Our lawyers at Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles understand the frustration and anxiety that families may experience when a loved one is arrested for a criminal offense in Los Angeles County, especially if they don’t know where their loved one was taken, what charges they are facing, or how to contact them. If your loved one has been arrested and is being detained in the Los Angeles County Jail, you are probably wondering what you can do to help while you are waiting for him or her to be released or for formal charges to be filed. Your first course of action following the arrest should be to hire a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to represent your loved one in his or her criminal case. Our reputable legal team at Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles has extensive experience protecting the rights of individuals arrested for misdemeanor and felony crimes, and can significantly improve your chances of reaching a favorable conclusion to your loved one’s case.
Affordable Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles
Being arrested for a crime in Los Angeles is serious, but it’s not the end of the world. Just because your loved one has been arrested for or charged with a criminal offense, doesn’t mean he or she will be convicted. Whatever crime your loved one is facing, the best way to avoid a criminal conviction is to hire an experienced Los Angeles defense attorney right away. The sooner you have a lawyer on your side, the sooner you can start defending your loved one’s innocence. Not only can a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney minimize the consequences of your loved one’s arrest and devise a strong legal defense for his or her criminal case, a good defense attorney can also schedule a bail hearing, help you post bail and visit your loved one in jail at any time. Contact our defense lawyers at Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles today for a free initial consultation.
About the Los Angeles County Jail System
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department operates the Los Angeles County Jail, one of the world’s largest jail systems, incarcerating about 200,000 individual each year. The Los Angeles County Jail is located at 441 Bauchet Street in Los Angeles, California, and the facility is used to detain inmates both before and after they have been convicted of California criminal offenses. Individuals who are arrested for a crime in Los Angeles County are typically taken to the Inmate Reception Center to be booked, processed and evaluated, and some are then assigned to a semi-permanent detention facility, such as the Twin Towers Detention Facility or the Pitchess Detention Facility. Others may post bail, be arraigned or be released on their own recognizance, and others still will remain at the jail for the duration of their criminal proceedings. Those who have been convicted of a California crime and sentenced to serve time in a county jail can also be held at the jail for the duration of their sentence.
Los Angeles County Jail Facilities
The Los Angeles County detention center your loved one is assigned to after being denied bail or convicted of a criminal offense depends on the circumstances of the charges they are facing. The following are some of the detention centers located in Los Angeles County:
- Century Regional Detention Center – Also known at the Los Angeles County Jail for Women, the Century Regional Detention Center is an all-female jail facility in Lynwood, California with the capacity to house 2,100 inmates.
- Men’s Central Jail – A detention center for men in Los Angeles, California that temporarily houses arrestees and also houses convicted defendants who have been sentenced to incarceration in a county jail.
- Inmate Reception Center – Located in Los Angeles, California, the Inmate Reception Center is the primary intake and release facility for the Los Angeles County Jail’s male inmates.
- North County Correctional Facility – One of the four Los Angeles County jails located within the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, California.
- Pitchess Detention Center North Facility – A maximum-security detention center in Castaic, California, that currently only handles overflow from the other three facilities that make up the Pitchess Detention Center.
- Pitchess Detention Center South Facility – A medium-security detention center in Castaic, California, offering vocational programs for inmates.
- Twin Towers Correctional Facility/LA CO Medical Center – Located in Los Angeles, California, the Twin Towers Correctional Facility is the largest mental health facility in the country. It consists of two “towers,” a medical services building and the Los Angeles County Medical Center Jail Ward.
Being the largest jail facility in the world, the Los Angeles County Jail provides a number of services to its inmates, including educational programs (high school classes, job preparation courses, GED certification, chemical dependency classes and parenting classes, among others), a library, and chapel services.
Los Angeles County Jail Controversy
The Los Angeles County Jail provides short-term incarceration services for all of Los Angeles County, including cities like Los Angeles, Long Beach, Glendale and Burbank, which have their own police departments, and with such large numbers, the jail has faced its fair share of issues, including visitation controversy and violence among inmates. In fact, in 2013, the Men’s Central Jail and the Twin Towers Correctional Facility together ranked as one of the 10 worst prisons in the United States, and one study of 101 women imprisoned in the Los Angeles County Jail System found that 70% of the study participants reported suffering traumatizing experiences of physical violence.
Los Angeles County Jail and Mental Health Issues
Every individual booked and processed at the Los Angeles County Jail is subjected to a medical evaluation to screen for mental health issues and determine whether any special housing or accommodations are needed. There is a Mental Health Evaluation Team (JMET) at the jail, which is tasked with assisting inmates in need of mental health counseling or treatment. The JMET will also observe inmates throughout the duration of their detention at the Los Angeles County Jail, to look for any signs of mental health disorders that may arise after the initial screening.
How to Contact an Inmate at the County Jail
Inmates at the Los Angeles County Jail cannot be contact or visited until they are assigned to the Los Angeles County Central Jail or another detention facility, and this process can sometimes take up to two weeks. Even then, inmates who are being detained at the Los Angeles County Central Jail can never receive incoming phone calls. Instead, they are permitted one free, outgoing phone call after they have been booked and processed, and only after they have been classified (assigned to a semi-permanent housing location) are they allowed to make any additional phone calls or receive visitors. Once they have been classified, inmates can make outgoing phone calls from the Los Angeles County Jail using a prepaid phone card or collect calling service.
Visiting an Inmate at the County Jail
Inmates who have been classified and who are not subject to security or disciplinary restrictions are entitled to visitation. Visiting hours at the Los Angeles County Jail are held Thursday through Sunday, from 10am to 3pm and from 5pm to 7pm. Visits must be scheduled in advance and all visitors must arrive at the jail at least one hour prior to the scheduled visitation. Typically, general population inmates at the jail are allowed up to one hour of visitation divided between four 15-minute visits, although certain inmates may be allowed one hour of visitation divided between two 30-minute visits. If you fail to cancel a visitation at the Los Angeles County Jail, the inmate will forfeit that amount of allocated visitation. If you have been previously incarcerated in a California state prison, if you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest, or if you are on formal probation, you may not be permitted to visit an inmate at the L.A. County Jail. Criminal defense attorneys are not subject to the visiting restrictions established by the jail and are permitted access to inmates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
How to Post Bail for an Inmate at the County Jail
Once an inmate at the Los Angeles County Jail has been booked, he or she may need to post bail before being released from the detention facility. Bail payments can be made by friends or family members using cash, money order or cashier’s check, and the payment will be returned in full if the individual charged with a criminal offense appears at all scheduled hearings and follows the instructions of the court.
Alternatives to County Jail
The unfortunate truth is that many individuals convicted of misdemeanor and felony crimes in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California struggle with substance abuse, depression and other mental health disorders, which is often the root cause of their criminal behavior. Mental health issues are especially common among current and former members of the military, for whom the state of California has introduced a military diversion program designed to provide certain individuals facing criminal offenses mental health treatment and education in lieu of jail time.
Hiring an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles
As you can see, being incarcerated in the Los Angeles County Jail can result in a significant loss of personal and legal freedoms, and if your loved one is convicted of the criminal charges he or she faces, the criminal penalties resulting from the conviction can be devastating. If your loved one has been arrested in Los Angeles County, do not hesitate to hire a criminal defense attorney on his or her behalf. With a knowledgeable defense lawyer on your side, you can ensure that your loved one’s rights are protect, secure his or her timely release, and minimize the negative consequences of his or her arrest.