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Custody: FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions

Check here for general questions and answers regarding custody issues.

1. How do I find out an inmate's booking number?

Call inmate information at (213) 473-6100. You will need the inmates complete name, date of birth and/or date of arrest.

2. What is meant if the inmate is "unclassified"?

Inmates who are unclassified are pending a permanent housing location therefore they are unable to receive phone calls or visits at this time. Once the inmate has been interviewed by our liaison, we are able to safely house him in a location within the facility. Classification can take two weeks to a month before it is completed. Once classified, phone calls and visits can be made.

3. What is inmate discipline?

Inmates in jail are required to follow jail rules. Violation of jail rules results in disciplinary action, including loss of privileges. Privileges include visits, use of telephone, exercise time, and/or commissary. Any or all of these privileges may be suspended during a specified disciplinary time, known as "lockdown."

4. What is a lockdown?

Lockdown is a term used within the jail when all inmate movement has seized due to safety and/or security reasons. Personnel do not have any prior knowledge of the lockdown and are unaware how long the lockdown with be in effect.

5. Do I get notified when my inmate is moved to another facility?

No. You are more than welcome to contact the inmate information line to get up-to-date information on the whereabouts of your inmate (213) 473-6100.

6. What is the inmate mailing address? What items are not allowed via mail?

Please refer to the "Inmate Mail" menu option for further information or click on the following link

7. What other jails comprise the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department?

Please click on the following link to visit the list of jails in Los Angeles County, or visit our menu options for further information.

8. What is the nearest patrol station to my residence?

To find the nearest patrol station visit our L.A. County Patrol Stations link


1. What is the process to marry an inmate incarcerated at MCJ?

An inmate who wishes to marry should first petition the Court of the jurisdiction in which his or her criminal prosecution is pending and request the Judge of that court to perform the marriage solemnization during normal Court hours in that Court. If the Court refuses to marry the inmate, then the inmate is encouraged to delay the marriage until he is released or transferred to where he will be confined (i.e., State or federal prison). As a last option if the prior options are not feasible, an inmate may be married at visiting, in accordance with the provisions of law and this procedure, subject to the prior approval of the Watch Commander.

Please refer to the following documents: INMATE MARRIAGE FORM

and Marriage Application Application.pdf.

The first document will give you the instructions for getting married at our facility. The second document is the application for marriage, please only refer to page 2, 6, and 7. The other pages please disregard.

Your primary contact for submission and status of your request is our Legal Unit (213)-974-0103. The approval can take up to one month depending on the clearance and validity of all information submitted.

2. How do I apply to become a legal runner?

Individuals who are applying to become a legal runner must complete and submit a Legal Runner Application 16 Legal Runner Application Form.pdf to our Legal Unit. The approval can take up to one month depending on the clearance and validity of all information submitted. Only those inmates who have been granted Pro-Per status by the court and our Legal Unit can request for a legal runner. A legal runner may visit and confer with the inmate during normal visiting hours for a maximum of 30 minutes. A legal runner's status may be terminated for disruptive conduct and/or violations of security.

Your primary contact for submission and status of your request is our Legal Unit (213)-974-0103. Once the verification has been completed, you will receive a letter from our Unit Commander granting or denying you status as a legal runner.

3. How do I get documents signed in the Attorney room?

Please view our Attorney Room information, or visit our main menu and click on "Attorney Room" for further information regarding attorney room hours and document restrictions.


1. What if my significant other is incarcerated at MCJ and has a mental illness? Who can I notify? How can I make sure he is being provided adequate care?

All inmates are medically evaluated during the booking process and prior to housing at MCJ. On a daily basis MCJ has a Jail Mental Evaluation Team (JMET) on hand tasked with providing outreach mental health services to inmates in the jail, identifying inmates who develop new mental health symptoms while in jail, or identifying inmates who have evaded detection during the regular booking process. Inmates showing signs of mental illness are escorted to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility for further evaluation. If it is determined that the inmates requires further medical attention due to a mental illness, he will be transferred to be permanently housed in a location accommodating his medical condition. For further information on mental illnesses please visit our departments Mental Health page

2. How do I provide medical glasses to an inmate incarcerated at MCJ?

Inmates are authorized (w/ a medical court order) to have one pair of prescription eyeglasses in their possession. If there is no medical need for the eyeglasses, the inmate will not have the eyeglasses provided.

The Legal Unit (213)-974-0103 is tasked with the processing of inmate prescription eyeglasses.

All approved prescription corrective/reading eyeglasses must be in a plastic case and have non-metal frames.

Eyeglasses may be received during regular business hours at the MCJ lobby:

5AM - 9PM or sent via U.S. mail to:

Men's Central Jail

Attention: Legal Unit

441 Bauchet Street, Los Angeles, California 90012

Please make sure to provide your complete contact information so our unit can notify you on the status of the eyeglasses. The processing of glasses (from the time of receipt to inmate's hands) can take a minimum of one week.

3. How do I provide medical footwear to an inmate incarcerated at MCJ?

Inmates may have in their possession one pair of orthopedic shoes if there is an existing medical need for the shoes. All shoes are approved through the Sheriff's Department Chief Physician Medical Services Bureau. Court orders for orthopedic shoes are not valid until the medical need has been approved by our Chief Physician of Medical Services Bureau. If no medical need is found, the court order shall be voided.

Orthopedic shoes must meet the following standards:

- shall only come in either tan, brown or white color

- shall only use Velcro straps with a round soft toe

- commercial tennis shoes or insoles are not orthopedic shoes

- a flat foot is not considered a medical need for orthopedic shoes

- outside doctors providing a request for orthopedic shoes will not be valid if the shoes do not meet custody standards.


1. Who is not allowed a visit?

If you have been to state prison or are currently on parole or probation you must first receive approval from the Unit Commander to visit any inmate at MCJ. If you have a warrant or do not have a valid form of government issued identification, you are not allowed to visit any inmate at MCJ. To receive approval to visit an inmate from the Unit Commander, see Question #5.

2. Is there a play area for children? Can I leave my children outside while I complete my visit?

No. MCJ does not provide any child play areas. Children left unattended may be means for future banning of visiting privileges.

3. How many visits can an inmate get per day or week?

Each inmate is provided with at least two visits totaling at least one hour per week. General population inmates may receive four 15 minute visits per week totaling one hour, and special handle inmates may receive two 30 minute visits per week totaling one hour.

4. I am currently on parole or probation, can I visit an inmate incarcerated at MCJ?

Individuals who are currently on parole or probation must complete the Visiting Clearance for Probationers and Exfelons form and submit it to the Legal Unit for processing. The approval can take up to one month depending on the

clearance and validity of all information submitted. Once the verification has been completed, you will receive a letter from our Unit Commander granting or denying you permission to visit the specified inmate.

Your primary contact for submission and status of your request is our Legal Unit 213-974-0103.

5. I am a convicted felon, can I visit an inmate incarcerated at MCJ?

Individuals who have been convicted of a felony must complete the same process as stated in Question #5.

6. Can I complete a property, money or vehicle release at visiting?

Please refer to the following link or visit through our main menu option for further information.

7. Why do some inmates get visits faster than others?

Several reasons exist as to why an inmate attends his visit faster than another inmate. Some of the reasons include:

- the inmate is housed in closer proximity to the visiting area

- the inmate is currently out on another pass

- daily operations (i.e. pill call, showers, school, exercise, recreation, etc.) may be interfering in the transfer of the inmate to visiting

The® website has made reasonable efforts to provide an accurate translation. However, no automated or computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace human or traditional translation methods. The official text is the English version of® website. If any questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information presented by the translated version of the website, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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