Sheriff Marin County In Partnership With Our Communities

Custody Division -Frequently Asked Questions

Tell me about visiting an inmate in the county jail.

Marin County Jail NEW visiting procedures are as follows:

VISITING:  INMATES ARE ALLOWED ONE (1) VISIT A DAY.  The visit will be 30 minutes in duration.  A POD and LOCKDOWN will not receive visits until 5:45 on weekdays only.

VISITING POLICY:  Inmates will schedule all their own visits 24-hours in advance and are responsible for providing you with the correct date/time of your visit. No "walk up" visiting is allowed. Inmates and the public are only allowed ONE (1) half hour visit per day. Pod A and Lockdown will not receive visits until 5:45 pm on weekdays.  If you need assistance visiting an inmate who has a mental illness, please call Prisoner Services at (415) 473-7268.

9:00am, 9:40am, 10:20am, 1:00pm, 1:40pm, 2:20pm, 2:20pm, 5:45pm, 7:00pm, 7:40pm, 8:20pm, 9:00pm      

9:00am, 9:40am, 10:20am, 2:00pm, 2:40pm, 3:20pm, 5:45pm

County Holidays:
9:00am, 9:40am, 10:20am, 2:00pm, 2:40pm, 3:20pm, 5:45pm, 7:00pm, 7:40pm, 8:20pm, 9:00pm       

VISITING PROCEDURES:  It is recommended to arrive 15 minute prior to your visit for the visit procedure process.  Failure to arrive 15 minutes prior to your visit may decrease your scheduled visit time.  MONEY FOR COMMISSARY: 

1.       Credit card order over the internet at  *Inmate ID# required.*

2.       Credit card order over the phone:  1-800-574-5729 (JPAY).  *Inmate ID# required.*

3.       Cash deposit in the JPAY kiosk located in the jail lobby.

4.       US mail in the form of cashiers check or money order made out to the inmate and mailed to the jail.

General public can purchase commissary on the internet for inmate at  Information can be found on the website.  Soft covered books can be mailed in from the publisher, or from a book store.  No more than 5 soft-cover books are allowed at one time.

The public may now email the inmates via  Messages are received, screened and delivered daily.  You may also set up a pre-paid phone account via Global Tel Link or 1-866-230-7761.

ATTIRE:  All visiting public must be dressed appropriately before entering the jail facility.  The following are not allowed and if worn will constitute a denial of your visit.

Any gang colors or gang affiliated clothing                              Low hanging pants

See through tops                                                                     Short shorts and or mini skirts

Low cut or revealing blouses                                                   Tube tops/ halter tops midriff baring tops

GENERAL INFORMATON: All visitors must be 18 years or older unless accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.  We accept the following forms of ID: VALID US Driver's License, VALID Passport, VALID Consular/Matricular card, VALID Foreign Passport or valid US Military ID. Minor visitors must bring a valid school ID. No more than 3 people are allowed in the visit. Children over 1 year or a child that can walk is counted as a visitor.  Minors may not be left unattended in the lobby at any time. Children may not be loud or running around the lobby. Failure to control children will result in the visit being cancelled.  No food or drink is allowed in the visiting area.

All visitors are required to successfully pass through the metal detector to proceed to the visiting level.  No items are allowed on the visiting level except 1 key, eyeglasses and emergency medication.  All other property must be secured prior to the visit.  Lockers are available in the lobby for $ .25. 

ITEMS ALLOWED:  1 Key, eyeglasses and emergency medication.  Visitors must pass cleanly thru the metal detector in order to visit.  If you cannot pass through the metal detector your visit will be denied.  All visitors are subject to searchAny person who visits under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance will not be allowed to visit.


Why was the jail visiting changed?

The jail visiting has been changed with the vision that it will improve the current conditions that are experienced while visiting individuals at the Marin County Jail.  The idea behind having scheduled visits is to reduce the waiting time in the jail lobby and reducing the unsafe conditions that are created when families have to wait during peak visiting periods.  The goal is not to reduce your accessibility to loved ones, but to make the process efficient.

We are committed to being innovative and providing services that will improve operations at the Marin County Jail.  We recently implemented the following new programs:

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How do I send mail to an inmate?

Inmates are allowed unlimited mail during their incarceration. When an inmate receives mail, it is opened and searched for contraband, cash, and money orders. The mail is then delivered to the inmate without unnecessary delay. Inmates may not receive hardback books, catalogues, brochures, or advertisements.

Inmates may receive paperback books and magazines as long as they are sent from a bookstore or the publisher. The magazines and books, if not suitable for the jail, will either be returned to the sender or placed in the inmate's property. The inmate will be notified of the reason for returning the book or magazine and / or why it was placed into their property.

New!  Electronic Messaging with inmates.  The Marin County Jail will now allow inbound electronic messaging with inmates from friends and family who have established an account at Friends and family can purchase "stamps" through JPay and send electronic messages.  Inmates will receive a printed copy of the message along with the daily mail distribution.

Click here for Electronic Messaging

Any mail that contains illegal material will not be delivered to the inmate.

Address for sending mail to an inmate:

  • (Inmate's Name - First and Last)
    Marin County Jail
    13 Peter Behr Drive
    San Rafael, CA 94903


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Can I talk with an inmate on the telephone?

In accordance with section 851 of the California Penal Code, a person arrested has the right to three free completed telephone calls within the local calling area. The calls will be at the arrestees expense if they are outside of the local calling area. The calls may be made to an attorney, a bail bondsman, or a relative or other person.

Once housed in the jail, an inmate has access to a telephone in each housing unit. These telephones can only make outgoing calls. They cannot receive calls. The calls made from the housing unit telephones are either collect or made with prepaid calling cards that are available through the facility commissary. Collect calls can be placed to phone numbers where collect calling is not restricted. Collect calls cannot be made to cellular telephones, answering machines, or third party calls.

Under certain circumstances, phone numbers can be blocked so that inmates from within the facility cannot call those numbers. Those circumstances may include, but are not limited to, restraining order violations, harassment, and intimidation of a victim or witness. In addition, the inmate phone system will provide instructions to call recipients that they may block access to their phone numbers from jail inmates.

The Custody staff is not allowed to take telephone messages for inmates. If you need to contact an inmate regarding a family emergency or other emergency situation, you may contact the housing Sergeant at (415) 499-7316.


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How do I post bail for an inmate?

Bail is the amount of money that the Courts require to be deposited with them to guarantee that the arrested individual will come to court on the date they are to appear.  Court appearance dates are set by the Court.  The Jail accepts bail 24 hours a day for inmates in our custody, or inmates in another jurisdiction held on a Marin County warrant.

Bail may be posted in the following ways:

No personal checks are accepted at the jail for bail at any time.

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How do I find out if somebody has been booked into the county jail?

To view all inmates currently in-custody at the Marin County Jail, click on the jail booking log link under the 'Find it Fast' at the top of the page or click Jail Booking Log.  If you do not have internet access, call (415) 499-7316.  The Jail Booking Log link or jail staff will confirm if the individual is currently in-custody, what charges the individual was booked for, what police agency booked the individual, what the bail is, what the next court appearance date is, and if booked for being under the influence how long before the individual is eligible for release (minimum 4 hour stay).  Again, only information on current in-custody inmates will be given.  No information will be provided on individuals not currently in-custody.


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How do I find out court appearance information about an inmate?

Bail information, scheduled court appearances and scheduled release dates can be provided by Marin County Jail staff only in cases involving domestic violence as mandated by the domestic violence act and 646.93 of the penal code. All other inquiries must be directed to the Marin Superior Court at (415) 473-6225.


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How do I place money on an inmate's account?

You can send an inmate money through the United States Postal Service. The only acceptable form will be a money order listing the amount, inmate's name, and person who purchased the money order. If cash is sent, it will be returned to the sender. The inmate receives a receipt indicating the day the money was received and how much was entered into his / her account.

Money may also be placed in an inmates account via the internet by accessing and following the directions on the site.  You may also place a commissary order for an inmate by visiting

An inmate will be allowed to release any money they come to jail with, as long as it is within the first 48 hours of incarceration. After the first 48 hours of incarceration, the inmate must fill out a request form indicating how much money and to whom they wish to release the money. That request will then be given to the on duty Sergeant for approval or denial.


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What do I do if I have a concern for a friend or family member's medical or psychological welfare?

There are forms available at the jail lobby to convey your concerns to the appropriate medical or psychological staff. Once the form is completed, provide it to the staff member at the lobby and it will be routed appropriately. The form allows for your personal information to be included so that the appropriate staff may contact you at a future time. Medical and psychological staff members are available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week to treat inmate injuries or illnesses. If you believe that an emergency medical or psychological issue exists, you may contact the jail staff at (415) 499-7316.

Another resource for families and individuals dealing with mental illness is the National Alliance on Mental illness Marin chapter.  They can be found at  Under their Resources section, they have information regarding what to do if a family member suffering from mental illness has been arrested.

If you need assistance visiting an inmate who has a mental illness, please call Prisoner Services at (415) 473-7268. 

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