Santa Barbara County Jail

Santa Barbara County Jail entrance
Santa Barbara County Jail - 4434 Calle Real - c/o google

The Santa Barbara County Jail is located in the coastal city of Santa Barbara, CA. This detention center holds pre-sentenced detainees as well as those serving sentences for California misdemeanor and felony crimes. Originally built in 1850, the facility houses approximately 1,000 male and female inmates.

The Santa Barbara Correctional Facility is run by the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department. A second jail under this jurisdiction is expected to be operational at the end of 2019. The new 375-bed facility, the “Northern Branch Jail”, will relieve some of the current overcrowding at the main jail.

The address and phone number of the Santa Barbara County Jail is:

4434 Calle Real
Santa Barbara, California 93110
(805) 681-4100

Our team of California criminal defense lawyers provide important information below, including many details about Santa Barbara Jail policies. For the benefit of family and friends of detainees currently held at the facility, the following topics are covered:

1. Inmate Search

Using the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department website, you can conduct an inmate search with the ”Who is in Custody” feature. Information about incarcerated individuals can be located by inputting a first or last name. Inmates in custody are identified by date of birth, height/weight, and other distinguishing characteristics. The online information will also tell you the CID number, bail amount (if granted), projected release date, and visiting hours.

2. Posting Bail

Most criminal detainees will be granted the opportunity to gain freedom from incarceration through payment of a bail bond. Generally, bail payment will be collected at the jail or you can contact a bail bonding agency for assistance. (Note that a bail bondsman will charge a nonrefundable fee.) For specifics regarding bail options for your friend or relative, call the jail at (805) 681-4100.

3. Telephone Contact

Under California law, incoming jail detainees can make at least three free local phone calls, which are most often used to contact loved ones and/or a criminal lawyer. Family and friends are not permitted to call into the Santa Barbara Jail to speak directly with a detainee or inmate. However, inmates have access to phones in the housing units from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and can make outgoing calls using a pre-paid phone card.

To set up an account to fund telephone contact from your loved one, go to

or call (866) 516-0115. You can also leave a short voicemail message for an inmate (cost: $1.00 per message.)

Please note that all phone calls from the jail are subject to monitoring and recording. This means it is important to avoid speaking about criminal charges and the facts of the inmate's case.

Santa Barbara County Jail Visiting Hours
Santa Barbara County Jail Visiting Hours

4. Inmate Visitation

Visits with family and friends at the Santa Barbara Correctional Facility are non-contact. Visitation days for the Main Santa Barbara Jail are Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and each inmate is limited to two 45-minute visits per week. Visiting hours are determined by the inmate's cell unit, and the Sheriff's Department provides a visitation schedule with details. (Note: there is a separate IRC Visitation Schedule and Northwest Visitation Schedule.)

Jail visits are scheduled onsite at the facility on a first come-first serve basis. Each month, inmates choose up to four people to be screened for pre-approval for visitation. A maximum of two visitors (including children) are permitted per visit, and pets are not allowed.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff enforces strict visitation rules:

  • Minors under the age of 18 must be in the company of a parent or legal guardian.
  • Acceptable identification will be required for each adult visitor.
  • Children must remain under supervision throughout the visitation process.
  • You may visit one inmate only per visitation day.
  • If you leave the visiting room once the visit is in progress, you will not be allowed to return.
  • You may not bring purses, backpacks, food, beverages, cigarettes, vaping devices or any type of weapon or drugs into the visiting area.
  • Cell phones, cameras and all types of recording devices are strictly prohibited. If you are found with a cell phone, you may receive a citation and be banned from visiting for a full year.
  • Once registered for a visit, all visitors must be present to check in one hour prior to the scheduled visit.
  • If you are currently on felony parole, or have been released from jail in the past 12 months, you will not be permitted to visit. (If you are a convicted felon who has served time in state prison, be aware it is a felony to enter the grounds of a county jail without advanced written permission from the jail administrator.)

Additionally, there is a strict dress code for visitation at the Santa Barbara Jail. Visitors should be fully clothed, including wearing footwear.

Prohibited attire includes:

  • Pajamas and swimsuits
  • Tank tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps or any shirts without sleeves
  • Sheer or see-through fabric
  • Bare midriffs or exposed undergarments
  • Sexually suggestive or provocative clothing
  • Shorts or skirts shorter than mid-thigh
  • Clothes styled in recognized gang fashion (gang-related colors, graphics or symbols)

It is important to note: all visits with inmates may be monitored and recorded.

5. Commissary Funding

Though Santa Barbara Correctional Facility inmates have access to basic supplies, most will want to purchase additional comfort items from the commissary. The selection will generally include food items, toiletries, as well as writing materials.

Family and friends can contribute to the inmate cash account to help fund commissary purchases. To register for a deposit account, call (866) 232-1899, or go to the Touchpay website. To make a deposit, you will need the facility locator number (293160) and the inmate's booking number, which you can find online at ”Who is in Custody.”

Through the Touchpay system, you can deposit funds to your loved one's trust account any time of day using a credit or debit card or electronic check. Commissary deposits can also be made via the kiosk machine in the jail lobby. Another commissary option is to purchase care package items for your loved one through

6. Rules for Inmate Mail

You can send letters in unlimited quantity to a Santa Barbara Detention Center inmate. Your friend or loved one can reply, with correspondence materials and postage available through commissary.

Incoming inmate correspondence should be addressed as follows:

Inmate's full name and CID number
Santa Barbara County Jail
4436 Calle Real
Santa Barbara, CA 93110

When sending mail to your loved one, include your name and return address on the front of the envelope and the inmate's booking number on the back. All incoming mail is opened and screened before being delivered to the inmate. Staff may deny any correspondence that is considered “inappropriate” in any way.

You can enclose up to five standard photographs 4” x 6” or smaller in your correspondence. If you have included photos, clearly mark the outside of the envelope with the word, “Photographs.” Each photo must be clearly labeled with the inmate's name, CID Number and Booking Number on the back. No other writing can be added to the photo.

Do not mail any of the following items to a Santa Barbara Jail inmate:

  • Cash, lottery tickets, money orders, checks, and Personal ID cards
  • Food of any kind
  • Drugs or drug-related material
  • Polaroid photographs
  • Blank correspondence materials: postcards/envelopes/stationary/greeting cards
  • Greeting cards enhanced with music, pop-ups, etc.
  • Pamphlets and cards made from any material other than standard cardstock
  • Ink drawings or heavy crayon artwork
  • Cloth, leather, string, buttons, bows, ribbons, balloons
  • Stickers, gum labels, glitter, pens or pencils
  • Items containing metal such as foil, paper clips, wire, staples, spiral bindings, or jewelry of any kind
  • Sexually suggestive material (including nude photos)
  • Any material that is gang related or advocating violence, crime, rioting, or racial hatred

New, soft-cover books, magazines and newspapers can be ordered for Santa Barbara County Jail inmates, but must arrive directly from a publisher or vendor, such as books and periodicals must comply with the rules above. They will be rejected if they contain suggestions of hatred or violence, or compromise the safety of the facility in any way.

7. Life at the Detention Center

Incoming Santa Barbara Detention Facility inmates are assessed according to their criminal history, observed behavior, gang affiliation, etc. Once the classification assessment is complete, inmates are housed according to their level of security risk.

The Santa Barbara County Jail has four housing units designed to accommodate all risk levels: The Main Jail, Inmate Receiving Center (IRC), Northwest, and Medium Security Facility (MSF.)

Santa Barbara County provides medical, mental and spiritual services to inmates. If required, inmates can be transported to outside medical appointments.

The Sheriff's Office has partnered with Community Outreach, an organization which supplements the inmate enrichment programs offered by the jail. Volunteers offer Twelve-Step Programs, Prison Yoga, Mindfulness and Self-Awareness classes to inmates. An “STP” program is for inmates considered at high risk for reoffending. Targeted classes are offered on anger management, criminal and addictive thinking, cognitive behavioral training, etc.

The Santa Barbara Correctional Facility follows protocols of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). For more information pertaining to PREA enforcement at this jail, contact the Santa Barbara Sheriff's department at (805) 681-4100.

8. Alternative Incarceration Programs

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's office facilitates two alternative custody programs for minimum security offenders. Both programs allow inmates to serve their county jail sentences outside of the detention center.

Sheriff's Work Alternative Program (SWAP)

Inmates sentenced to 60 days or less may be eligible to substitute eight hours of general labor for every one day of their sentence. The work is generally manual labor at a jobsite determined by the sheriff's department.

Electronic Monitoring (EM)

Inmates serving sentences of 60 days or more can apply to serve their sentence in their home community (while being monitored with an electronic GPS ankle transmitter).

You must complete an Application in English or an Application in Spanish to be considered for either of these programs. More information is available online, or call the Alternative Sentencing Bureau at (805) 681-4221.

9. Inmate Property

Any property brought into the jail by an inmate will be stored for safe keeping until his or her release. If desired, he or she can sign a release form to allow a friend or family member to collect the property.

Property pick-up at the inmate reception center takes place Fridays (6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday (4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) Proper identification is required for property release.

10. Help from a Criminal Defense Lawyer

santa barbara criminal defense attorneys
Call us at (855) 396-0370

Working throughout the state of California, the criminal lawyers at California Legal Defense Group provide counsel and representation for people accused of all types of crimes. In many cases, our experienced attorneys can help clients avoid jail time and other consequences of a criminal conviction. The best time to speak to a lawyer is before you enter a plea to charges. For a free consultation and case review, please call us today at (855) 396-0370 or contact us online.

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