Santa Cruz Main Jail Information


exterior of santa cruz main jail
Santa Cruz Main Jail: 259 Water Street Santa Cruz, CA. 95060. c/o google

The Santa Cruz Main Jail is a maximum security facility located in Santa Cruz, CA . Originally built in 1981, it is the primary booking facility for Santa Cruz County, and is run by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office.

The Santa Cruz Jail is rated to accommodate up to 311 inmates, but is usually filled beyond capacity, with an average population of 360. Male and female detainees and inmates sentenced for California misdemeanor and felony offenses may be housed in this detention center.

The Santa Cruz Main Detention Facility is situated alongside the San Lorenzo River about 30 miles southwest of San Jose, CA. The address and phone number is:

259 Water Street
Santa Cruz, CA. 95060
(831) 454-7800

If your friend or relative has been detained in the Santa Cruz County Correctional Center, you may find the information below of great interest. Our team of California criminal defense lawyers provides details on the following key topics:

1. Inmate Search

To find out whether your friend or loved one has been booked into custody in the Santa Cruz County Jail, you can use the Sheriff's online “Web Jail Viewer” search engine. Inputting a first or last name, you will receive a list of potential candidates booked into the jail.

Individual pages include a booking photo and detailed personal information. You'll find the booking number, criminal charges and category (misdemeanor or felony,) as well as any upcoming court dates and bail bonding details.

For more inmate information, you can call the jail at (831) 454-7800.

2. Posting Bail

The majority of detained individuals will have the chance to post bail to obtain temporary release from custody. You can locate specific bail information for your friend or family member on the Sheriff's “Web Jail Viewer” page, or can call the jail. Bail in Santa Cruz can be paid in the jail lobby (daily between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.) or online at (You can use a bail bonding agency, which will assess a nonrefundable fee for services.)

3. Inmate Phone Policies

Friends and family are not permitted to call into the Santa Cruz County Detention Facility to speak to detainees and inmates. Inmates are initially permitted free, local calls, but will subsequently need to arrange pre-paid phone minutes.

Pre-paid phone accounts can be set-up and funded through the website, or by calling ICSolutions at (888) 506-8407. Another option is to add funds to the inmate trust account ( see below.)

Remember that inmate phone calls are always subject to monitoring and recording. For this reason, it is wise to refrain from speaking about pending criminal charges.

4. Commissary/Cash Account Funding

An inmate trust account is established at booking and initially funded with cash found on the individual at the time of arrest. This account can be used for weekly commissary purchases, and funds may be replenished by friends and family members. The commissary stocks a variety of items, including snacks, grooming and hygiene products, canvas footwear, and correspondence supplies.

Inmates of the Santa Cruz County Main Jail are expected to maintain personal hygiene by utilizing items purchased through commissary. If there are insufficient funds in the inmate's cash account, the jail will provide basic personal care items.

Additional funds can be added to your friend or loved one's commissary account in several ways:

  • In person –Deposits can be made daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the kiosks located in the public lobby of the jail. The kiosks accept cash and credit/debit cards.
  • Online – You can make a deposit online at Access Corrections or order a care package from Santa Cruz Orders may take 7 to 10 working days for delivery.
  • Phone -- Call Access Corrections at (866) 345-1884 to add to your inmate's spending money or to order commissary items by phone.
  • By Mail – You can send a money order in to the jail for a trust fund deposit. Be sure to make the check payable to your inmate. Cash is not accepted through the mail.

Note: Santa Cruz inmate cash account deposits (and account balance) may not exceed $300/week.

santa cruz jail visiting hours
Inmates are allowed two visits from friends and family per week

5. Visiting Inmates

Inmates of the Santa Cruz Main Jail are permitted two visits from friends and family per week. Visitation at the jail, which is non-contact, can include up to two adults and three children per appointment. Visiting hours are Saturday and Sunday only, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. A detailed schedule for each housing unit is available in English and Spanish.

Before making plans to visit a Santa Cruz County inmate, you must ensure your name has been added to his or her “approved visiting list.” (Note that you will not be included on the list if you have been in custody within the past 60 days, are currently on parole or probation, or have a warrant or restraining order prohibiting contact.)

Visitors must pre-register for appointments at least 24-hours in advance (and up to a week ahead of time.) You can do so by calling the jail at (831) 454-7800 weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Santa Cruz Main Jail has strict cancellation policy applicable to jail visitors. Visitation privileges will be suspended if three appointments are cancelled by the jail within a calendar year. To avoid being banned from visits, be certain to:

  • Arrive and register 30 minutes prior to your scheduled reservation time;
  • Be in the lobby when your visit is called;
  • Give 24-hour notice if you are unable to keep your appointment.

There are many other visitation rules provided by the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office:

  • Current, government-issued photo identification will be required for each adult visitor.
  • Minors under the age of 18 must be in the company of a parent or legal guardian. The parent must present a birth certificate for any visiting minor. A legal guardian must provide the minor's birth certificate as well as court papers or notarized letter to prove guardianship.
  • Children must be under close supervision throughout the visitation process.
  • Personal items, other than a single key, must be stored in a locker in the lobby of the jail. Do not bring cell phones, purses, or pagers into the visiting area.
  • If you engage in any type of disruptive/inappropriate behavior, you may lose visitation privileges permanently.

There is also a strict dress code at the Santa Cruz Detention Facility. The following attire is specifically banned:

  • Skirts, shorts, and dresses that hang more than 2” above the knee (or have revealing slits)
  • Halter tops, spaghetti straps or any shirts without sleeves
  • Sheer fabric
  • Bare midriffs, shoulders, backs or chest
  • Clothes (or tattoos) styled in recognizable gang fashion, featuring gang-related colors, graphics or symbols
  • Any shoes or clothing containing metal
  • Clothing that resembles jail, military, medical, or law enforcement attire
  • Hats
  • Any items with offensive graphics or wording
  • Unfastened buttons and zippers or exposed undergarments

It is important to remember that all visits with inmates may be monitored and recorded. Please refrain from discussing details of your friend or relative's criminal case.

6. Mail Policies

You can write to a Santa Cruz County Jail inmate, and inmates can send unlimited outgoing mail. Writing materials are available for purchase through commissary. (If an inmate is without necessary funds, limited writing materials will be provided and charged against any future account balance he or she may acquire.)

The envelope should include your full name and return address and be addressed as follows:

Inmate Name, Inmate S#
Santa Cruz Main Jail
259 Water Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

All incoming mail is inspected before being delivered to the inmate. Staff may deny any correspondence that is considered a violation in any way. There is a list of items the Santa Cruz Sheriff does not allow inmates to receive. These include:

  • Any material that is gang related or advocating violence, crime, arson, rioting, or racial hatred
  • Obscene or pornographic material
  • Photos larger than 4” x 6” (or more than five photos)
  • Postage stamps
  • Multi-layered or plastic-coated greeting cards, or those larger than standard size
  • Scented stationery, glitter, or any powdery material

If you would like to send in softcover books or other reading material, they should be ordered directly from the publisher, or an internet distributer such as Each inmate is permitted no more than two books at a time.

7. Life and Health at the Detention Center

When new inmates arrive at the Santa Cruz Detention Center, they are classified and housed in minimum or maximum security units according to their offense, criminal history, and observed behavior during the booking process.

Inmates receive access to medical, psychiatric, and dental care, as well as counseling, drug and alcohol therapy, and educational opportunities. Medical care is billed to the inmate's trust account at the rate of $3/visit.

Access to a secure outdoor recreation area, the inmate library and enrichment programs are determined based upon inmate classification, housing location and other factors that relate to the safety and security of the facility.

The Santa Cruz County's sheriff's office has posted adherence to the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). The sheriff's stated policy professes zero tolerance for sexual abuse and encourages reports of all suspicions and allegations of sexual abuse or harassment.

8. Alternative Incarceration Options

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's office facilitates custody alternative programs for approved, low-risk offenders, including:

  • Work Release Program: Sentences of 30 days or less can be served by performing community service work in lieu of incarceration.
  • Electronic Monitoring Program: Inmates can attend pre-approved activities such as employment, classes, counseling and treatment programs while living at home under electronic surveillance.

Fees are assessed for participants in these programs. For more information, call the jail at (831) 454-7800.

9. Inmate Property

All property found in an incoming inmate's possession will be confiscated during booking and stored at the jail pending release. Alternately, if desired, inmates can sign a Property Release Authorization for a friend or family member to pick up property at the jail. Property pick-up hours at the Santa Cruz Correctional Facility are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

10. Criminal Legal Defense

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Call us for help at (855) 396-0370

A criminal lawyer at California Legal Defense Group can help you or your loved one beat criminal charges, avoid incarceration, and secure the best potential outcome for a your case. Our defense attorneys are aggressive advocates with a thorough understanding of the California criminal justice system. To obtain a free consultation and case review, please call us today at (855) 396-0370 or contact us online.

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