Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department operates the Santa Clara Main Jail Complex in downtown San Jose, California. The other jail operated by the department is the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas.

The Main Jail Complex receives and books about 65,000 persons every year who are arrested by county or municipal law enforcement. Most of those booked are cited and released, or they post bail on their charges. The Main Jail Complex is divided into Main Jail North and Main Jail South. 

Also included in the Main Jail Complex is the North County Facility located in the Palo Alto courthouse. This jail is operated daytime only for inmates with cases in Palo Alto.

Main Jail North

Main Jail North is a third generation correctional facility that uses the direct supervision model for inmate management. Direct supervision incorporates architectural design, specialized staff training, and a management system based on positive behavior. Main Jail North is designed to house up to 919 inmates.

One officer oversees a locked "module" or dormitory with up to 64 inmates. Each inmate has a cell with a toilet, sink, mirror, and bed. Inmates eat and participate in programs in a common day room area equipped with tables, chairs, and telephones. 

In this scenario, the officer is the leader of the module and they are in a position to know and understand the personality of each inmate. Direct supervision units have proven to be safer for both staff and inmates. 

Main Jail South

Main Jail South opened in 1956 and it has the capacity to house 674 inmates. It is designed in the old linear style, with tiers and bars, and runs via the indirect supervision model. This was popular in jail settings when the facility was built. But, indirect supervision is quite rare in modern facilities because there is minimal interaction between inmates and officers. 

Inmate Search

To find out if your loved one is being held in the Santa Clara Main Jail Complex, 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 Clara Main Jail Complex 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.

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting days and times at the Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex are as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday

  • 8:10 am
  • 9:20 am
  • 10:30 am
  • 2:00 pm
  • 3:10 pm
  • 4:20 pm

Saturday, Sunday

  • 7:00 am
  • 8:10 am
  • 9:20 am
  • 10:30 am
  • 2:00 pm
  • 3:10 pm
  • 4:20 pm

Visitor Registration

All visitors must register online and be approved in advance before they can visit an inmate at the Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex. This process can take up to seven business days to complete. 

The Main Jail Complex and the Elmwood Correctional Facility use the same Online Visitor Registration System (OVR). Therefore, you can use it to schedule visits at either facility. 

A visiting application will be denied if:

  •  You were in the custody of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department within the past 60 days, excluding those booked and released on the same day. 
  •  You have an open or pending court case.
  • You have been convicted of a felony and served time in state prison.
  • You were convicted of a misdemeanor within the past three years.
  • You have a No Contact Restraining Order involving the inmate you wish to visit.
  • You are on probation or parole.
  • You have an active warrant.
  • You are currently out on bail for an open or pending court case.
  • You have previous convictions for violence, assaultive behavior, sexual offenses or offenses committed while in custody.

Adult visitors must show a current government-issued photo I.D. (Driver’s License, Green Card, Passport, Military I.D., or Mexican Consulate Card) to prove identity before a visit. You must use the same ID that you used to register online for the visit.

Scheduling A Visit

You must be an approved visitor (via the registration process) before you can sign up for visits at the Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex. Approved visitors may schedule visits up to two weeks in advance. You must schedule your visit online using the OVR system.

You will not be able to schedule a visit if your inmate has lost their visiting privileges or if they are scheduled for court.

Visits are accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis via the visiting OVR system. A scheduled visit may be canceled without prior notice due to facility emergencies or when an inmate has been relocated to another housing unit. 

Inmates are allowed two 60-minute visits per week, and up to two adults may visit at one time. Each adult will receive a 30-minute visit. Children must be biologically related to the adult visitor or the inmate. A reasonable number of children may visit as long as they are constantly supervised and remain well behaved.  

An original and/or notarized birth certificate is required for each child at the time of each visit. Children who are 18 years or older will be counted as adults and must have their own account/register in the OVR system.

Visitors must check in 30 minutes before the scheduled visit. If a visitor is late, the visit will be canceled. 

Visiting Rules

All visitors at the Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex must successfully pass through the metal detector. Visitors shouldn't wear items that contain metal, including belts and jewelry (e.g., watches, chains, medals). Any visitor who refuses to comply with the search procedures will not be allowed to enter the visiting room.

The only item visitors may bring into the visiting room is one car key. If you have an infant, you are allowed to bring one diaper, a reasonable amount of wipes, and one premixed bottle of formula or milk per child.

ANY KIND of device that has the capability of audio, video, or photography recording and/or cell phone capabilities WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

Storage lockers are available with a deposit ranging from .25 to $10. Items not permitted while visiting should either be left in your vehicle or placed in the locker. 

Dress Code

All visitors must wear shoes and clothing that is appropriate for visiting. If the rules are not followed, your visit will be canceled. Visitors must empty the contents of their pockets and remove jackets, coats or sweaters for search. The following clothing items are not allowed in the visiting room:

  • Dresses, skirts (including slit skirts) and shorts more than two inches above the knee.
  • Clothing that exposes any part of the torso, back, shoulders, chest or midsection.
  • Visible undergarments 
  • Transparent clothing, strapless, halter, spaghetti straps, bare midriff clothing, tank tops, and attire displaying obscene/offensive language or drawings
  • Unfastened buttons and zippers
  • Clothing that resembles custody issued inmate clothing
  • Law enforcement or military patterned clothing
  • Hats
  • Medical attire (scrubs)

Physical Address

Santa Clara Main Jail Complex
150 W. Hedding Street
San Jose, California 95110

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

(408) 808-2804

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name and CEN number
Santa Clara Main Jail Complex
150 W. Hedding Street
San Jose, California 95110

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at the Santa Clara Main Jail Complex cannot receive incoming phone calls. However, they have access to phones and can make outgoing calls from the inmate housing area. Phone calls are recorded and may be monitored at any time.

California law has established the right of an arrested person to make at least three free local telephone calls when they are booked: one call to an attorney, one to a bail bond agent, and one to a relative or other personal contact.

How to Send Money

There are several ways to deposit money into your inmate's account at the Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex.

Accepts cash, Visa/MasterCard credit or debit card

Accepts Visa/MasterCard credit or debit card
Accepts and posts transactions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year

Accepts Visa/MasterCard credit or debit card
Service available in English and Spanish
Follow these steps to deposit money via telephone:

  • Enter the facility locator number followed by the # key. The facility code is 295110.
  • Enter the depositor’s active account log in number. (First time depositors will NOT have this number. They first need to set up a new account at, or call 1-866-204-1603)
  • When prompted for the inmate ID number, use the inmate's booking number (CEN#).

You can avoid paying a deposit fee by sending a money order directly to the jail. Mail to:
Inmate Services
150 W. Hedding Street
San Jose, CA 95110

Make the cashier's check or money order payable to: Santa Clara County Department of Correction. The check or money order must include the inmate’s name + PFN number and sender’s contact information. Mail without a return address will be rejected.

Care Packages

Friends and family can go online and order a care package to be shipped to their inmate. All items are bundled together rather than sold individually.

Programs For Inmates

Weekend Work Program / Public Service Program

Low-risk offenders may be sentenced to the Weekend Work Program (WWP) as an alternative to jail.

As part of the WWP, low-risk offenders do not have to go to jail, which reduces employment difficulties and related financial burdens for both the individual as well as society. Also, serving in the Weekend Work Program provides a valuable service to the community.

WWP participants pay to participate in this program so they can serve their sentences on weekends, allowing them to retain their regular employment.

The DOC Programs Division has established approximately 67 locations throughout Santa Clara County where participants can work. The weekend participants normally report to these sites to complete their sentences.

Some of the various agencies that utilize WWP workers are the City of San Jose (Christmas in the Park, Roads Department, Parks Department), County Roads and Airport Division, County Parks Division, California Department of Transportation and various baseball Little Leagues.

Pictures of Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex

Careers at Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex

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