The Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex is located at 150 West Hedding Street in downtown San Jose and is divided into Main Jail North and Main Jail South. The annual budget for the Main Jail Complex is approximately $37 million dollars. Each year, the Main Jail Complex receives and books about 65,000 persons. Most of those booked are cited and released or post bail on their charges. There are 350 badge and civilian staff assigned to the Main Jail Complex. Main Jail plays host to a number of community events each year, including Every 15 Minutes and Sober Graduation programs aimed at preventing teen drunken driving.
Main Jail South
Main Jail South, opened in 1956, has a rated capacity of 674 inmates and is designed in the older linear style, complete with bars and tiers. This indirect supervision model, although popular in the 1950s, is generally not the norm in modern jail settings because officer-inmate interaction is minimized. Included in the Main Jail Complex is the North County Facility located in the Palo Alto courthouse. This jail is operated daytime only for inmates with cases in Palo Alto.
Main Jail North
Main Jail North, a third generation correctional facility, uses the "direct supervision" inmate management model. Direct supervision is a concept that combines architectural design, specialized staff training, and an inmate management system based upon positive behavior. In this environment, one officer oversees a locked "module" or dormitory with up to 64 inmates. Each inmate has a cell with a toilet, sink, mirror, and bed. Inmates eat and participate in programs in a common day room area equipped with tables, chairs, and telephones. This scenario allows the officer to be the leader of the module and puts the officer in a position to know and understand the personality of each inmate. Direct supervision units have proven to be safer for both staff and inmates. Main Jail North is designed to house up to 919 inmates.
Visiting hours and information is available online.