Inmate General Information

Inmate Visiting Guidelines

The following rules apply to all San Bernardino County jail facilities:

  • Visiting appointments must be made one day prior to the requested visit.
  • Visiting days are Wednesday through Saturday.
  • To schedule a visit call the Visiting Center at (909) 887-0364.
  • Visitors must arrive 30 minutes prior to their scheduled time to check in. Late arrivals will not be admitted.
  • All visitors, their belongings, and vehicles may be subject to search.
  • Visitors are prohibited from bringing in cell phones, photographic or recording devices, or tobacco products into the facility.
  • Visitors must keep accompanying children within arm’s reach. Staff may terminate visits if parents/guardians fail to maintain control of accompanying children.
  • Minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • All visitors must dress in appropriate attire. Visitors who fail to comply with the dress code will be denied their visit.

Prohibited attire includes:

  • Gang attire.
  • Hats.
  • Clothing or accessories displaying obscene or offensive language or pictures.
  • Sheer, or transparent garments.
  • Tank tops, halter tops, strapless or spaghetti strap tops.
  • Clothing exposing the breast/chest, midriff area, genital area, or buttocks.
  • Shorts, skirts, and dresses shorter than mid-thigh.
  • Clothing that reveals the underwear.
  • Shoes shall be worn.

Visitors must show valid photo identification, issued by a municipal, state, or federal agency; or the consulate of another country. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Driver’s license.
  • DMV identification card.
  • Department of Defense identification card.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services identification card.
  • Consulate identification card.
  • Passport.

Visitors who violate the law or facility rules may have their visit terminated.

All facilities within the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Detention and Corrections Bureau reserve the right to terminate a visit if deemed necessary for security purposes.

Penal Code Section 4571 prohibits convicted felons who have served time in any California state prison from entering jail grounds without the written permission of the facility commander (or his designee). Those who are out of compliance may be arrested and prosecuted. Such visitors may request permission to be allowed on jail grounds to visit inmates. Requestors must complete the Request for a Convicted Felon to Visit an Inmate form. Requestors may either submit the form to a visiting deputy, who shall route it to the facility commander (or his designee), or mail the form to the facility, addressed to the facility commander (or his designee. If your visit is approved, you will receive written notice. Requestors must submit a form to each facility they intend to visit. Bring the notice with you when you come for the visit. To print the Request for a Convicted Felon to Visit an Inmate Form.

Bail agents may request a visit with an inmate. Bail agents will be allowed to visit when bail services have been requested by: The arrestee. The arrestee’s attorney.An adult member of the arrestee’s immediate family.Or such other person who is in possession of the inmate’s written approval.Bail agents must complete the Bail Agent Request Form prior to visiting an inmate or bond drop off. Bail agents will not be allowed to visit to solicit business. Bail agents will not be allowed to place money on an inmate’s trust account. Bail agents will be allowed to visit only one inmate at a time. Bail agents who wish to visit multiple inmates must exit the visiting area after each visit and make new requests before the next visit is permitted. Print the Bail Agent Request Form.

Religious visitors wanting an official visit must contact the Inmate Services Unit at (909) 473-2646 and provide the following:Proof of religious official capacity. Completed Security Clearance Application. Valid ID.Upon approval from the Inmate Services Unit, religious visitors will be placed on the approved list. Religious applications shall be valid for one year from the date of approval. Print the Security Clearance Application.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department personnel are prohibited from naming or referring any bonding agency. We accept three (3) forms of bail: Property Bond, cash and bail bonds. If you wish additional information regarding Property bonds, please contact the Superior Courts. To use a bail bond, contact a bail agency. To use cash, you must bring the full amount of bail for each charge. You may also use cashier checks, but please call (909) 350-2476 for information on who to make the check out to. The bail process will be delayed if the information on a check is not correct.

My Family Member Has Been Arrested – What Do I Do?

Below is a step-by-step guide to help families cope with the criminal justice system in San Bernardino County when a family member who suffers from a brain disorder (mental illness) is arrested.

STEP ONE: SUPPORT YOUR RELATIVE If your family member/friend calls you and says that he/she has been arrested, help him/her stay calm and offer your help and support.If your family member/friend is being held in a jail facility, remind him/her of the right to have an attorney present if being questioned by police officers or detectives.It is very important that arrestee’s be direct and honest to benefit as much as possible from this screening process. Assure your family member that it is OK to discuss his/her physical and mental condition, diagnosis, medications, etc., with the staff conducting the screening, which includes Sheriff’s nursing staff and Jail Mental Health Service staff. It is important your family member feels safe to speak openly with the mental health screeners.


Upon arrival at the West Valley Detention Center or other jail facility, you can use the Inmate Locator to find your family member/friend and where they are housed. You will be able to obtain information on your family member’s location (unit, cell block, bunk) and, most importantly, his/her booking number. If you are unsuccessful in finding them on the locator, please call the Public Information number at (909) 350-2476.

TIP: Inmates are sometimes booked in with/without middle name. If you are unable to locate him/her, try any names your relative has used.


Click on the Inmate Medication Information Form, English Version or Spanish Version on this web page. Print, complete, and fax as instructed below. If this form is not available:
Prepare a fax requesting that your relative be screened for placement in the mental health unit. Begin this fax with your relative’s:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Booking number
  • Location
  • In the body of the fax include:
  • His/her diagnosis
  • His/her psychiatrist’s name, phone number, and address

The medications that are prescribed for your family member by name, dosage, and time of day to be administered

Whether a particular medication has proven to be ineffective or has dangerous and/or uncomfortable side effects

Has your loved one had any history of suicide attempts/threats or other violent intentions in the recent past? Briefly describe the events and when they occurred.

Any other urgent medical conditions that might require immediate attention, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, seizures, heart problems, etc., and medications currently prescribed for those conditions. Include his/her medical doctor’s name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. The medical information you provide is tremendously valuable in making an assessment and will help the mental health staff select the best treatment for your relative. There is a clear preference for maintaining effective current treatment. However, the Jail Mental Health staff must conduct its own assessment of your relative’s condition and may not necessarily prescribe exactly the same medications.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT address any impending charges against your family member in this fax. Medical information only!

Keep a copy of this fax for future reference. If your family member is transferred to a different facility, you will need to fax this information again.

On the cover page, indicate whether your relative has provided you with a written confidentiality waiver. If your relative has not previously done so, ask that he/she be asked to sign one while in jail. The Jail Mental Health staff is prohibited by law from giving anyone information about a client’s status unless they have the client’s consent, but the staff can receive information from relatives or friends without the client’s consent.

Once your relative has been booked, fax the document described above to the appropriate numbers below. Faxes can be sent 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Jail Mental Health Service Fax Numbers:

Medical Fax: (909) 463-5180

Mental Health Fax: (909) 463-5233

Please note that the Jail Mental Health Service and Sheriff’s Medical Services are separate departments. Important medical information should be faxed to the medical fax number above.

REMEMBER: If you are sending mental health information only, please fax to Jail Mental Health Services at the mental health fax number above. If you are sending both mental health and medical information, you must fax the information to the Jail Mental Health Service number and the Sheriff’s Medical Services number.


If you have any difficulty with this process, call the Department of Mental Health Family Advocate during regular business hours.

Don’t forget to provide your family member’s name, location, and booking number.


Your family member may want to retain a private attorney or use the Public Defender’s Office. A public defender will be assigned at arraignment if your relative does not have or cannot afford a private attorney. Public defenders have specialized knowledge in the field of criminal defense. Public Defenders are receiving training on the identification and treatment of the mentally ill. The attorney’s in the Public Defender’s office should be provided with the client’s medical and mental health history at the earliest opportunity to assist in preparation of the defense case.

If you or your family member decides to retain a private attorney, be sure to select one that is well versed in helping people with mental illness and understands how to access the treatment facilities and mental health services that are available.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS Bail: Think carefully about posting bail for your family member. No one wants a loved one to remain incarcerated for any length of time. It is an unpleasant experience for them as well as the family. However, you must ask yourself the following question. Will your family member be able to comply with the terms of the bail and appear in court when required? Also, as hard as it may seem, jail may be a safer place for a person with severe mental illness who is in crisis rather than having your loved one wander the streets with no help at all. At least in jail they will be fed, will have shelter, and be given access to medication treatments.
Working with an attorney: Public defenders are extremely busy and do not have much time for phone calls. They will appreciate written or faxed correspondence. Remember, it is the inmate, not you, who is his client. A private attorney will grant you more time, but remember you are paying for that access. Provide the attorney with an extensive medical/psychiatric/social/educational history of your family member in writing. This information will be very useful in pursuing the best outcome for your loved one.
Supporting and coping with a loved one who suffers from a brain disorder can be extremely challenging and stressful. Knowledge, as well as your love and fortitude, will be essential in helping you to become a strong and effective support system for your family member.

For information about support groups, and educational programs provided free of charge in your area, contact NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at 909-985-7705 or on the Internet


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