Being arrested isn’t fun for anyone. There is a long and drawn-out process for booking you into the system, and it’s not made for comfort. How quickly you get processed and housed will depend on a lot of factors. Everything from the time of year, to the staffing levels of the jail. The corrections system works systematically, from booking to release, everything is checked and double-checked. Every inmate will go through the same jail procedures while being booked and released.
Once you’ve been arrested, you’ll be driven to the jail, and escorted in for booking. The process has many steps and collects a lot of personal information. Any semblance of privacy is gone once you begin the booking process. While you await the full process, you will be expected to remain calm and quiet in the waiting area, obeying each command the booking officers give you. Some of the steps you’ll be put through are:
The Pat Down
The first step is that you’ll be patted down. This ensures you’re not bringing dangerous contraband into the facility. This protects the officers and other inmates.
Photos will be taken. The typical “mugshot” is only part of the process. They’ll want to document your tattoos, scars, and other physical markers.
Removal of Personal Items
Your shoes, clothing, and personal effects will be removed from your possession, and you will be provided with a jail-issued wardrobe and slip-on shoes.
While you await the next step, the officer in charge of your booking will run your name, birthdate, aliases, and other information against a state and federal warrants database.
You will be fingerprinted and sent through an X-ray scanner (in most facilities). Along with your mugshot, this information will be added to your permanent record, and will now be available in the databases for corrections searches nation-wide.
You will be put through a basic health screening to identify any illnesses or medical needs to be taken on by the jail’s nursing staff. They will document your current medical conditions and likely administer a Tuberculosis (TB) test. If you’ve got a contagious illness or a severe medical condition, you will be assigned to a special housing unit that is equipped to handle that situation.
You will be asked to outline any gang affiliations, identify family or friends that can be contacted in regards to your situation, and told of your bail amount (if any). At this time, you may or may not get your phone call.
Once you’ve been processed through the system, you’ll need to wait until there is an officer available to take you to the secured block that you’ll be housed in. During that wait, if you’ve been given access to use the phone, you can call Blackman Bonds collect to arrange release. Or you can use your 3-5 minute call to contact friends or family to arrange your release.
The booking process can take anywhere from a few minutes in a slower-paced jail, to several hours in a larger or more crowded facility.
If the judge in your arraignment deems your alleged crime to lack severity, there may be options to get you out sooner, rather than later. If the court decides you can post bail, you’ll be expected to sit in jail until you can provide the financial surety for your release. When you don’t have access to those funds, there are options. Contacting a bail bondsman, or having a family member contact them is the first option.
A second option is for the jail to decide the facility is overcrowded, and that you are capable and willing to fulfill your legal obligations to show up to court. This is called a “Forced Release” or being released on your “Own Recognizance.” When you are released RoR, you sign a contract with the court outlining your obligations, your conditions, and your consequences if you fail to appear in court as agreed.
At Blackman Bail Bonds, we’re standing by to help speed up the process, and get you released faster. Give us a call (you can even call us collect) or have a friend call on your behalf.