California has a variety of different types of jail facilities throughout the state. Some of the kinds of county jails in California are court-holding facilities, long-term confinement jails, and short-term holding cells. Just about every county in California has at least one county jail. There are more than 110 county jails throughout the state.
Many of the local police and Sheriff’s Offices have a website with an inmate locator feature on them. Since they are in charge of maintaining California county jail inmate records, anyone wishing to perform a California county jail inmate search should first contact the local county Sheriff’s Office where the person was arrested. They should be able to help locate them quickly.
Anyone arrested awaiting an initial hearing or trial may be held in a court-holding jail cell. These are commonplace in most police stations in California and date back to the 1700s, where the first settlement’s law enforcers held prisoners before execution.
Short-term holding cells are for inmates who are awaiting trial or in the middle of a long legal process. Since the California prison reform, many inmates state that these facilities are more dangerous than prison, and they beg to be transferred to a penitentiary instead.
To alleviate overcrowding in prisons, the state now allows local county jails to hold inmates serving multi-year terms. Although this has helped the prison problem, it has put stress on the jail inmates and law enforcement agents who manage them. There are reports of frequent violence and dangerous living conditions from long-term jail facilities in California. The state government is working on a plan of restitution for these types of jails.
The majority of inmates (87%) in California county jails are male. About 64% of them are awaiting a hearing or trial. Roughly 85% of all jail inmates were arrested for committing felonies. The remaining inmates are awaiting sentencing for misdemeanors or other petty crimes. Historically jails house long-term inmates serving sentences of less than a year. However, with the prison reform that has taken place in California, they now house low-risk inmates for longer terms. Offenders who have committed serious crimes like robbery or murder will still eventually go to prison. Currently, there are about 82,000 inmates in local county jails across the state of California.