Martinez Jail

Martinez Detention Facility, also called the Martinez Jail or MDF, is located at 1000 Ward Street in Martinez, California.  The Martinez Detention Facility is home for pre-sentencing prisoners (often working with a Martinez bail bonds company) and those who have already been sentenced but cannot be housed in less restrictive facilities.

The facility was opened in 1981 and has become a model for detention facilities of the future. It is also a National Institute of Corrections (NIC) regional resource center for global professionals seeking to study the facility and its operations.

Only three years after it opened, the NIC advisory board endorsed the non-barrier and direct supervision approach to correctional facility design and operation. This made Martinez Jail an example for jurisdictions considering new jail construction or renovation of existing jails and prisons.

The Martinez Detention Facility contains the offices of the Bureau Commander and the entire division’s support personnel. The Custody Alternative Facility’s direction is also managed from the Martinez Jail.

Services and Programs at Martinez Jail

The Martinez Detention Facility provides a multitude of programs and services for its inmate population. The Contra Costa County Office of Education is contracted by the Office of the Sheriff for provision of educational and vocational programs. These include GED and High School Diploma education and testing, as well as independent study programs.

Additional services include weekly library book and periodical delivery using rolling carts which visit each housing unit for provision of requested reading materials. Some Internet research is allowed, although it is limited.

Legal Research Associates, Inc. provides legal services and full time chaplain volunteers are on staff to provide spiritual guidance and support.

Chaplains are managed through a contract between Bay Area Chaplains and the Office of the Sheriff. Because religious practices and spiritual beliefs are so diverse within the inmate population, over 200 volunteers provide support to the chaplains. Organization and coordination of religious services, Bible study programs, delivery of religious materials, reviews of religious dietary requests and spiritual counseling are all provided under this umbrella of chaplain services.

Martinez Jail Inmate Privileges

The same rules and regulations apply throughout all detention facilities, which allow privileges in regard to inmate mail, commissary, money deposits and inmate visits.

Inmate mail at Martinez Detention Facility falls under the Custody Services Bureau which maintains policies regarding inmate incoming, outgoing, privileged and prohibited mail. These policies include the right of inmates to receive legitimate mail without delay, as well as their right to send mail to people outside of the jail without delay. Policies governing mail are available to all inmates and staff, with periodic updates and changes made to the regulation of mail.

For commissary, inmates can receive gifts through This website provides a connection between inmates and their friends, family or resources outside of prison who can pay for items using a credit or debit card, which inmates then receive at the Martinez Jail. Orders can be tracked online through the system, so users can verify their friend or loved one has received the gift.

Money can also be deposited to inmate accounts using the system. Financial transfers are called Smart Deposits and can be entered in increments of up to $100 per transaction. Inmates can receive money orders, traveler’s checks and cashier’s checks, as well as by means of local, state or federal government checks. These transactions are processed through the inmate’s account when the inmate’s name and booking number are on the front of the check. Personal checks and cash are never accepted for or by inmates. Those are returned to the sender at the mail processing point.

Inmates can receive visitors as they schedule them. Visiting Rules and Regulations of the prison apply. Visitors must comply with appearance codes and searches. They may also be arrested for unlawful conduct.

martinez jail


Published by Jose Espinoza, ,