Orange County Jail Central Jail Complex

The Orange County Central Jail Complex (CJX) is operated by the Orange County Sheriff's Office. The complex is comprised of four separate bureaus that are inter-connected by a series of tunnels and corridors. These include:

  • the Central Men’s Jail
  • the Central Women’s Jail
  • the Intake Release Center (IRC), and
  • the Transportation Bureau

The jail complex houses adult males and females who have been arrested by county or municipal law enforcement, have not made bail, and are awaiting trial. The facility also houses inmates who have been sentenced to the county jail, as well as inmates being held for transport to the California Department of Corrections.

The Central Men's Jail

The Central Men’s Jail is a traditional cell-block and dormitory-style facility that temporarily houses arrestees until they post bail, are released on their own recognizance (known as an O.R. release), appear for their arraignment, or go to trial. 

The facility also houses convicted maximum security defendants who have been sentenced to incarceration. The maximum capacity is 1,428 inmates. Inside the Central Men’s Jails is “CJ1”, a dedicated courtroom for arraignments. 

The Central Women's Jail

The Central Women’s Jail is being phased out in favor of improvements at other facilities in the jail system. Female inmates in Orange County are currently being housed at the James A. Musick Jail in Irvine, California, the Intake Release Center in Santa Ana, and the Theo Lacy Maximum Security Facility in Orange. 

The Intake Release Center

The Intake Release Center is where inmates are booked after they are arrested. If the inmate is not bailed out, they are placed in one of the bureaus at the Orange County Central Jail Complex. 

They may be transferred to another Orange County facility, like the Theo Lacy Jail or the James A. Musick Jail. The IRC also houses male and female inmates who suffer from severe mental or physical medical issues.

The Transportation Bureau

The Transportation Bureau located at the Orange County Central Jail Complex is responsible for transporting inmates to court, work sites, other correctional facilities, and hospitals when necessary.

Inmate Search

To find out if your loved one is being held at the Orange County Central Jail Complex, click here or here or use VINE (see below). 

VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday)

Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) is a free and anonymous telephone service that provides victims of crime both information and notification. VINE monitors the custody status of offenders in the Orange County Jail and receives updated information every 15 minutes.

The Toll Free Number for California VINE is 1.877.411.5588. Anyone can call the California State VINE line to determine an inmate's custody status. To search for offender information, callers will need one of the following items:

  • Offender name or alias
  • Secondary search option (if there is more than one offender with the same name), such as:
    • Arrest date
    • Date of birth
    • Middle initial
    • Offender identification number

VINE will let callers know about the offender's current custody status, the location of the inmate, and their offender number. 

Bailing Someone Out of the Orange County Central Jail Complex

Bail at the CJX is determined based on the crime the person was arrested for, and is set according to the Orange County Bail Schedule

Bail is money that an inmate (or someone on their behalf) pays to be released from jail and to assure the sheriff and the court that they will show up for all mandated court appearances. If the person attends all of their court appearances, the bail amount will be returned at the end of the case, minus court fees. If they do not appear in court as required, the inmate will forfeit their bail.

You can bail someone out of the Orange County Central Jail Complex anytime 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Intake Release Center. Because this complex is so large, the bail out process can take between six and eight hours. 

To find out the amount of bail that has been set for an inmate, you may call the Sheriff’s records’ department at (714) 935-6940.

The Intake Release Center accepts the following forms of bail payment:

  • Cash (If you are posting cash bail, you must pay the full amount)
  • Cashier’s checks (Must be for the full amount, and on a California bank-drawn check payable to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Once the jail verifies the funds, the inmate is released.)
  • Personal checks (Made payable to the Orange County Superior Court.  The maximum amount that you can write a check for is $7,500. The check info must correspond with the issuer’s driver’s license and must be a California bank check)
  • Traveler’s checks (Made payable to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Will only be accepted if signed in the presence of a cashier at the cashier’s office at the time you are posting bail)
  • Money orders (For the exact amount, made payable to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department)
  • Bail bonds (The most common way to post bail. You are only required to pay a nonrefundable maximum of 10% of the total bond.  If the inmate doesn’t make all of their court appearances, you will be liable for repaying the bondsman the full bail amount.)
The Orange County Jail does not permit you to combine checks, money orders and cash to make a bail payment. You must post bail using only one type of payment. For more details about posting bail, click here.

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Orange County Jail Central Jail Complex

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting at the Orange County Central Jail Complex is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY and is limited to two visits for each inmate each week (Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday).

Visiting Hours for the Central Men and Women's Jail: Friday–Monday 8:00am to 5:00pm
Central Jail Scheduling Number: 714-647-4543

Visiting Hours at the Intake Release Center (IRC): Friday–Monday 8:00am to 5:00pm
Intake Release Center (IRC) Scheduling Number: 714-647-6050

Visiting at the complex is currently BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. No walk-ups are accepted.
Newly booked inmates are under a mandatory 14-day quarantine and those housed in medical isolation or quarantine are not eligible for visitation.

Visitors with a scheduled appointment must line up outside the lobby fifteen minutes prior to their appointment and maintain physical distance. Visitors may park in the parking structure across from the Santa Ana Police Department.

Scheduling A Visit

To schedule a visit with an inmate at the Central Men and Women's Jail, call 714-647-4543 between 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday–Friday. For the Intake Release Center, call 714-647-6050. Appointments must be made at least 24 hours in advance.

When calling to schedule your visit, please have the booking number ready of the inmate you wish to visit. You can find the booking number by clicking on Inmate Information. Visitors must also provide a contact phone number in case of housing changes or other incidents that may affect the visit.

Visiting Rules

  • Two adults and two minors are permitted to visit any one inmate.
  • Face coverings are required and screening procedures are in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Face coverings will not be provided. Non-compliance will result in denial of a visit.
  • Visitors are required to show valid photo identification. Only government issued IDs are accepted.
  • Each visit will last a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Visitors may only possess identification and keys while inside the facility for their visit.
  • Visitors should not bring bulk items (e.g., purses, make-up bags, day planners, books, backpacks, baby diaper bags, etc.) to their visit. Due to COVID restrictions and protocols, lockers are not available for storage.
  • Cell phones, laptops, cameras and other electronic devices are prohibited and not allowed in the facility.
  • No food, drinks, candy, gum, cigarettes, matches, lighters, or pepper spray.
  • Weapons or anything deemed inappropriate are not allowed in the Orange County Central Jail Complex.
  • All documents requiring an inmate's signature must have the permission of the visiting staff.
  • Nursing mothers must be discreet and covered when breastfeeding their child in the visiting area. Failure to do so may result in termination of visiting for that day.
  • Visitors with babies or toddlers may possess necessary items such as diapers, wipes, clothing or garment(s) for breastfeeding, formula, and bottles, separate from the diaper bag. However, each item is subject to search.
  • Clothing that is derogatory, offensive, revealing, or deemed inappropriate by the visiting staff is not allowed.
  • Visitors under the influence of drugs or alcohol are not allowed in the visiting room and are subject to arrest.
  • Visitors who are disruptive or interfere with the normal operations are subject to removal from the facility and/or arrest.

Visitors who have been released from jail within the preceding 60 days are ineligible to visit. Unless they are a blood relative (i.e., mother, father, sister or brother) or spouse and have the Watch Commander's approval.

California Penal Code 4571 prohibits persons convicted of a felony and who have served time in California State Prison from entering any jail premises without prior approval. Parolees and felons can request a visit by completing the Parolee/Felon Request to Visit form available at the jail lobby.

Physical Address

Orange County Jail Central Jail Complex
550 N. Flower St.
Santa Ana, CA 92703

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

(714) 647-4666 General Phone Number
(714) 935-6940 Sheriff’s records’ department (Bail)
(714) 647-4543 Central Jail Scheduling Number (Visits)

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name and Booking Number
Orange County Sheriff's Department
550 N. Flower St.
Santa Ana, Ca. 92703

Books, Magazines, and Newspapers

New paperback books, magazines, or newspapers must be mailed or sent directly by the publisher, book store, or book distributor. Torn pages or torn articles from publications are not allowed. 

Hardcover, vinyl, and leather-bound books are NOT allowed. The package must be accompanied by an invoice listing the purchaser, recipient, contents, and the name of the online store.


Oversized packages or boxes will not be accepted and will be returned to the sender unless previously approved by the Division Commander. 

Inmate Mail Guidelines

All inmate mail sent to the Orange County Central Jail Complex or Theo Lacy must meet the following guidelines:

  • Mail must contain both the inmate’s name and booking number and the sender’s name and return address. The envelope may not contain any other unnecessary writing, artwork, or markings on it.
  • Magazines, illustrations, or photographs showing female nipples, genitals, sexual activities, bondage, or degradation are not allowed. 
  • Personal photographs may not contain nudity, partial nudity or be sexually suggestive.
  • Photographs depicting gangs, gang hand gestures, weapons, drugs, unlawful activities are prohibited. As is any material tending to incite or promote racism, violence or any other prohibited conduct.
  • Mail containing correspondence material (envelopes, paper, pencils, stamps, etc.) will not be accepted. All correspondence material must be purchased through the jail commissary.
  • Money orders must be made payable to the " County of Orange – Sheriff’s Department," with the inmate’s name and booking number written on the reference line of the money order. Personal checks, cashier’s checks, corporate checks, and payroll checks are not accepted. 
  • There is a maximum of 10 items of correspondence allowed per envelope. Only mail written on postcards or white paper (plain or lined, not cardstock) is permitted.
  • One pair of prescription or reading glasses may be mailed in. Eyeglasses must be in a non-decorative plastic frame. Eyeglass cases are NOT allowed. Two boxes of contacts are allowed.

Mail containing the following Items will NOT be accepted:

  • Items that cannot be inspected without being damaged (e.g. multilayered cards, Polaroids, laminated or glued items, etc.).
  • Items containing foil or metal of any type, glass, wood, hard plastic, rubber, hair, leaves, flowers, paperclips, jewelry, staples, whiteout, colored paper, tracing paper, heavy art paper, glitter, confetti, stickers, tape, glue, paint, watercolors, tobacco products, or other prohibited substances, or any items written in crayon, chalk, or markers.
  • Wall posters, travel brochures, catalogs, wall calendars, or any other item larger than a legal size piece of paper.
  • Credit cards, personal checkbooks, original certificates (e.g., marriage, driver’s license, diplomas, etc.).
  • Any food item.
  • Any article of clothing, hygiene item or other personal property. 
  • Third party letters.
  • Any item that contains any unknown substance or unknown odor (e.g., stains, lipstick, perfume, smoke, etc.).
  • Greeting cards, cardstock paper and colored paper, with the exception of postcards. Only mail written on postcards or white paper (plain or lined, not cardstock) is permitted.

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at the Orange County Central Jail Complex cannot receive incoming phone calls. However, they have access to phones and can make outgoing collect calls from the inmate housing area. 

California law has established the right of an arrested person to make at least three free local telephone calls upon being booked: one call to an attorney, one to a bail bond agent, and one to a relative or other personal contact. Phone calls are recorded and may be monitored at any time.

The Inmate Telephone System at the Orange County Central Jail Complex is not owned or operated by the OC Sheriff’s Department. Outside vendor Global Tel Inc. (GTL) is currently contracted to provide inmate telephone services. For information about setting up a GTL phone account, click here.

How to Send Money

Inmates in the custody of the Orange County Sheriff may have cash, government checks (made payable to the inmate), and money orders deposited into their inmate account. The Jail Cashiering Hours of Operation and locations are as follows:

Intake and Release Center - 24 hours a day
550 North Flower Street
Santa Ana, CA
92703(714) 647-6085

Theo Lacy Jail Facility - Daily 8:00 A.M - 12:00 A.M.
501 The City Drive South
Orange, CA 92868
(714) 935-6905 

  • Money orders must be made payable to the “County of Orange – Sheriff’s Department.”  The inmate’s name and booking number must be shown on a memo line or a separate line of the money order.
  • Personal checks, cashier’s checks, and traveler’s checks are NOT accepted for inmate accounts.
  • Money orders may either be deposited at the Jail Cashiering offices or mailed to the inmate through the U.S. mail.
  • Government checks must be mailed.
  • Inmate accounts may have a maximum balance of $500.

There are approximately 150 items available through the Commissary. Categories include personal care, hair care, snacks, nuts and chips, beverages, candy, food items, stationery supplies, greeting cards, and gift certificates.

Programs For Inmates

Correctional Programs at the Orange County Central Jail Complex provide inmates the opportunity for an effective, rehabilitative experience while in custody. Typical programs include educational classes, vocational education training, and "life skills" classes such as Parenting and Job Development.

Inmates at the Central Men's Jail have access to television, outdoor recreation, local newspapers, mail, commissary purchases, and special programs. Inmates also receive medical, mental health, and dental care. Religious services, vocational, and educational programs are also offered. 

Sentenced inmates may be eligible to work in the facility kitchen or on labor crews to receive “work-time” credits to reduce their sentences. Eligible inmates may also qualify for the Community Work Program or Electronic Monitoring Program.

Specialized programming is offered to incarcerated veterans who are motivated toward changing their lives. 

Correctional Programs also focus on substance abuse recovery, domestic violence, anger management, fitness and exercise, general and law library services, religious and inspirational programs and pre-release preparation and assistance – all designed to maximize the chances of an inmate's successful transition to the community at release.

The same activities and classes are not offered at all facilities in the complex. Information about the specific classes and programs offered at each facility is given to the inmate at orientation. 

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Careers at Orange County Jail Central Jail Complex

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