When individuals are arrested, they are usually taken to a local police station where they may be interviewed, and where necessary reports and forms are prepared. If the individual is arrested for driving under the influence, a breath, urine, or chemical blood test will be conducted. This process can take as long as four hours before the person is brought to a county jail to be booked. Since a good deal of time may pass before the jail system has any notification of a person’s arrest, if you call shortly after your friend or loved one is arrested you may find that they are not yet in the jail system. Do not be concerned by this delay, because the pre-booking period is routine and necessary.
When arrested individuals arrive at the jail facility, they go through the intake process before being housed in the inmate population. This process takes about four to six hours and is comprised of medical screening, the booking process and the classification interview.
Immediately upon arrival at the jail the inmate is examined for any medical conditions that need immediate treatment. If the receiving deputy notices an inmate whose condition warrants further evaluation, a nurse will be called for further screening.
During the booking process all inmates are searched to make sure that no contraband is being brought into the facility. They are photographed and fingerprinted. Their personal information and charges are entered into the computer system, their bail is calculated, and a court date is set.
Some inmates may be eligible for release on their own recognizance very soon after booking. Intoxicated inmates will be held for up to 12 hours, and sometimes longer, to ensure they are sober enough to be safely released. Most inmates are eligible for bail, and they have access to telephones to arrange bail through friends, family, or bail agents. A list of bail agents is available. When it is determined that inmates will not be released on their own recognizance or make bail, they are given a classification interview and their housing criteria are determined.