Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department operates the Northern Branch Jail in Santa Maria, California. This facility houses adult males and females who are arrested by county or municipal law enforcement. It also provides incarceration and rehabilitation services for pretrial and court-sentenced inmates. The other jail facility in Santa Barbara County is the Main Jail.

The Northern Branch Jail opened to inmates on January 21, 2022. There are still functions of the jail that need to be completed before the jail is fully functional -- which is expected to happen by the summer of 2022. 

The new 376-bed, 133,000 square foot facility will provide much needed inmate housing for both male and female inmates in a mix of medium and high security areas.

Some of the features and benefits of the Northern Branch Jail include:

  • Increased bed capacity that will help relieve overcrowding in the Main Jail
  • Direct supervision for most areas of the jail that will enhance security and provide better living and working conditions for both staff and inmates
  • 32 special use beds for mental health and medical purposes
  • An outpatient medical clinic
  • Space for inmate classes and programs
  • Housing units with exercise yards
  • A North County location that will decrease the amount of time law enforcement agencies spend transporting and booking inmates

Inmate Search

To find out if your loved one is being held in the Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail, click here for the inmate locator 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 Santa Barbara County Northern Branch 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. 


Some inmates may be eligible for release on their own recognizance soon after booking. Intoxicated inmates are held for up to 12 hours (sometimes longer) to ensure they are sober enough to be safely released. 

Most inmates at the Santa Barbara County Main jail are eligible for bail, and they have access to telephones to arrange bail through friends, family, or bail agents.

When it is determined that an inmate will not be released on their own recognizance or make bail, they are given a classification interview, and their housing criteria are determined.


If you are picking up property for an inmate, you must have a valid photo ID. Property pick up times are on Friday evenings from 6 pm to 8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 4pm to 7 pm. The pick-up location is at the inmate reception center (IRC) building. 

Persons picking up property for an inmate released to prison have 30 days from the inmates’ transfer day to collect it. Inmates must fill out a release form indicating a specific person who will be picking up property prior to leaving the facility.

Prison Insights

Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail

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Visiting Hours and Rules

The visiting hours at the Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail have not yet been made public. Please call the facility directly for visiting hours and to schedule a visit.

Visiting Rules

All visits should be scheduled in advance, and the staff does attempt to honor all reservations. However, visits may be canceled or changed without notice. Please be aware that changes to an inmate's housing assignment may automatically cancel a scheduled visit. 

Walk-in visitors, that are on the inmate's pre-assigned visitation list, are accepted on a space available basis as long as the visitors check in on time.

All visitors must check in together one hour before the scheduled visit and are required to present valid photo identification. If a visitor is late, the visit may be canceled. Acceptable forms of ID are: 

  • Driver’s license
  • DMV Identification Card
  • Federal, state, local government identification card (any state)
  • Military or U.S. Government identification card
  • Valid Passport
  • U.S. Immigration identification (including visas)
  • Border crossing card issued by the United States Department of Justice
  • Current high school identification for children who do not possess a current California driver’s license or California I.D. card
  • Matricula Consular ID card issued after April 22, 2002 by the Consul General of Mexico

An inmate is allowed a maximum of two visitors (including children) at any one time. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Visitors may be subject to a search of their person and belongings by deputies and are subject to warrant checks and arrest.

No smoking or vaping is allowed in any part of the jail including the lobby. No cigarette packs, loose cigarettes, cigarette lighters, or cigars are allowed on jail property.

Visitors are only allowed to visit with the inmate they signed up to visit. You may not change or trade inmates with another visitor. Once you leave the visitation area, the visit with the inmate is terminated.

Covertly communicating with an inmate by using notes, letters, hand gestures associated with gang affiliation, etc. is strictly prohibited.

The following items are not allowed in the visiting area:

  • Purses / bags / backpacks
  • Firearms, knives or other weapons
  • Alcohol / Drugs
  • Cigarettes / E-cigarette or Vaping device
  • Pets
  • Food / Drinks
  • Cameras / Photography
  • Cell phones / Computers / Laptops or Electronic devices capable of recording

Dress Code

All visitors must dress in conservatie and not revealing attire. Visitors who fail to comply will be denied their visit. Visitors must be fully clothed, and they must wear shoes or sandals.

  • Visitors are not permitted to remove clothing items such as sweaters, jackets, etc. Which would violate the dress code standards.
  • Visitors’ clothing must not refer to gang affiliation, display sexual or lewd comments or pictures, or have the potential for being offensive to others.
  • Visitors must not display articles of clothing that could be deemed “gang” colors, such as hats, belts, bandanas, shoes, sportswear, etc.
  • Visitors must not display tattoos or other body art that is gang or hate related.
  • Clothing must cover the upper torso and lower/mid body parts.
  • Shorts or skirts must be at least to mid-thigh length.
  • Undergarments must not be visible.
  • Sleeveless, strapless, halter, spaghetti straps, swimsuits, or bare midriff clothing are prohibited.
  • No sheer or “see-through” clothing.
  • No pajamas (top and/or bottom)

Physical Address

Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail
2301 Black Road
Santa Maria, CA 93455

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

(805) 681-4260

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name and CID number
Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail
2301 Black Road
Santa Maria, CA 93455

All inmate mail must be properly addressed (including a return address) and delivered through the U.S. Mail. Inmates are allowed to purchase pre-stamped envelopes and postcards from the jail commissary.

Inmates will not receive any mail that includes articles, words, drawings, pictures, or suggestions of hatred, violence, frontal nudity, jail safety and security compromises, or other issues which may jeopardize the legitimate interest of the jail facilities.

The following is not allowed in inmate mail:

  • Gang codes or markings
  • Drugs or other contraband 
  • Obscene provocative or suggestive pictures
  • Writing or pictures that tend to incite violence, riot, racism or threaten the security of the facility
  • Blank postcards, stationary, envelopes, or greeting cards
  • Postage stamps from incoming mail, stickers, gum labels, musical or plastic cards, metal cards, wood cards, or multi-layer glued/bonded cards
  • Pamphlets, paper clips, wire, staples, spiral bindings, pens or pencils
  • Food items, lottery tickets, musical items, balloons, jewelry, etc.
  • Personal ID cards
  • Heavy crayon, ink drawings, glitter, foil, cloth or clothing material or leather
  • String, buttons, bows, ribbons and any similar items
  • Currency, money orders, or checks addressed to the inmate.
  • Any other items determined to be inappropriate or unacceptable for safety or security reasons.

If any of these items are included in inmate mail, it will be rejected and returned to the sender.


A maximum of five photographs are allowed in an envelope addressed to an inmate at the Santa Barbara County Jail. “PHOTOGRAPHS” must be clearly marked on the outside of the envelope. 

The inmate’s name, booking and CID Number must be written on the back of each photograph. Nothing else is to be written on the photographs.

Polaroids and photos larger than 4” x 6” are not allowed. Also, photos that are pornographic, nude, suggestive, showing gangs, gang tattoos, or hand gestures (signs) are not allowed.

Books, Newspapers, and Magazines

Inmates are allowed to receive new softbound, paperback books, subscription newspapers, and subscription magazines that are properly addressed and have been delivered from the publisher or a website like Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Books that are pornographic or pose a threat to the security and safety of the jail will not be accepted. 

All books and periodicals must be delivered through the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, or other recognized carriers. 

Newspapers, books and magazines will be delivered to inmates as long as they don't include articles, words, drawings, pictures, or suggestions of:

  • Hatred
  • Violence
  • Frontal nudity
  • Facility safety problems and security compromises
  • Material likely to incite the reader to commit any illegal act; or
  • Other material or subject matter which may jeopardize the safety and security of the facility.

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at the Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail cannot receive incoming phone calls. However, they  do have access to phones and can make outgoing calls from the inmate housing area between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm. Phone calls are recorded and may be monitored at any time.

Friends and family can leave a short 30-second message for their inmate for only $1.00. Debit and prepaid minutes may be purchased by friends and family through the following link: or call Telmate Customer Care @1-866-516-0115.

How to Send Money

You can send money to an inmate at the Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail via Access Corrections. You can make deposits by phone, online, or at a 24-hour kiosk.

The kiosks are located at the Santa Barbara County Main Jail facility, and they accept debit/credit and cash deposits. To deposit money by phone, call 866-345-1884. To make an on-line deposit, go to

Care Packages

Family and friends may purchase a care package for their loved one at the Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail by clicking the following link:

Programs For Inmates

Educational and Vocational

Adult Basic Education

Inmates are provided classroom and computer instruction to earn a high school diploma or obtain a G.E.D. Certification through a partnership with Santa Barbara City College (SBCC).

Sheriff’s Treatment Program (STP)

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Treatment Program (STP) helps inmates develop a pro-social lifestyle and change their behaviors that lead to criminality and other risky choices.

This stand-alone program is for inmates who are at a high risk of reoffending. It offers classes and services that meet the unique needs of those inmates most likely to return to custody due to extensive criminality, anti-social lifestyle choices, and limited pro-social opportunities and experiences. 

Services and classes include:

  • Case Planning/Management
  • Cognitive Behavioral Training
  • Criminal & Addictive Thinking
  • Drug and Alcohol Education
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Anger Management
  • Release and Reintegration

Pictures of Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail

Careers at Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail

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