When individuals are arrested, they are usually taken to a local police station where they may be interviewed, and where necessary reports and forms are prepared. If the individual is arrested for driving under the influence, a breath, urine, or chemical blood test will be conducted. This process can take as long as four hours before the person is brought to the Jail to be booked. Since a good deal of time may pass before the Jail system has any notification of a person’s arrest, if you call shortly after your friend or loved one has been arrested you may find that they are not yet in the Jail system. Do not be concerned by this delay, because the pre-booking period is routine and necessary.
When arrested individuals arrive at the Jail facility, they go through the intake process before being housed in the inmate population. Intake is comprised of several steps which include medical screening, the booking process, and the classification interview.
Immediately upon arrival at the Jail, the inmate is assessed for any medical conditions that need immediate treatment. A nurse conducts an initial screening to make sure the inmate is not injured,or in need of immediate medical treatment and ensures that all conditions that an inmate may have are properly noted and that the facility is capable of meeting the inmate’s medical needs.
During the booking process, all inmates are searched to make sure that no contraband is being brought into the facility. They are photographed and fingerprinted. Their personal information and charges are entered into the computer system, and their bail is determined.
Some inmates may be eligible for release on citation very soon after booking. Intoxicated inmates will be held for up to 6 hours, and sometimes longer, to ensure they are sober enough to be safely released.
Most inmates are eligible for bail, and they have access to telephones to arrange bail through friends, family, or bail agents. A list of bail agents is available in the booking area holding cells. When it is determined that inmates will not be released on citation or make bail, they are given a classification interview and their housing criteria are determined.
Population Management staff considers a number of objective risk factors in determining the custody level of an inmate. These factors, such as violence, criminal history, previous escapes, and institutional behavior problems, establish the relative degree of risk posed by that inmate. The purpose of classification is to house inmates of similar classification together in order to minimize the risk of conflict between inmates. Proper classification also allows us to house inmates in housing units best suited to their level of risk.
Although the classification system is regarded as very reliable, situations may arise justifying an override of the inmate’s custody level. Population Management staff is authorized to recommend such overrides where appropriate. Those inmates who have a concern about their classification are welcome to submit an Inmate Request Form to the Population Management Unit to have their concern addressed.
After the initial classification process, there are several events that may result in the reclassification of an inmate. The addition of new charges, reduction of charges, and serious disciplinary actions are all events that might trigger reclassification.
All inmates receive an Inmate Orientation Handbook that explains the basic facility rules and procedures. Inmates also have access to posted rules and information which provide guidelines for inmate behavior, as well as informing them about visiting, mail, contraband, security violations, inmate grooming, telephone calls and religious programs.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office strives to accommodate individuals with disabilities in the Jail. TDD devices are available for hearing impaired inmates. Inmates are allowed to retain eyeglasses, dentures and other prosthetic devices while in custody. After screening by medical staff, approval may be granted for mobility aids such as canes, crutches and wheelchairs. After consultation with the inmate, medical staff may also recommend specialized housing, bunk assignments and medical care in order to meet the inmate’s specific needs. Inmates may request accommodation of a disability during the intake medical screening, the classification interview, or at any other time by submitting an Inmate Request Form. While most requests can be resolved effectively with jail staff, inmate grievances over disability accommodations may be directed to the Jail’s ADA Coordinator.
The Sheriff’s Office will make reasonable accommodations or modifications to ensure that all qualified inmates with disabilities are afforded equal access to programs, services, and activities in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In providing reasonable accommodations, the ADA does not require the Fresno County Sheriff's Office to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services, or impose an undue financial or administrative burden. Complaints that a program, service, or activity of the Fresno County Sheriff's Office is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to:
Sergeant Betty Moreno, ADA Coordinator
Jail Programs & Services Bureau
1225 ‘M’ Street
Fresno, CA 93721
Phone: (559) 600-8455
California Relay Service 7-1-1 (for TTY users)
To see if someone is in custody, check the Inmate Information Center, or you may call 1-888-373-7011.
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