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Property & Money

Prior to bringing an inmate into County Jail, arresting officers are required to inventory the arrestee’s personal property and heat-seal it into a bag. In most cases, this makes it unnecessary for jail personnel to handle the inmate’s property. After the inmate’s cash has been accepted, it is placed in an account available to the inmate for commissary and other purposes. Any unused funds are returned to the inmate upon discharge from custody.

Prior to being assigned to a housing unit, inmates are required to exchange their personal clothing for jail clothing. Their personal clothing is bagged and stored securely until their release. No bulk property (backpacks, sleeping bags, bicycles, etc.) will be accepted at any County Jail. Questions concerning the location of such property should be directed to the arresting agency.

Inmates receive basic hygiene items free of charge when first entering Sheriff’s custody. While they have less than $2.00 on their accounts they will continue to receive these items. When they have money on their account they may choose to purchase additional items as well as limited amounts of food items through the jail commissary.


When an individual is booked into the County Jail, an account is opened to safeguard that person’s money as long as the inmate remains in custody. While in custody, inmates can use the money “on their books” to make purchases from the Sheriff’s Commissary. Items available through the commissary include food items, toiletry articles, writing materials, postage, and pre-paid telephone time. Although the Sheriff’s Department provides for all basic nutrition and hygiene needs, permitting inmates to purchase items from the commissary provides a level of variety not otherwise available to them.

In order to allow inmates continued access to the commissary during their incarceration, funds may be added to their accounts at any time. “TouchPay” kiosks have been installed in the public lobby of each detention facility to allow visitors to post money to an inmate’s account. Deposits to inmate accounts will only be accepted at the Information windows from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily. Deposits may be made by visiting Certain checks may also be used to make deposits to an inmate’s account. This may be accomplished with a cashier’s check from a United States bank, or with a money order issued by the U.S. Postal Service, Western Union, a credit union, bank, savings & loan, etc. Government instruments such as payroll and retirement checks can also be deposited to an inmate’s account, as well as checks issued by the State Prison System or a San Diego County Probation Department Honor Camp. Please note that personal checks and multiple party checks are not accepted. Deposits will not be accepted to an inmate’s account if it would cause the account balance to exceed $500. (An inmate is limited to spending a maximum of $100 per order on commissary items.)

All unused funds, as well as all items stored in property, will be returned to the inmate at the time of release from custody.

Questions regarding inmate fund accounts, including funds owed may be directed to the Detentions Accounting Office at the facility from which you were released.

  • Commissary or e-Commerce Purchases - (619) 661-2860 (Do not contact facilities)
  • George Bailey Detention Facility - (619) 661-2729
  • Las Colinas Detention & Reentry Facility - (619) 258-3186
  • South Bay Detention Facility - (619) 691-4822
  • San Diego Central Jail - (619) 615-2545
  • Vista Detention Facility - (760) 940-4677

Please allow seven working days after release to coordinate the disbursement of funds owed to you.

Commissary and Inmate Telephone Purchases

Request for reimbursement of pre-paid telephone time can be made to the inmate telephone provider, Securus, at (800) 844-6591.

Questions about other Commissary online purchases can be directed to (619) 661-2860.