FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Give us a call at 707-526-7318 if your question or the answer to your question is not here or you need further assistance with any of these topics.
How do I locate a Sonoma County Adult Detention Facility inmate's Booking Number?
What are the visiting days and hours at the Jail?
What are the rules about what I can wear and take with me when I visit an inmate in the Jail?
I think my loved one who is in the Jail is very sick and needs medical or mental health attention. What can I do?
- To provide specific information to jail personnel about your loved one's mental health or medical health condition and medications you can complete a form available at the MADF or NCDF front desk. The form is called: "To Families and Friends Regarding Inmates Requiring Medical or Mental Health Services". Once you complete the form, return it to the front desk of the facility where the inmate is located. The completed form will be routed to the appropriate healthcare provider office in the jail.
- If you are unable to travel to the jail facility to complete the abovementioned form, a way you may be able to provide specific information about your loved one's mental health or medical health condition and medications is to call the jail and leave a message for an in-custody professional medical healthcare or mental healthcare provider, asking them to return your call.
- You may want to encourage your loved one to request an authorization to release confidential information form from an in-custody professional medical healthcare or mental healthcare provider. Your loved one can complete and sign the authorization and give it to the healthcare provider so that the healthcare provider may be able to more freely exchange your loved one's health information with you. If you are unable to communicate with your loved one who is medically or mentally unwell and is in the jail, you may be able to leave a message for the appropriate healthcare provider to call you so you can ask the provider to give the form to your loved one to sign.
- The information on the following Sonoma County National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) Web site is very helpful to consult if your loved one who is incarcerated is mentally ill: http://www.namisonomacounty.org/pdf/family_member_arrest.pdf
- NAMI has a variety of programs for people who are mentally ill as well as programs for their family members. We suggest that you make contact with NAMI if you think you would benefit from having a support system related to your having a loved one who is mentally ill. Their Web site is: http://www.namisoco.org/
How do I contact a California State Prison Friends Outside Visitor Center?
- Here is a Web site address that lists the Friends Outside Visitors Centers; however, it is an old list, and some of the information on the list is out of date: http://www.vip-cali.com/CDCINFO/friends.htm
- If you do not find the information you need on the list on the abovementioned Web site, you can call Friends Outside in Stockton, CA, at 209-955-0701. They will have the information you need or know where you can get it.
How do I find out an inmate's CDCR number or which California State Prison an inmate is housed in?
What kinds of local community resource information do you have that might help me with my situation?
- In our Drop-In Center we have an extensive collection of local community resource information-including legal, mental health, treatment program, housing, and veterans' services information. We encourage you to call or visit our Drop-In Center to inquire about the local community resource information that we have.
- Another local resource is 2-1-1. You can go on-line to 2-1-1 Sonoma County or you can call 2-1-1 locally to find out what resources are available that meet your needs.
- You can visit the Web page on this Web site entitled "Resources" to find Web links to criminal justice, substance abuse, family and children, and re-entry resources.
What do I need to do so I can marry an inmate who is in the Sonoma County Jail?
- In order for the marriage process to take place in the jail, the person who notarizes the marriage paperwork for the inmate will need to have access to the original form of the inmate's legal identification. The inmate may have the legal ID on his or her jail property or may have released it to a family member. In either case, the Notary will need it in order to notarize the marriage paperwork.
- The inmate who is housed in the Jail initiates the marriage application process by requesting the appropriate marriage application forms from the Program Deputy or from our office. Once the inmate has completed the forms and has had the signature on one of the forms (the Affidavit of Inability To Appear form) notarized, and you (the person on the outside) have the paperwork in your hands, you follow the steps outlined in the paperwork in order to complete the marriage application process.
- One way to expedite the marriage application process is for the non-incarcerated fiancé or fiancée to come into our Drop-In Center and pay the fees to have our Notary meet with the inmate ($10.00 to meet with the inmate), and to notarize the Affidavit of Inability To Appear form ($10.00 to notarize one signature). You can call or visit us for further information.
How can an inmate's religious or spiritual counselor see the inmate in the Jail?
- There are religious and spiritual counselors who have access to inmates and who may visit the inmates housed in the Jail. An inmate who is in the Jail can make a request to the Program Deputy to see one of the religious or spiritual counselors in the Jail.
- If an inmate wants to see a specific religious or spiritual adviser who does not have regular access to inmates in the Jail, the inmate can contact the Program Deputy to find out what options are available.
How do I get eyeglasses to an inmate in the Jail?
- You may bring the eyeglasses into the Jail and give them to the person at the front desk in the lobby of the jail facility where the inmate is housed and ask to have them delivered to the inmate.
Can you help me get a message to an inmate in the Jail?
- Possibly. If you are not able to visit or write to the inmate, and the inmate is unable to call you, tell us the message and we will consider the nature of your message to determine its urgency. If we determine that it is an urgent message, we will communicate the message to the inmate.
Can you help me get a document signed by an inmate in the Jail?
- Generally, yes. We charge a $10.00 service fee to meet with an inmate who is housed in either Jail facility, to have him or her sign a document.
- Relative to some inmates housed in the NCDF, it may be possible for you to take a document with you when you visit the inmate in the NCDF and have the inmate sign the document while you are there (this does not apply to anyone housed in the MADF). You can check with the NCDF Watch Commander or Sergeant on duty at the time of your visit to see if you can do this. You can call 707-565-1400 and follow the prompts to talk with someone at NCDF for more specific information.
Can you deliver documents to an inmate who is in the Jail?
- The only documents that we can deliver from someone on the outside to someone who is housed in the Jail are legal documents to be served on someone in the Jail (such as Process Service, Eviction Notices, etc.). We provide Process Service only in the Sonoma County Jail Facilities.
- Friends Outside In Sonoma County is registered in the County of Sonoma as a Process Server.
- We charge $25.00 for Process Service.
Can you notarize documents for an inmate who is in the Jail?
- Friends Outside In Sonoma County has a Notary Public in the Drop-In Center who provides Notary Service only in the Sonoma County Jail facilities.
- In order for us to notarize a document for an inmate, we must have access to the original form of the inmate's legal identification. The inmate may have the legal ID on his or her jail property or may have released it to a family member. In either case, the Notary will need the ID in order to notarize an inmate's signature.
- We charge $10.00 to meet with an inmate, and we charge $10.00 to notarize a signature. This means $10.00 per signature that is notarized.
Can you help me get a check signed or cashed for an inmate who is in the Jail?
- Generally, yes, if the check can be verified or if it is considered to be a Government check. The fees are: $10.00 to meet with the inmate to get a check signed, plus 2% or 5% of the amount of the check for banking services (depending on the amount of the check), plus $10.00 for each Cashier's Check needed to distribute the funds from the original check. You can give us a call or visit us for further information.
- For non-Government checks there is an 11-banking days waiting period between having the check signed by the inmate and the cashier's check being distributed.
- Relative to some inmates housed in the NCDF, it may be possible for you to take a check with you when you visit the inmate in the NCDF and have the inmate sign the check while you are there (this does not apply to anyone housed in the MADF). You can check with the NCDF Watch Commander or Sergeant on duty at the time of your visit to see if you can do this. You can call 707-565-1400 and follow the prompts to talk with someone at NCDF for more specific information.
- For your information, if the inmate's check is a Government check, depending on the amount of the check the Jail Cashier may allow you to mail the check to the Jail to be put directly on the inmate's books.
How do I order books for an inmate in the Jail?
- You can go on-line to barnesandnoble.com or certain other reputable on-line book distribution companies, and order books for an inmate to be sent directly to the inmate in the jail. Be sure that any book that you order is paperback and new. Also, be sure to inform the book company that their company must include a packing list with the books; otherwise, the books will not be given to the inmate. Be aware that any book that you order to be sent to an inmate must be approved by Jail Staff. Certain books are not allowed, including urban fiction and true crime books.
- You can ask us to order books for you. One advantage to using our book-ordering service is that before we order the book for you, we find out if the book is approve-able according to Jail protocol. We charge a $5.00-$10.00 fee per book for this service (depending on how many books you order) usually as part of a $25.00 per book pre-pay. You can call or visit us for more details.
Give us a call at 707-526-7318 if your question or the answer to your question about our protocol is not here or you need further assistance with these topics. Call the Jail at 707-565-1400 to answer questions specific to jail protocol.