Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Alabama
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Sheriff Mike Hale - Jefferson County, Alabama

Frequently Asked Questions

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Who can visit the jail?

Immediate family members can visit incarcerated persons held at either Jail.  All visitors must present a valid photo identification.  Persons under 18 years of age are prohibited from entering the jail for visitation.

How can I make someone's Bond?

There are four approved methods of making someone's bond. In most cases you can either make a cash bond, a property bond or have an approved bonding company post the bond. Additionally, some individuals may qualify for the Sheriff's Department's Pre-trial Release Program. For more specific information, contact the jail's Pre-Trial Release Office.

Can I drop packages off at the Jail for an Inmate?

No.  Packages can not be dropped off at the jails.  Inmates are allowed to receive letters from friends and family sent through the mail.  Please do not include photographs, money, or other items with these letters.  Parcel packages or boxes will not be accepted by the jail for delivery to an inmate and will be returned to sender.

Can I leave money for an inmate?


Yes. There are five ways friends and family can leave money for an inmate.

 

1) Money Orders – Money orders made payable to the inmate, may be placed in a money envelope and dropped in the box located in the lobby of each facility. The envelope should contain the name of the inmate, the name of the sender, the amount of the money order, and the inmate’s JCID number (if known). The money will be posted to the inmate’s account the next business day.

 

2) Court Money – To make a commissary deposit by Credit/Debit card or Check call Court Money at 800-352-9870. Their website is www.courtmoney.com. There is a minimum deposit of $10.00 and a maximum deposit of $100.00. A service fee of 5.5 %( minimum fee $5.50) of the deposit amount will be charged for all phone transactions and a service fee of 4.5 %( minimum fee $4.50) will be charged for all internet transactions. The maximum transaction amount per week is $100.00. The maximum number of transactions per week is 5.

 

You will need:

 

Form Number: 5500

Facility Code: BHM

Inmate Name

Inmate JCID Number

 

 

3) Government Payment Services - To make commissary deposits by Credit/Debit card call Government Payment Services at 888-277-2535 (24 hours a day).  Their website is www.governmentpayment.com. There is a minimum deposit of $25.00 and a maximum deposit of $300.00. A service fee of 5% of the deposit amount will be charged for all phone transactions, and a service fee of 3.5% will be charged for all internet transactions.  There is a minimum service fee of $3.50 per transaction.  MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover cards are accepted.

 

You will need:

 

            Pay Location Code: 5500

Facility Code: BHM

            Inmate Name

Inmate JCID Number

 

 

4) MoneyGram – To make a commissary deposit thru MoneyGram, call 1-800-MONEYGRAM to make a phone payment or find a location. You can also go to www.moneygram.com/locations to find an agent location.

 

You will need:

 

Company Name -                  SSC Inmate Funding 

City & State - Bradenton, FL

Receive Code –                    7950

Account Number –                BHM & JCID Number (ex.  BHM123456)

 

Fees are as follows:             $0 to $ 29.99                         $ 7.99.

                                                $ 30 to $ 74.99                      $ 8.99

                                                $ 75 to $ 199.99                    $ 9.99

                                                $ 200 or more                        $ 10.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) Kiosk - There is a kiosk located in the lobby of the Birmingham & Bessemer facilities.  This kiosk will accept cash ($5.00 bills or larger), credit and debit cards.  The kiosk is available for deposits between the hours of 6:00 am and 9:00 pm, seven days a week.  The person making the deposit must know the Inmate’s JCID Number and their Full and Correct Name.  A receipt will be issued from the kiosk to the person depositing the funds.    Deposits made by the use of the kiosk are immediately credited to the inmate's account avoiding the delay associated with weekends and holidays and making the money readily available for commissary purchases.

 

The kiosk cash acceptor is operated by a third party; the Sheriff's Office is not responsible for its operation.  If there is an issue with the deposit, notify the front clerk and they will notify the vendor.  The Sheriff's office will have contact information but has no way to resolve any issues related to the kiosk.  There is a $2.75 convenience fee for cash and a $ 4.95 fee for debit / credit cards when utilizing the lobby kiosk. These fees will be deducted from the amount deposited into the inmate's account.

 

Can I pick up property of an inmate?

Yes.  Friends or family, with the permission of the inmate, can pick up personal property.  Those wishing to pick up property must present picture identification and sign for the property once permission to release the property is received.  Friends and family must receive all of the inmate's property in storage.

When can I visit someone housed in the Jails?

The visitation period for the Birmingham Jail is from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm on the following schedule (based on the first initial of the inmate's last name) Mondays A,B,C Tuesdays D,E,F,F Wednesdays H,I,J,K,L, Thursday M,N,O,P,Q Friday R,S,T Saturday U,V,W,X,Y,Z.

 

Visitation for the Bessemer Jail is temporarly suspended due to the current jail construction project.  Visitation will resume as soon as possible. 

Do I have to pick up property from an inmate who has just been sentenced?

Yes.  The State Department of Corrections limits the amount of property a newly sentenced inmate may bring with them.  The property should be picked up by a friend or family member no later than 30 days after transfer.  After 30 days the property will be donated to Goodwill/Salvation Army or destroyed.

Can inmates release money to family members?

Yes.  Inmates may release money from their commissary account to immediate family members on the first and third Wednesday of the month, between the hours of 8:00am and 3:00pm.  Family members must present valid photo identification.  Money may also be released the inmate’s attorney weekdays (excluding holiday) between the hours of 8:00am and 3:00pm.

Does the Jail have Court Dates?

No.  The jails do not maintain court dates.  Information concerning court dates can be obtained through Birmingham and Bessemer Courts.  Their numbers are Birmingham District Court: 325-5309, Birmingham Circuit Court: 325-5285, Bessemer District Court: 481-4187, Bessemer Circuit Court: 481-4165.

Can inmates use the phone?

The County Commission currently contracts with AT&T to provide pay phones for inmate use.  The pay phones are collect only and limit the telephone conversations to fifteen minutes in length.  Upon admission the inmate will receive instructions on how to use the telephones and their individual PIN number.  The first five numbers dialed by the inmate are automatically stored in each inmate's call list which is limited to five numbers.  Periodically, the inmate will be allowed to change these numbers.  Attorneys of record may request, on letterhead, to allow their clients to contact their office free of charges.  Person's wishing to have their telephone number blocked from receiving calls from the jails should contact their telephone carrier or submit a request in writing to the Jail Administrator to have their telephone blocked.  The rates for the collect calls are established by the State's Public Service Commission and the jail has no influence over these rates.  For further information on billing issues, please contact AT&T at 1-800-844-6591.

Can medication be dropped off at the jail by friends and family members?

No.  It is difficult to verify personal medications and to insure proper healthcare delivery; all prescriptions will be made through the jail's physician.  Family members who have concerns about an inmate's medical care should contact the Jail's Healthcare staff in Birmingham at 205-325-5670 and in Bessemer at 205-481-4160.

How can I find out who is in Jail?

Under State Law, a public accounting is to be made available of all persons incarcerated in the County Jail.  A copy of the Jail's Docket Book is available for public viewing in the lobby of both the Birmingham and Bessemer facility.

 

You can also search on line to see what inmates are housed in the Jefferson County Jail.  You can see the full list of inmates or search by last name.  There is also a list of people booked and/or released in the last 24 hours.  You will be able to find out what facility they are in, what they are charged with and the amount of their bond.

What is the rated capacity for the Jails? How many beds do you have?

The original design capacity or number of beds for the Birmingham Jail was 620 beds and 100 beds for the Bessemer Jail.  Due to the increase in the inmate population, both facilities have had additional bed installed in the cells.  The current number of available beds in Birmingham is approximately 1,075 beds and 198 beds are available in Bessemer.

Are jails being remodeled?

The Bessemer Jail is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar expansion project to increase the total number of beds by 180, and will allow for the housing of female inmates at this facility.  This expansion will also upgrade the medical facility and allow for a new video visitation process.

Are there too many State Inmates in the County Jail?

Under State Law, the State Department of Corrections is charged with the housing of State sentenced individuals.  However, due to the overcrowding in the State system, some State inmates are being held in County Jails longer than expected.  Jefferson County is working diligently with the State Department of Corrections to reduce the number of State Inmates housed in the County Jails as much as possible.

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