Inmates held in the Sheriff’s detention system may be released for a number of reasons. The circumstances of an inmate’s arrest, the type of release involved, and the release schedule of the facility where the inmate is housed, all determine the time of day at which the release from custody will occur. The release processes and schedules for each facility are described in the “Facility Release Process” section below.

Arrest for “Drunk in Public”
Individuals who are arrested for being drunk in public or under the influence of a controlled substance will be released when it is determined that they will be able to care for their own safety. That period of time may vary with each individual, with six to eight hours being common.

Failure to Arraign
All individuals who are arrested must be taken to court—that is, “arraigned”—within 48 hours of the time of arrest, excluding Sundays and holidays. If the 48 hours expires at a time when the court is not in session, the time shall be extended to include the duration of the next court date. Anyone who is not arraigned within this time frame will be released from custody without further delay.

Charges Dropped
Any individual who has been arrested may be released from custody by the arresting agency if it is determined that there are insufficient grounds for prosecuting the individual. Authorization for this type of release may come from the arresting agency at any time during the forty-eight hours preceding the arraignment, and the time of the release will vary accordingly.

Court-Ordered Releases
The court may order an inmate to be released from custody at any time if the judge deems this to be the appropriate course of action.

Served Time Releases
Inmates will be released from custody when they have completed their sentence. A “Served Time” release will occur on the final day of the served sentence. Each facility has a specific process for served time releases, and release times vary accordingly.

Facility Release Process

San Diego Central Jail (SDCJ)—Inmates who have completed their local sentence are generally released starting at 6:00 in the morning. Other types of releases are processed twenty-four hours each day. Inmates are released through a door located several feet south of the entrance to the public lobby of the Information Office.

George Bailey Detention Facility (GBDF)—Inmates who have completed their local sentence are generally released after approximately 7:30 a.m. Other releases occur throughout the day. Those without transportation arrangements will be taken to the San Diego Trolley.

East Mesa and Faclity 8 Detention Facilities (EMRF, FAC8)—Inmates are brought to GBDF to be released and are subject to the GBDF release schedule.

Las Colinas Detention & Reentry Facility (LCDRF) - Inmates who have completed their local sentences may be released after midnight only if pick-up arrangements are made and confirmed prior to release. Those that have not secured pick-up arrangements will generally be released between 7:00 and 8:00 in the morning. Other types of releases are processed twenty-four hours each day. Inmates are released into the public lobby by the Information Office.

South Bay Detention Facility (SBDF)—Inmate releases of all types take place between 12:30 in the afternoon and 10:30 in the evening. Inmates are released into the public lobby by the Information Office.

Vista Detention Facility (VDF)—Inmates who have completed their local sentence are generally released between 6:30 and 8:30 in the morning. Other types of release are processed twenty-four hours each day. Inmates are released through a door into the lobby of the Information Office.