News media representatives have no greater right of access to detention facilities or inmates than any other member of the public. A visit by news media personnel shall be considered a social visit, not a professional visit. The Public Information Officer does not process requests for interviews.
Media representatives seeking an inmate interview should proceed as described below:
- Visit the “Inmate Locator” page of the Sheriff’s Office website.
- Search the inmate’s last and first name.
- A new page will open if the person is in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office.
- Note the facility and housing area location of the inmate. That location will determine which days and times social visiting is permitted.
- You may go to the facility and attempt the visit, however you may wish to correspond with the inmate first to be certain the interview will be accepted by the inmate.
- To correspond with the inmate, review the information provided on the “Mail” page.
- If the inmate opts to accept the visit, that visit shall be counted as a social visit, just like any other social visit.
- Inmates have two social visits per week. To find out if an inmate has available social visits for the week, please contact the Inmate Information Office at (888) 373-7011.
When conducting an inmate visit with an audio recorder, please observe the following:
- Once you have arranged for a visit and the inmate has accepted your request for a visit, call the Watch Commander to inform them that you are arriving with recording equipment which will have to be inspected upon your arrival. You may also wish to request special accommodations for a “bond room” visit.
- You will generally have 30 minutes with the inmate.
- Your interview will be through a visit window. You will not have face-to-face access as is the case with attorneys.
- With the inmate’s permission, the visit may be tape recorded.
- Since you are on a social visit, you cannot put a microphone on the inmate. You can just put your microphone on the telephone, or on the glass window.
When conducting an inmate visit with a TV camera crew, please observe the following:
- Obtain approval from the Sheriff.
- Media interviews shall not be permitted with an inmate suffering from a mental illness when, in the opinion of a psychiatrist or psychologist, the inmate is not capable of giving informed consent, or their condition may be worsened by such an interview.
- If the Sheriff grants an interview, all interested parties will be immediately informed of the forthcoming meeting between the media and the inmate to allow a reasonable amount of time to contest the interview proceedings (e.g., the inmate’s attorney, the District Attorney, the Court, the Federal Marshals, etc.).
- While interviewing the inmate, make sure other inmates are NOT included in the videos or photographs.
- Recordings are prohibited of procedures, equipment, and structures which could compromise security.