The Detention Division falls under the Corrections Bureau which also oversees the Court Services Division.
The Detention Division is responsible for the intake, housing and release of all inmates at the Monterey County Jail which encompasses both the Main Jail and Rehabilitation Facility. The Division also includes the Classification Unit.
The County Jail houses sentenced and unsentenced male and female inmates. There is an infirmary with in-house medical, psychiatric and dental staff. There is an on-site full-scale laundry, professional kitchen, library, commissary services, building maintenance shop, and a chapel.
The Detention Division receives prisoners and inmates from all police agencies in the county; from the California Department of Corrections for parole violations, the Probation Department for probation violations, and the Superior Court of California (County of Monterey), once the individual is sentenced.
The processing of those incarcerated is accomplished with the use of Iris Scan, digital imaging and digital fingerprint scanning. This equipment ensures fast and precise identification of persons arrested by electronically transmitting fingerprints to the Department of Justice in Sacramento. All bookings are computerized. A limited video arraignment program and the use of video conferencing reduce the security risks and cost of transporting inmates.
Approximately 1100 inmates are housed in 31 separate housing units that range from single cells to open dormitory settings. Sentenced inmates reside in open dormitories and provide manpower for work crews for the facility. Work crews inside the facility are used for things such as kitchen work, cleaning, and general maintenance. Work crews are also sent outside the facility for basic grounds keeping around the Sheriff’s Office and for litter pick-up along highways and roads throughout Monterey County. Unsentenced inmates are held in a secured housing unit and do not participate in work crews. Sentenced inmates have access to a variety of programs that include educational and vocational classes, religious services, library services, and drug and alcohol programs. Over 250 volunteers support and work with the inmate population. Persons interested in volunteering at the jail must complete a Corrections Operations Bureau Volunteer Referral Form and submit it to the Chief Deputy of the Corrections Operations Bureau.
Classification Unit – This Unit is responsible for the evaluation and placement of inmates in housing areas with inmates of similar backgrounds and characteristics in order to maintain the security of the facility and the safety of inmates and staff. Classification evaluation is based on criminal sophistication, seriousness of crime charged, presence or absence of assaultive behavior, age, and other criteria that may impact the safety of the prisoners and staff. At least 30 percent of the jail population is affiliated with a major gang. Approximately 15 percent of the population requires medication due to psychiatric illnesses. Housing unit assignments based on classification is accomplished, to the extent possible, given the availability of distinct housing units or cells in the County Jail. The Unit is also responsible for developing gang intelligence, follow-up investigations, and assisting outside agencies, as needed.
Inmate Welfare Fund – The Inmate Welfare Fund exists by way of statutory authority granted to the Sheriff to establish, maintain and operate a store in connection with the Monterey County Jail. The sale price of articles offered for sale through commissary shall be fixed by the Sheriff with profits from the sales placed into the Inmate Welfare Fund. In addition to the revenue generated from commissary sales, any money, refund, rebate, or commission received from a telephone company or pay telephone provider when the money, refund, rebate, or commission is attributable to the use of pay-phones by inmates while incarcerated shall be deposited to the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Penal Code Section 4025 (e) states that all profits into the Inmate Welfare Fund shall be expended “primarily for the benefit, education and welfare of the inmates confined within the jail. Any funds that are not needed for the welfare of the inmates may be expended for the maintenance of county jail facilities. Maintenance of county jail facilities may include, but is not limited to, the salary and benefits of personnel used in the programs to benefit the inmates, including, but not limited to, education, drug and alcohol treatment, welfare, library, accounting, and other programs deemed appropriate by the Sheriff.” An annual report of these expenditures is submitted annually to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.