Maricopa County Jail

Maricopa County in Arizona has a number of jail facilities located throughout the county that are operated by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. These facilities house adult male and female inmates who have been arrested by local county or city law enforcement.

The locations are: the 4th Avenue Jail, the 512 facility, Estrella Jail, ITR (Intake, Transfer, Release), Lower Buckeye Jail, Towers Jail, and Watkins Jail. There is also a transportation hub for the Maricopa County Jail, but inmates are not held at this facility.

Inmates are incarcerated at the Maricopa County Jail facilities for crimes ranging from violations to misdemeanors to felonies. The facilities also house those who have been charged with a crime and are awaiting trial, as well as state inmates awaiting transfer to the Arizona Department of Corrections. 

To see a roster of current inmates at the Maricopa County Jail, click here, or to locate an inmate in custody (you need name and date of birth of person), call Sheriff’s Information Management Services (SIMS) at 602-876-0322.

The 4th Avenue Jail

This facility has approximately 2,064 beds in 1,152 cells, with 288 specifically designated for highest security level inmates. This facility houses the following custody levels:

  • Male Maximum - General Population
  • Medium - General Population
  • Closed Custody
  • Maximum/Medium Sentenced Working Male inmates

The 4th Avenue Jail is the most secure facility in the Maricopa County jail system, and houses the highest security inmates inside a uniquely designed Special Management Unit.

The 512 Facility

The 512 Facility is located within the ITR (Intake, Transfer, and Release) Facility. In 2020, it replaced the Central Intake processing center that was located at the 4th avenue jail in downtown Phoenix. 

The 512 Facility has the capacity to house 512 inmates who are designated for a short-term stay of 72 hours or less, or no longer than five days. This facility acts as a buffer between the ITR and other facilities in Maricopa County and the state of Arizona.

Estrella Jail

The Estrella Jail has an inmate capacity of 1,503, and houses all classifications of un-sentenced/sentenced female inmates. This includes Minimum, Medium, and Maximum inmates, General Population, Administrative Restrictive Housing, Nature Of Charges (NOCs), Disciplinary Restrictive Housing, Administrative No work, and Closed-Custody.

The jail features five tower housing units and ten dormitories. Most of the sentenced female inmates participate in work assignments that assist with jail operations and skill building.

Intake, Transfer, Release (ITR)

This facility replaced the Central Intake processing center that was located at the 4th Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix. It was designed to allow for a more efficient intake and booking process.

The ITR has four completely functional courtrooms and processes all “self-surrender” detainees who are complying with a court order to surrender themselves and serve a jail sentence. The facility processes all releases from custody of the Maricopa County Jail system.

The “Transportation Hub” located at the ITR coordinates movement of defendants into/out of custody throughout the Sheriff's Office system of five jails.

Lower Buckeye Jail

The Lower Buckeye Jail is the largest detention facility in the state of Arizona. It has the capacity to house approximately 2,427 inmates. This is a predominantly male facility, but there are female inmates housed in the mental health unit and infirmary.

The Lower Buckeye Jail Houses:

  • Non-Sentenced Male: Minimum and Medium General Population inmates
  • Minimum, Medium, and Maximum Administrative Restrictive Housing inmates
  • Minimum, Medium, and Maximum Nature of Charge (NOC) inmates
  • Fully Sentenced Working Inmates
  • All classifications of Remanded Male/Female Juvenile inmates
  • Disciplinary Restrictive Housing inmates.

There are two styles of inmate living areas - dormitories and pods. The Four Dormitories are direct supervision style housing units, each containing 102 beds and a recreation area. 

The Twelve Podular Remote style housing units each have 71, two-man cells and are divided into two housing pods, each pod with its own recreation area. Adjacent to each housing pod is an outdoor recreation area and two classrooms. Each level also has a chapel and a medical clinic.

The 60-Bed Medical Infirmary and 255-Bed Mental Health Unit house all classifications of inmates. 

Towers Jail

This facility can house a maximum of 720 inmates classified as male medium security, general population. The Towers jail is the oldest operating jail facility in the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, and has the lowest population capacity in the Maricopa County jail system.

The majority of inmates at Towers Jail are un-sentenced, pretrial detainees. This facility features six housing units, each with four pods that house up to 30 inmates.

Watkins Jail

This facility can house approximately 1,600 inmates classified as male medium security or minimum security, general population. The Watkins Jail is a state-of-the art facility designed on the Direct Supervision principles of inmate management.

These principles focus on the assumption that inmates will comply with rules and regulations by staff using positive reinforcement, communication, accountability, and mutual respect. The officer workstation is located in the middle of the housing unit, without walls or barriers.

Bonds and Fines

Bonds and fines can be paid at the Fourth Avenue Jail Bond & Fine room located on the north west corner of the building. After Bond is paid, it may take up to 24 hours for an inmate’s release to be processed. 

If an inmate has an Immigration hold or any other law enforcement agency hold, paying the bond will not release the inmate. You may call the Sheriff's Information Management Services (SIMS) at 602-876-0322, prior to paying a bond, if you have any questions.

Once a bond payment is accepted, NO REFUNDS are given. Acceptable means of payment are US Currency, a Cashier’s Check (official check), subject to verification, a U.S. Postal Money Order, a Western Union Money Order or credit card. Visa, Mastercard, AmericanExpress and Discover cards are accepted.

Prison Insights

Maricopa County Jail

Go back

What Do Inmate Families Think?

Go back

What Do Former Inmates Think?

Go back

What Do Employees Think?

Go back
Sorry, there are no insights for this section of the facility yet.
Overall Score = /10
Total Respondents =

Visiting Hours and Rules

Video Visitation is available at the MCSO Jails. There are two options for conducting regular, inmate visitation: Remote visit or On-site visit.

Remote Visit

This is a video visit that is conducted over the internet through the use of a visitor’s home computer. The number of Remote Visits an inmate may receive is unlimited, based upon time-slot availability. But, there is a fee.

  • Remote visits may be scheduled daily between 7 A.M. and 9:30 P.M.
  • Each Remote visit session can last up to 20 minutes.

On-Site Visit

This is a video visit conducted through the use of a visitor video kiosk located at the Lower Buckeye Jail or the 4th Avenue Jail. Inmates are eligible to receive one free On-Site Visit per week. 

Visitors will conduct their visit from one of the two listed jails, regardless of which jail the inmate is currently housed in.

On-Site visits may be scheduled daily between 9 A.M. and 4:30 P.M, excluding holidays. Each On-Site visit session can last a maximum of 20 minutes.

Creating a Visitor Account

In order to conduct a visit (remote or On-Site), friends and family members must create an account and schedule their visit a minimum of 24 hours in advance.

You can do this by going to the website to schedule remote visits, or go to to schedule on-site visits. 

If you choose the On-Site visit option, you must choose the jail where you wish to conduct your visit, either the 4th Avenue Jail or the Lower Buckeye Jail. You must select one of these two sites regardless of which jail the inmate is currently assigned. 

A dress code is strictly enforced at each MCSO jail and is posted in the jails. In general, dress conservatively.

You will not be allowed to enter the visitation room with any personal items, including jewelry, sunglasses, cell phone, wallets, purses, books, etc. These items must be secured in a locker (fee required) located in the visitation lobby. Bring spare change to use the locker.

For more visitor information click here.

Physical Address

The 4th Avenue Jail
201 S. 4th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Driving Directions:

The 512 Facility
2670 South 28th Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85009

Driving Directions:

Estrella Jail
2939 W. Durango Road
Phoenix, AZ 85009

Driving Directions:

Intake, Transfer, Release (ITR)
2670 S 28th Dr.
Phoenix, AZ 85009

Driving Directions:

Lower Buckeye Jail
3250 W Lower Buckeye Road
Phoenix, AZ 85009

Driving Directions:

Towers Jail
3127 W. Gibson Lane
Phoenix, AZ 85009

Driving Directions:

Watkins Jail
2680 South 28th Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85009

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

The 4th Avenue Jail (602) 876-0322
The 512 Facility(602) 876-0322
Estrella Jail(602) 876-0322
ITR(602) 876-0322
Lower Buckeye Jail(602) 876-0322
Towers Jail(602) 876-0322
Watkins Jail(602) 876-0322

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

MCSO utilizes a central mailroom located at the Lower Buckeye Jail for all incoming inmate mail. All mail -- including newspapers, magazines, and books -- must be addressed as follows, regardless of which jail the inmate is housed in:

Inmate Name and Booking Number
Lower Buckeye Jail
3250 West Lower Buckeye Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85009

All incoming mail must be on metered postcards, 

  • Minimum size postcards: 3.5 x 4.25 inches
  • Maximum size postcards: 4.25 x 6 Inches

They must be written in blue or black ink only, and can't be defaced or altered. NO labels or stickers. Postcards with any watermarks, stains, perfume, lipstick, et cetera will be returned. Postcards depicting nudity, weapons, criminal activity or gang references are not allowed.

All Books and subscription publications must be softback and purchased directly through a publisher. All books must be accompanied by a shipping manifest or invoice. 

You may send up to five photographs at any one time, provided the envelope is clearly marked “PHOTOGRAPHS.” The envelope cannot contain anything other than the photographs or it will be rejected. Photographs may not be larger than 4 inches by 6 inches. 

The inmate’s name and booking number must be written on the back of each photograph to show ownership. Nothing else is to be written on the photographs. Photographs must be otherwise completely unadulterated. Photographs depicting nudity, weapons, criminal activity, or gang references are prohibited.

How to Call an Inmate

You can't call an inmate who is housed at any of the Maricopa County Jail locations, but they do have access to phones in their housing units (after their initial appearance, within 24 hours of their arrest) and can make outgoing collect calls.

How to Send Money

TouchPay kiosks are located at each jail location. They currently accept Cash and Visa/Mastercard. Funds are usually posted within one hour to the inmate's account. There is a fee for this service. 

In addition to the payment kiosks, deposits can be made via telephone, the Internet, or at select retail locations.


Programs For Inmates

4th Avenue Jail

The Basement Level in the 4th Avenue Jail has Inmate Programs, a Chaplain, and Inmate Legal Services staff. It also has one Main Medical Clinic on the Basement level and a Mini Medical Clinic on levels 2, 3, and 4. The medical offices include Dental, X-Ray, Pharmacy and Psychiatric staff.

Each housing pod features two classrooms, four video visitation booths, an attorney room, a dayroom, and a recreation yard. 

Estrella Jail

Choose to Change, Mosaic, and Girl Scouts Beyond Bars.

Estrella Jail staff works with Correctional Health Services, Maricopa County Human Services Department, and the MCSO Custody Support Division to provide inmate programming that aligns with the Maricopa County Smart Justice Program.

Lower Buckeye Jail

This facility houses the Working Inmate Population for all MCSO Jail facilities. These inmates are assigned jobs that are critical in the everyday function of the Maricopa County Jail Facilities --  from the Inmate Laundry to Food Services Division. 

The Jail also houses and operates a fully accredited high school for the Juvenile offenders.

Watkins Jail

The Watkins Jail also offers programs such as Choose to Change and MOSAIC. They are designed to encourage positive behavior and to help inmates make better life choices so they can end the cycle of reoffending.

Pictures of Maricopa County Jail

Careers at Maricopa County Jail

If you are interested in a career with the Sheriff's Department and would like more information about the job openings at the Maricopa County Jail, click here.