Our clients who face serving time in county jail often ask about private jail. They may be concerned about being assaulted by another inmate or inmates, or they just wish for a single, private cell where they can sleep without worries. They may have heard about it when first arrested and always ask as if private jail is some type of urban legend that really does not exist.
Private jail does indeed exist throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. Riverside County does not have private jail at all and in fact, in these tough economic times, Riverside County has recently proposed charging all its inmates for their stays.
It often is only available for males and most private jails require proof of a recent negative TB test. Some jails actually test the applicant for TB before they admit the individual. One may also be disqualified if he or she has a conviction for any serious felonies, especially those involving violence.
Private jail is most often sought in second-time DUI’s when one must serve at least 96 hours in county jail, although our office has had clients serve their time in private jail for longer terms. In Los Angeles County, Torrance, Pasadena, LaVerne, Pomona, Huntington Park, Montebello, Monterrey Park, Redondo Beach, San Fernando, Monrovia, Burbank, Culver City, Gardena, Glendale and Hermosa Beach police department offer private jail. In Orange County, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Anaheim and Fullerton offer such a program.
Private jail is never a right. Your attorney must ask the court for its approval of serving time in private jail, although such approval is almost always given. Judges are well aware that private jail is expensive and that you will likely be put to work washing police cars, folding laundry or even cleaning dishes. You will often be allowed limited phone calls from your cell as well. Often times, you cannot receive any visitors during your stay.
The fees charged for private jail vary widely, but first usually include an application fee. These fees vary from $270 to stay at the LaVerne, Burbank or Gardena jail to no application fee at the Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Torrance, Anaheim, Montebello, Huntington Beach, Culver City or Glendale jail. When an application fee is charged, the average fee is about $75.
The fees for staying vary from $238 per night at the Hermosa Beach Police Station jail to $45 per day at the LaVerne jail (the least expensive). Some jails such as the Anaheim Police Department charge a higher fee ($125 for the first day) and then a lower fee ($85) for each day thereafter. The average fee per night seems to be $110.
If you are interested in private jail, our office has compiled a list with phone numbers, the fees charged and any other information you might need to make your choice between private jails. It is best to make a reservation at the jail of your choice well before you decide to serve your time.
This short article was written by Greg Hill. He is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Torrance, California. He is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate (B.S., 1987), Boston University graduate (M.B.A., 1994) and Loyola Law School graduate (J.D., 1998). Greg Hill & Associates represents clients in Torrance, Long Beach and the surrounding areas in DUI, as well as other crimes such as domestic violence, drug offenses, theft offenses and restraining orders, among other crimes. Visit the firm’s website at http://www.greghillassociates.com (http://www.greghillassociates.com/) or the firm’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/greg-hill-associates/198954460153651 (http://www.facebook.com/pages/greg-hill-associates/198954460153651).