The Department of the Jail is a Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission accredited facility, their third Excelsior award received in October 2020.
On January 18, 1998, the Department of the Jail became a reality when the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, through an Interlocal Agreement, transferred the responsibility for the county jail to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
The Department of the Jail is a 1,148 bed, 314,000 square foot facility, designed to incarcerate adult male and female offenders for up to one year. The core facility was completed in January 1994, and following upgrades in 2007 and 2009, the optimum number of inmates housed is 975.
Department of the Jail Contact Numbers
- Department of the Jail – (352) 491-4444
- Medical Services – (352) 491-4448
- Support Services Division – (352) 491-4560
- Security Operations Division – (352) 491-4509
- Booking Support Bureau – (352) 491-4449 or (352) 491-4459
- Transportation and Facilities Bureau – (352) 491-4517
- Inmate Support Bureau – (352) 491-4475
- Classification Unit – (352) 491-4447
- Inmate Trust Fund Coordinator – (352) 491-4461
- Trinity Commissary – (352) 491-4524
Medical and Mental Health Services are provided under contract and monitored through the Jail Director’s Office via a contract monitor. The current contract provider is Corizon Health Inc.
The unit is responsible for provision of mental health services to inmates including medication management, treatment planning and crisis intervention.
Security Operations Division
The Security Operations Division is responsible for the overall security of the Department of the Jail and overseeing the safety of personnel and inmates.
Detention Deputies and Detention Officers are responsible for the management, accountability and supervision of each and every inmate detained in the Department of the Jail. Their duties involve supervising and coordinating the daily activities within the facility. Some of these duties are service of meals, recreation, visitation, inspections of housing areas for sanitation and security breaches, inmate counts, internal movement to educational and religious programs, medical clinic visits, distribution of linen and hygiene items, inmate commissary, reporting facility rule violations by inmates, resolving disputes between inmates, and response to any type of emergency situation within the jail.
Support Services Division
The Support Services Division is responsible for analysis of inmate population data for use in the evaluation of diversion efforts and jail space needs planning.
Inmate Support Bureau
The Inmate Support Bureau consists of Classification Supervisors who oversee the Classification Unit and Programs Unit. Classification consists of a Programs Assistant and Classification Caseworkers; the Programs Unit consists of a Programs Assistant, Programs Manager, Transition Specialist, Jail Diversion Specialist, Jail Release Coordinator and Chaplain.
The Classification Unit is responsible for the evaluation, classification and reclassification of all inmates with consideration given to the level of security risk, potential for violence, institutional behavior and medical or mental health needs among other factors. Classification personnel assist in inmate management via casework, crisis intervention and conflict resolution. Additionally, Classification personnel are responsible for gain time (county sentenced only), tracking inmate conflicts, monitoring grievances, requests and inmates in disciplinary or administrative confinement, juvenile and infirmed inmates among other responsibilities.
Jail Diversion Specialist
The Jail Diversion Specialist, funded by the Criminal Justice Mental Health Substance Abuse Grant, is responsible for screening and referring eligible inmates to various diversion programs, tracking referrals and participating as part of the forensic community’s diversion efforts including the Forensic Diversion Team.
Jail Release Coordinator
The Jail Release Coordinator is responsible for identifying and monitoring persons in jail to assure timely and effective release from custody in an effort to manage and reduce the jail population.
Jail tours are coordinated through the Department of the Jail Programs Manager, Classification Supervisor and Chaplain. Tour participants are required to present picture identification. Those without proper identification will not be permitted to tour the jail. Any person under the age of 18 must have a completed parental/guardian permission slip or he/she will not be permitted to join the tour. Juveniles not permitted to tour may not wait unattended in the jail lobby for the tour to complete.
Booking Support Bureau
The Booking Support Bureau is a 24-hour operation staffed by civilian employees. The Bureau supports the admission and release duties of the Security Operations Division and the classification and follow up functions of the Classification Unit. Staff assigned to this area must input booking and release related data based on set criteria to facilitate the accuracy of criminal history information maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. In addition, the Booking Support Bureau is responsible for a myriad of other administrative processes ranging from handling inmate property, mail, and money to coordinating court events and conducting sex offender/predator registrations.
First Appearance – All new arrestees appear before a judge within 24 hours of intake. The First Appearance proceeding is held via closed circuit television with arrestees (defendants) remaining at the jail. Family or persons who wish to attend the proceeding must attend at the Criminal Courthouse (220 South Main Street) and are not allowed into the jail courtroom. Normal First Appearance proceedings are held at 0900 each weekday morning and at 0930 on weekends and holidays for criminal cases. Arrestees who are judicially released during the proceeding will be released following final processing, which can take several hours.
Inmate Property – The Inmate Handbook describes items that can be kept in the possession of inmates and can be brought into the facility from outside sources such as family members, friends, or attorneys, upon approval.
Inmates may have the following items in their possession:
- One (1) each: mattress, blanket, pillow, pillowcase, towel, wash cloth, uniform (general population), *gym shorts (white only), *thermal underwear (white only), *sweatshirt (gray only), Bible or Koran, address book, prescription eye glasses
- One (1) pair each: shower slides (jail issued), *canvas shoes, tennis shoes (trusty only)
- Two (2) each: sheets
- Five (5) each: *brassieres (sports bra, white only/no under-wire) women only, underwear (white only), *t-shirts (white only w/sleeves, no tank-top style), *socks (white only)
- Toothpaste/toothbrush, comb, soap, feminine hygiene items, as appropriate
- Two (2) each: library books
- One (1) jacket issued to outside trusties only
- One (1) tub container to hold allowed items
NOTE: Issued items are jail property; items with an asterisk (*) can be obtained from the commissary.
- Inmates may keep a black pen, writing tablet, and a reasonable amount of legal materials and letters.
- Inmates may keep a moderate sized, plain religious cross or medallion and a wedding band, if in possession upon arrest. These items may not have stones of any kind in them.
- Inmates may request specific items from their stored personal property by completing an Inmate Property Request form; these forms can be obtained through the Housing Unit Officers. Inmate property requests must be approved by the Security Operations Division Captain, or, if requested for medical reasons, by the facility physician and the Security Operations Division Captain.
- One (1) complete set of dress clothes for court (upon request of inmate’s attorney) or trial will be accepted and stored in the Property Room until needed. Hand-delivered packages, other than court clothes or other items with the Security Operations Division approval, will not be accepted.
Property for inmates will not be accepted during visitation and no items will be transferred between a visitor and an inmate.
Inmate Property and Money Release
Inmates may release their personal property items to relatives, friends, attorneys, etc. by completing and signing a Property Release Authorization form; these forms can be obtained through the Housing Unit Officers.
Inmates are allowed one (1) special request release of their personal property to specified individuals during their incarceration. These requests are used if a specific item needs to be released, such as vehicle keys, cell phone, etc. Otherwise, an inmate must release all of his/her property when conducting a property release, with the exception of one set of clothes to be worn at release.
Upon sentencing to the Department of Corrections, inmates are encouraged to release all of their stored personal property to a family member or friend prior to transport; this will be accomplished in the same manner as above. In this case, all property should be released as inmates will be transported in uniform and will not require any of their personal clothing.
Inmates may release money from their Inmate Trust Fund account by completing a Money Release Authorization form; these forms can be obtained through the Housing Unit Officers.
Money can be released from an inmate’s account one (1) time during their incarceration and must be requested 24 hours in advance to allow for processing.
Inmate Release – The inmate release process is a cooperative effort of the Clerk of the Court, Security, and Booking staff; several steps and verifications are required. Several factors can delay the release of an inmate and must be rectified prior to allowing the inmate’s release. The following factors can delay inmate releases:
- Inconsistencies or errors on court documents
- Registration and/or testing requirements
- Active warrants or other open processes
- Delays in receiving documents due to heavy court dockets
- Holds or detainers in other jurisdictions
- Electronic monitoring requirements
- Hearings held after bond posting such as Nebbia hearings that must be done before release
- Establishment of acceptable living arrangements as required by the judge
- Medical emergencies, fights, lock-downs, technical issues affecting jail security
Registrations – The Registration Office handles felon, career offender, and sex offender/predator registrations, and is located in the Department of the Jail Lobby. The Registration Office operates during the hours of 11:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and is closed on weekends and holidays. Registrants must present current picture identification and should anticipate the registration process to take between 20 to 30 minutes for completion. If it is necessary to contact the Registration Office by telephone, staff can be reached at (352) 491-4496.
Transportation and Facilities Bureau
The Transportation Bureau provides safe and secure transport of defendants/witnesses to numerous court proceedings, to protect the general public from dangerous in-custody defendants, and protect defendants from the general public. The Transport Bureau staffs each and every courtroom holding a hearing involving an inmate in our custody with officers, in addition to the Bailiffs, to maintain order in the holding cells and keep inmates safe and secure. The Transport Team is responsible for moving inmates who have been sentenced to the Department of Corrections, and transports inmates to all medical appointments outside the jail.
The Facilities Support function of this bureau provides crews to our food service provider that prepares the inmate meals, and keeps the kitchen clean. The bureau is also responsible for the facilities and provides supplies and materials necessary for 24 hour/7 days a week operation.
The bureau screens and selects inmate workers, commonly referred to as Trusties. Through this process inmates are also selected for the Sheriff’s Inmate Work Crew, which provides labor at no cost to government agencies and schools throughout the county.