Santa Cruz Jail

The Santa Cruz Jail, which is the only detention facility in Santa Cruz with maximum security units, is located at 259 Water Street. If you or a loved one are being held in this jail, you’ll need the help of a good Santa Cruz bail bonds company.  This detention center has Class II rating from the state and is utilized for holding detainees in different circumstances of the justice system. These include:

• Those awaiting arraignment
• Those awaiting trial and who cannot post bail or are ineligible
• Those serving sentences that are less than a year long
• Those in minimum or medium security prison who require health care services that are not available in other detention facilities.
• Those already with convictions for serious crimes but are doing “soft time” because their cases are on appeal
• Those waiting for prison transportation due to parole violations


The main jail, which is under the SC County Sheriff’s Office Detention Bureau, is governed by the minimum facility standards as provided in the California Civil Code, Title 24. Title 15 of the same code provides the minimum standard for the care of inmates. In compliance with these regulations, the SC jail has inspections every two years conducted by the Corrections Standards Authorities. Additionally, there is a fire and safety inspection to guarantee that inmates live in safe surroundings.

Visitation Rules

Attorneys have the right to access the main jail in Santa Cruz at any time but have to meet the necessary requirements. One is that a lawyer must have a license to practice law in California and possess a California Bar Card. The other option is for an attorney who is registered with the Bar Association in the State of California acting as pro hac vice counsel for an inmate. However, lawyers can expect delays if the visiting hours coincide with important activities such as feeding.

Visitors to the Santa Cruz jail have to make an appointment in advance to undergo the approval process before the day of the scheduled visits. There is Visitor Clearance Form that has to be submitted by the inmate. This form requires the full name, phone number, govt ID number, address, and date of birth of the visitor. An inmate can only receive visitors if he/she has been in custody for more than 72 hours. Inmates can only have two visits in a week, and a visit a day.

During visitations, visitors must register at least 30 minutes before the appointed times. If a visitor has made an appointment for a visit but is not in the lobby when called out, it leads to an automatic cancellation. Three cancellations result in a 30-day ban for a visitor. Each visit allows up to 3 children and two adults with persons under 18 requiring adult supervision. A form of identification is necessary for adult visitors. However, some individuals do not qualify for visits, and that is anyone who has a restraining order, is on formal probation or parole or has been in custody within the last 60 days. The Santa Cruz also has standards for the appropriate clothing to wear during jail visits.


Detention facilities have regulations regarding sending and receiving of mail. In Santa Cruz jail, there are no postage stamps. The authorities have the right to open and check all mail to avoid smuggling of contraband into the facility. Greeting cards should not be oversized or coated with plastic, and they must be single layer and photos have to be 4”x6” or smaller. There are restrictions on the kind of publications that inmates can receive. Those that include violent, pornographic, or inciting content in any way are prohibited. Detainees in the Santa Cruz jail cannot receive or send mail to other penal institutions unless the Facility Commander authorizes it. Newspapers, periodicals, and books are only allowed if they are from an internet distributor or publisher.

Money Deposits

The Santa Cruz jail has kiosks in the Main Jail Lobby and the Rountree Medium Facility where money can be left daily. These kiosks allow cash and credit card deposits any time of day and week. The reception staff does not have the right to take money from inmates. Detainees can also receive mailed-in money orders or credit card deposits made at the Santa Cruz packages website. The Santa Cruz jail provides an online portal where inmates and their loved ones can access all the necessary information.

Santa Cruz Jail


Published by Jose Espinoza, ,