Legal Dictionary


Men's Central Jail ("MCJ")

Visiting Hours

You may visit an inmate at the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Men's Central Jail, commonly known as "MCJ," Thursday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and, Saturday – Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please note that MCJ's visiting hours and roster of inmates who are eligible for visits vary and are subject to change without notice. Therefore, you should always call MCJ at 213-473-6100 when planning a visit. You can reach MCJ's Main Control by calling 213-974-4921.

For information regarding an inmate, call (213) 473-6100.

Visiting Procedures

If the inmate you wish to visit is a "general population" inmate, he may receive one visit per day for fifteen (15) minutes up to four days per week. However, if the inmate you wish to visit is considered to be a "high powered" or "special handle" inmate, his visitation rights will depend upon the charges against him and where he is housed. During each permitted visit, an inmate may have up to three visitors. Visitors under the age of 18 (minors) must be accompanied by an adult and have proof of age (for example, a birth certificate). Attorneys may visit inmates Monday—Thursday, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday between 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Clergymen and bail bondsmen generally visit inmates during regular visiting hours.


441 Bauchet Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Parking is available on site at MCJ's parking structure for $8.00 per entry.

Visitors' Restrictions

Only visitors with one of the following valid forms of ID will be allowed to visit inmates at MCJ:

  • California Identification Card
  • Driver's License (any state)
  • U.S. Military Identification
  • Passport/Visa
  • Mexican Consulate Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Valid School Identification Card or Birth Certificate (if visitor is a minor).

Visitors with outstanding warrants, traffic or parking tickets should not visit MCJ as they may be subject to immediate arrest. Ex-felons, persons on probation and persons formerly incarcerated in State prison must first obtain approval to visit a MCJ inmate by submitting a "Visiting Questionnaire for Probationers and Ex-felons."

Officers at MCJ may deny visitation rights to anyone for any number of reasons. All visitors and all personal property brought into the Jail will be searched. Visitors in possession of weapons, illegal drugs or contraband may be arrested. Visitors may not bring purses, cell phones, back packs, briefcases, cameras, radios or recording devices inside the visiting area of MCJ. Since visitors are allowed to bring only one key and a plastic photo ID into MCJ's visiting area, visitors are encouraged to bring quarters to use MCJ lockers. All vehicles entering or parked in a MCJ or custody facility parking lot may be searched for contraband.

Telephone Access

During booking, an arrestee/inmate may make only one free telephone call. Inmates at MCJ may not receive calls or phoned-in messages, but may make unlimited calls during program hours (usually from 8:00 a.m. to 8 p.m.) by using a calling card purchased through an authorized program or by purchasing one from MCJ's commissary. A calling card for an inmate's use can be set up via Global Tel* Link at or via the Sheriff's Department's "Inmate Package Program." To place an order via the Los Angeles County Inmate Package Program for a calling card or a commissary care package, visit Keefe Commissary Network at To help an inmate obtain a calling card from the MCJ commissary, read the section below on "Getting Money on an Inmate's Books."

Getting Money to an Inmate's Books

In order for an inmate to purchase a calling card or any item from MCJ's commissary, an inmate must have "money on the books." What this simply means is that you or someone you know will need to send a bank money order or U.S. Postal money order to the address identified below. Money orders sent via the mail must be signed and made payable to the inmate. Mailed-in money orders cannot exceed $200.00. If someone wishes to put more money on an inmate's books, they can do so by bringing cash or a money order to the Cashier at the Inmate Reception Center ("IRC"), which is located across from the MCJ. See, the address below. Once MCJ receives a money order for an inmate, MCJ will cash the money order and make the full amount available to the inmate. Thus, getting the "money on the books" for the inmate. After which, the inmate can purchase calling cards or other items directly from the MCJ commissary. To put money on an inmate's books, you must mail the money order to:

[insert inmate's name and booking number]
P.O. Box 86164
Terminal Annex
Los Angeles, CA 90086-0164

A bank money order or U. S. Postal money order can be delivered in person to the Cashier's Window at the Inmate Reception Center (IRC) Lobby, which is generally closed only from 11:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. daily. The IRC is across from MCJ at:

450 Bauchet Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Mentally Ill Arrestees

A family member of a mentally-ill arrestee/inmate may immediately after the arrest of the family member fax information regarding the arrestee's mental condition and medications to the Sheriff's Department at: 213-972-4002 (for men) and 323-568-4650 (for women).

Sending Mail to MCJ

While there is no limit to the volume of mail that a MCJ inmate may send or receive, an inmate may receive no more than three books and three subscription magazines per week. Inmates may send and receive "Confidential Mail," which Sheriff Deputies and staff are not permitted to read. Confidential Mail is defined by the Sheriff's Department as any correspondence between an inmate and any member of the State Bar; between an inmate and any state or federal court; or between any members in the chain of command of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Any books or magazines sent to an inmate must be sent directly from the publisher or a bookstore—online or brick and mortar. Books that are allowed include personal, religious and library. If magazines are sent, they must be the current month's edition. No sexually explicit materials or materials containing nudity will be accepted. Although inmates are not permitted to receive a host of personal items or goods, including but not limited to food, stationery, blank envelopes, paper clips, pens, pencils, staples, cosmetics or greeting cards larger than 6x9", inmates are allowed to have up to five (5) photographs or computer generated images at one given time provided that each photo or image is no smaller than 2x3" and no larger than 4x6" in size.

You may send mail to an MCJ inmate at:

[ insert Inmate's name and Booking Number]
P.O. Box 86164
Terminal Annex
Los Angeles, CA 90086-0164

How to Bail an Inmate Out of Jail

Need to bail someone out of jail? Click here for more information.