Los Angeles County Jail
As experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys, we understand the anxiety that families may experience after a loved one is arrested in Los Angeles County. You may not know where they are taken, who they are with, or how to contact them. Men who are arrested in Los Angeles County are generally taken to the Los Angeles County Central Jail (also known as the Inmate Reception Center – IRC) to be booked, assessed, and processed.
The Los Angeles County Central Jail is located at:
441 Bauchet Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
We have compiled a list of questions we frequently receive about the Los Angeles County Central Jail to help you understand where your loved one is, how to contact them, and what you can do to help them while they are detained.
Who is detained at the Los Angeles County Central Jail?
The Los Angeles County Central Jail has a capacity of 6,750, which makes it the largest jail in the world. It is used to detain inmates both before and after they have been convicted of criminal offenses. Arrestees are initially taken to the Jail to be booked, processed, evaluated medically, and assigned to a more permanent detention facility. Some arrestees are then transferred to the Twin Towers Detention Facility or the Pitchess Detention Facility.
Other arrestees remain at the Los Angeles County Central Jail until they:
- post bail,
- are released on their own recognizance, or
- are arraigned.
Other arrestees will remain at the Los Angeles County Central Jail for the duration of their criminal proceedings.
Inmates who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to a sentence including time in jail can also be held at the Los Angeles County Central Jail for the duration of that sentence. The detention center to which your loved one is assigned on a more permanent basis – if they are denied bail or convicted of a crime – will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of their criminal charges.
What if my Family Member has Mental Health Issues?
All individuals who are processed at the Los Angeles County Central Jail undergo a medical evaluation to determine if any special housing or accommodations are necessary. The Jail has a Jail Mental Evaluation Team (JMET) which is specifically tasked with assisting inmates who may need mental health counseling or treatment.
The JMET will observe inmates for the duration of their detention at the Los Angeles County Central Jail to identify any signs of mental health issues that may develop or arise after the initial screening.
How do I Find Out Where My Loved One is Held?
Once an arrestee has been booked it will take approximately two hours for the Jail information systems to be updated. You can get information about inmates held at the Los Angeles County Central Jail by calling the Inmate Reception Center or visiting the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s website.
The Los Angeles County Central Jail Inmate Reception Center phone number is 213-473-6100.
Inmates who are booked, evaluated, and processed at the Los Angeles County Central Jail are eventually classified and assigned to a semi-permanent location. This location can be at the Los Angeles County Central Jail or another detention facility.
Inmates cannot be contacted or visited until they are classified. Some inmates may not be classified right away. It can take up to two weeks to classify an inmate. Once classified, inmates are assigned to a specific department/location within the facility.
How Do I Post Bail for Someone Held at the Los Angeles County Central Jail?
Once an inmate has been booked they may need to post bail before they are eligible for release from the detention facility. Friends and family members can accelerate the process by posting bail or bond on the inmate’s behalf. The Los Angeles County Central Jail will accept cash, cashier’s checks, money orders, or jail bonds.
Bail payments made using cash, cashier’s check, or money order must be made in full. Bail payments will be returned if the individual charged with a crime appears at all scheduled hearings and follows all of the court’s directions.
You also have the option to contact and use a jail bondsman. Jail bondsman will put up the full amount of the bail required to get your loved one out of jail in return for a non-refundable fee. This fee is generally between 8-10% of the total bail amount. Jail bondsman may offer a reduced fee if you are working with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney.
Can I call Inmates at the Los Angeles County Central Jail?
No. Inmates who are detained at the Los Angeles County Central Jail are allowed to make one free outgoing phone call after they have been booked and processed. They may not make any additional calls or receive visitors until they have been classified. Inmates may never receive incoming phone calls.
Once they have been classified, inmates can make outgoing phone calls using a collect calling service or a prepaid phone card. Phone cards can be mailed to the inmate directly or purchased at the Los Angeles County Central Jail Commissary. More information about funding an inmate’s commissary account will be discussed below.
How do I Send Mail to an Inmate at the Los Angeles County Central Jail?
Inmates can send and receive mail at the Los Angeles County Central Jail. All mail – both incoming and outgoing – will be analyzed and reviewed for security purposes. All mail should be addressed to the inmate and include his booking number and sent to:
PO Box 84164, Terminal Annex
Los Angeles, CA 20086-0164
There are restrictions on the items that can be sent to inmates. Inmates can receive letters, photographs, books, postcards smaller than 6×9, and magazines. Photographs (maximum of 5) must be no smaller than 2×3 and no larger than 4×6. Photographs that contain nudity, sexually suggestive images, or are gang related will not be distributed to inmates. Inmates can receive up to 3 books and 3 magazines per week. All books and magazines must be sent to inmates directly from reputable book stores, online platforms, or publishers.
Inmates cannot receive food, cosmetics, stationery, greeting cards larger than 6×9, jewelry, lottery cards or tickets, or phone cards. However, you can choose to send an inmate a care package directly from the Jail commissary.
How can I send a care package to an inmate at the Los Angeles County Central Jail?
Care packages containing food, stationery, toiletries, and phone cards can be ordered online through the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department website. Packages are delivered to inmates on Mondays, excluding holidays.
What if I want to Visit an Inmate at the Los Angeles County Central Jail?
Inmates who have been classified and are not subject to disciplinary or security restrictions are generally entitled to visitation. Most general population inmates can have up to one hour of visitation split between four 15-minute visits. Special handle inmates can receive one hour of visitation split between two 30-minute visits. Attorneys are not subject to these restrictions and have access to inmates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Visiting hours are held Thursday through Sunday, 10 AM to 3 PM and 5 PM to 7 PM. All visitors must arrive 60 minutes prior to a scheduled visitation. Failure to cancel a visitation will result in the inmate forfeiting that amount of allocated visitation.
Minors who wish to visit inmates at the Los Angeles County Central Jail must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. You may not be permitted to visit an inmate if you have been previously incarcerated in a California state prison, are on formal probation, or have an outstanding warrant issued in your name. Permission may be obtained by completing a permission form and submitting it to the Legal Unit.
How do I get Money to an Inmate at the Los Angeles County Central Jail?
Inmates who are detained at the Los Angeles County Central Jail have all belongings – including cash, credit cards, and other forms of money – confiscated when they are initially booked and processed. All inmates are provided basic necessities including food, toiletries, and clothing. Inmates are permitted to purchase additional items at the Keefe Commissary. Items can be purchased using an in-house debit account. Family members and friends can put money “on the books” in these accounts for inmates to use.
You can put money on the books by mail or in person. The Keefe Commissary will accept deposits made by a California bank-drawn cashier’s check or money order, or a United States Postal Service (USPS) money order. Deposits are limited to $200.
In person deposits can be made at the Cashier’s office in the Jail’s Inmate Reception Center located at 450 Bauchet Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
Mailed deposits should be sent to PO Box 86164, Terminal Annex, Los Angeles, CA 90086-0164.
What Services are Available to Inmates at the Los Angeles County Central Jail?
As the largest jail facility in the world, the Los Angeles County Central Jail provides many services to its inmate community. Services include:
- Keefe Commissary
- Law library
- Educational programs including high school classes, GED certification, job preparation courses, and other classes focused on ministry, anger management, parenting, chemical dependency, creative writing, and tolerance classes
- Chapel services
How does an Inmate get Property Back After Release?
When an inmate is booked and processed his personal items will be cataloged and stored at the Los Angeles County Central Jail for the duration of his detainment. The items will be given back to him when he is released. An inmate may also sign a release to permit a friend or family member to pick up personal belongings on his behalf.
If your loved one has been arrested in Los Angeles County do not hesitate to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Hiring an attorney can help to ensure that your loved one’s rights are protected, secure his release, and minimize the negative consequences of his arrest.