San Jose Main Jail

Being jailed in San Jose, or trying to help someone who has been jailed in San Jose can be quite confusing and overwhelming. Those arrested in the San Jose area are usually transported to the San Jose Main Jail, also known as the Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex. Here they will be booked and processed into the jail. The booking process can take up to several hours as this is when fingerprints and mug shots are taken, as well as when an extensive national background search is done.

Santa Clara County Main Jail

The Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex is located in downtown San Jose, California. The facility is also known as the San Jose Main Jail. It is divided into the Main Jail North and the Main Jail South. The annual budget for the Santa Clara County Jail is about 37 million dollars. The facility books about 65,000 people per year. Most people brought to the Santa Clara County Main Jail are booked, cited, and released or post bail for their charges. The facility employs about 350 civilian and badged employees year round.

The Main Jail South was built in 1956 and can hold up to 674 inmates at a time. It was built using an old linear style and uses an indirect supervision model. In contrast, the Main Jail North uses a model of direct supervision of inmates, and can hold up to 919 inmates at a time. This model is based on the design of the prison, staff training, and inmate management using positive behavior. This model has been proven safer for staff and for inmates.

Visiting the San Jose Jail

Visiting days and times can be found at the county of Santa Clara Department of Correction website. All visitors must register and be pre-approved for visits. During busier times, approval for visitation can take up to 24 hours.

Those 18 years of age and older wishing to visit a friend or loved one at the jail must register with a valid form of identification three days to up to one hour prior to the desired visitation time. Visitation times may be split between two adults, and minors are allowed as long as they have adult supervision and maintain good behavior. Minors also need a valid birth certificate in order to visit an inmate. Keep in mind it is possible for inmates to lose visiting privileges based on their own behavior. Any convicted felon wishing to visit an inmate must have special authorization from the facility commander and their own parole officer. Please also check the dress code policy, which can be found on the website prior to your visitation. Clergy, bail bondsmen, and attorneys can visit inmates at anytime at the San Jose Jail.

Bringing money to an inmate at the Santa Clara County Jail during a visit is not allowed. All monies given to inmates must be sent in the form of a money order or cashier’s check made out to “Santa Clara County Department of Correction” with the inmates name, book number and PFN number on the check or money order. All monies must be sent through the United States Postal Service. Monies cannot exceed $300.

Knowing what to expect, as well as the rules and procedures that exist when dealing with a loved one in the San Jose Jail can make this difficult time less stressful. The process can go more smoothly when the family has support and knows how long the process can take.

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