 hours in advance.

Video visits are facilitated through your own camera-enabled desktop computer, laptop or tablet. The charge for video visitation is $15 for 20 minutes, and $30 for 40 minutes. (Note: 20% of the gross income from this service is contributed to the county's Inmate Welfare Fund.) Inmates can receive one video visit per day.

Inmates at the San Luis Obispo County Jail are permitted two one-hour onsite jail visits per week, Sunday through Saturday. Onsite visits are available every day except Monday for men's visitation, and every day but Friday for women's visitation.

For more information and a detailed schedule of visiting hours for male and female inmates (as well as Honor Farm visitation, see the Sheriff's “Visiting Information” webpage.

Visitation rules in San Luis Obispo are as follows:

  • Check-in at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
  • Each visitor age 18 and older is required to present valid government issued photo identification. Visitors without acceptable identification will not be allowed to visit.
  • Visitors under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. An underage spouse may visit with papers showing proof of marriage.
  • Only one adult visitor is allowed per inmate visit at a time, though children may accompany the adult. For inmates housed on the Honor Farm, up to three people may visit at one time.
  • All visitors must be dressed appropriately.
  • No personal property will be allowed in the visiting areas. This includes backpacks, purses, cell phones, and strollers.
  • If you are a convicted felon, are currently on parole, or have been released from jail in the past six weeks, you must call the jail at (805) 781-4600 to obtain advanced approval to visit.

Please remember that all visits are monitored and recorded, and incriminating statements pertaining to an inmate's case can be used against him or her in court.

6. Mail Policies

All incoming envelopes for San Luis Obispo Jail inmates should be addressed as follows:

Inmate's Name and Identification Number (available on the sheriff's ”Who Is In Custody“ page.)

San Luis Obispo County Jail
PO Box 15409
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406

All personal mail will be opened and inspected before the inmate receives it. The following items are expressly forbidden:

  • Sexually explicit or obscene material
  • Any material related to gang activity or that advocates violence, crime, or racial hatred
  • Cash and personal checks
  • Food items
  • Medications
  • Polaroid photos or any photos larger than 4” x 6”
  • Greeting cards larger than 6” x 10”
  • Any item larger than 8.5” x 11.5”
  • Postage stamps, blank greeting cards, envelopes, writing paper
  • Packages of any kind (without having first obtained written approval from correctional sergeant)
  • Embossed, or heavyweight card stock greeting cards
  • Glue, tape, staples, paperclips
  • Stickers, glitter, paint or whiteout
  • Items containing fragrance or lipstick/gloss
  • Correspondence to or from another inmate

You can order magazines and up to five soft-cover books for inmates, but they must arrive by US mail directly from a publisher or vendor, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

7. Life/Health in Detention

Incoming inmates are assessed and classified before they are assigned to a minimum, medium, or maximum security housing unit. Their classification level will also determine their eligibility for Honor Farm and other privileges and programs.

The four housing modules in the San Luis Obispo County Jail include the Honor Farm for male inmates who are low-risk (and eligible for association privileges and programs.) Another of the modules is the Kansas Facility which accommodates the Women's Honor Farm participants and the remaining female population at the jail.

A incoming inmates receive a medical and mental health screening. As of February, 2019, the San Luis Obispo Correctional Facility contracted with Wellpath care providers. Through this provider, inmates have access to medical treatment, dental care, and behavioral health services.

If your incarcerated loved one requires specific medication, you can fill out an inmate medication form (also in Spanish). The Sheriff's Department also provides a Step by Step Guide for families of inmates with mental health needs.

The San Luis Obispo County Detention Center complies with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003. There is stated a zero-tolerance policy for acts of sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual harassment. All reports of abuse are investigated. More​ information detailing the PREA enforcement at this jail, including assault and harassment incident reports, is provided on the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's website.

8. Work Release Programs

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Alternative Sentencing Unit (ASU) facilitates two alternative custody arrangements for minimum security offenders:

  • Home Detention Program (HDP): Inmates serving sentences of 20 days or more can apply to serve their sentence in their San Luis Obispo County home while continuing to work at their regular job.
  • Alternative Work Program (AWP): Inmates sentenced to 20 days or less may be eligible to substitute eight hours of general labor for one day of their sentence.

Complete an Application in English, or an Application in Spanish, to be considered for either of these programs. Inmates with sex-related or other types of felony charges are not eligible to participate. For more information, contact the ASU Coordinator at (805) 781-4635.

9. Criminal Legal Assistance

san luis obispo criminal defense attorneys
Call us for help at (855) LAW-FIRM

If you or a loved one has been arrested in San Luis Obispo County, advice from an experienced criminal defense lawyer can make a substantial difference to the outcome of your case. The California Legal Defense Group has assisted numerous people accused of all types of crimes, and has been instrumental in helping many beat criminal allegations or obtain reduced consequences. To get a free consultation and case review, please call (800) LAW-FIRM. Or, contact us online today to request a phone call or appointment.


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