California Jails

By Jail
Alameda County Jail
Butte County Jail
Century Regional Detention
Chino State Prison
Contra Costa County Jail
Corcoran State Prison
Delano Prison
El Dorado County Jail
Fresno County Jail
Humboldt County Jail
Imperial County Jail
Kern County Jail
Kings County Jail
LA County Jail
Lassen County Jail
Madera County DOC
Marin County Jail
Mendocino County Jail
Merced County Jail
Monterey County Jail
Napa County Jail
North County Facility
Orange County Jail
Placer County Jail
Riverside County Jail
Sacramento County Jail
San Bernardino County Jail
San Diego County Jail
San Francisco County Jail
San Joaquin County Jail
San Luis Obispo County Jail
San Mateo County Jail
San Quentin State Prison
Santa Barbara County Jail
Santa Clara County Jail
Santa Cruz County Jail
Santa Rita Jail
Shasta County Jail
Smith Correctional Facility
Solano County Jail
Solano State Prison
Southwest Detention Center
Stanislaus County Jail
Sutter County Jail
Tehama County Jail
Tulare County Jail
Valley State Prison
Ventura County Jail
West County Detention
West Valley Detention Center
Yuba County Jail

California has a different approach to preventing violence in jail than most other states. Most California county jails separate inmates by race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. The reasoning is that because these three issues are major contributors to jail house violence that by separating the inmates there will be less violent confrontations.

Of course, this is only possible in larger jails since they need to be able to manage these different inmate populations. You are more likely to find this sort of segregation in Los Angeles County Jail, for example, than in Sonoma County Jail.

County jails in California (and across the nation) shouldn't be confused with prisons. Jails are usually run by the county or city while prisons are usually run by the state or federal government. County jails tend to house inmates that are doing less than a year and have been charged with misdemeanors whereas prisons tend to house inmates who are doing multi-year stints (sometimes even life) and have been convicted of much more serious felonies.

Many jails in California are dealing with serious overcrowding issues. As an officer in the jail this presents a lot of problems such as increased inmate violence. It creates opportunities for the inmates, however, who tend to serve shorter sentences than they would otherwise. In LA County Jail, for instance, inmates report that they generally serve about 10% of their sentence because of the overcrowding issues (note that they still spend quite a bit of time on probation).