FAQ

These are some of the most common jail questions and answers or FAQ. Our database of jail questions and answers is constantly growing.

1. How can I find out if someone is in a jail?
2. When is the jail open?
3. What does it mean when a person is “booked” into jail?
4. What occurs during an arraignment?
5. When are prisoners arraigned?
6. What is the difference between jail and prison?
7. When can I visit an imate?
8. Can prisoners make free phone calls?
9. Where do I get the vehicles once they have been impounded?
10. How do I find out if an inmate has been transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?
11. What is the difference between county jail and city jail?

 

1. How can I find out if someone is in a jail?

Each jail has different procedures. Most jails offer three ways of finding out if someone is in jail—online lookup, in person, and telephone. Some jails only allow you to call and others offer all three options; every jail is different. For specifics, locate your jail on our list.

2. When is the jail open?

Most jails are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For specifics, locate your jail on our list.

3. What does it mean when a person is “booked” into jail?

This is the procedure for documenting a person into the jail. This usually involves collecting personal information such as the person’s name, address, criminal charges (reason for arrest), and taking any personal items such as a wallet, cell phone, watch, etc. This is also the time that a booking photo is taken and fingerprints are collected.

4. What occurs during an arraignment?

This is when the prisoner and judge are face-to-face. The judge lets the prisoner know exactly why he or she is in jail and lets the prisoner how much his or her bond is going to cost.  Click here to locate a local bondsman.

5. When are prisoners arraigned?

Each jail is different. For specifics, locate your jail on our list.

6. What is the different between jail and prison?

An easy answer is that jail is for a shorter amount of time (usually less than a year) and prison or state jail is for a longer term. Jails are usually run by the sheriff’s office and/or local governments while the state jails and prisons are run by the state or federal government.

7. When can I visit an imate?

Every jail is different but all jails have certain visitation hours so be sure and check with your local jail, on our site, for visitor hours before you go to the jail.

8. Can prisoners make free phone calls?

Most jails allow the prisoner to make at least one free phone call during the booking process. Otherwise, inmates can make collect calls from prison but must know the phone number to dial. For specifics, locate your jail on our list.

9. Where do I get the vehicles once they have been impounded?

Usually the police operate with a specific towing company that takes the vehicle to the towing company’s yard or the police department’s yard. For specific information, locate the jail.

10. How do I find out if an inmate has been transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?

Your best option is to locate the ICE detention center and contact them directly. For information on ICE detention centers, visit our partner here.