Inmates held in the Sheriff’s detention system may be released
for a number of reasons. The circumstances of an inmate’s
arrest, the type of release involved, and the release schedule
of the facility where the inmate is housed, all determine the
time of day at which the release from custody will occur. The
release processes and schedules for each facility are described
in the “Facility Release Process” section below.
Arrest for “Drunk in Public”
Individuals who are arrested for being drunk in public or under
the influence of a controlled substance will be released when it
is determined that they will be able to care for their own
safety. That period of time may vary with each individual, with
six to eight hours being common.
Failure to Arraign
All individuals who are arrested must be taken to court—that is,
“arraigned”—within 48 hours of the time of arrest, excluding
Sundays and holidays. If the 48 hours expires at a time when the
court is not in session, the time shall be extended to include
the duration of the next court date. Anyone who is not arraigned
within this time frame will be released from custody without
Any individual who has been arrested may be released from
custody by the arresting agency if it is determined that there
are insufficient grounds for prosecuting the individual.
Authorization for this type of release may come from the
arresting agency at any time during the forty-eight hours
preceding the arraignment, and the time of the release will vary
The court may order an inmate to be released from custody at any
time if the judge deems this to be the appropriate course of
Served Time Releases
Inmates will be released from custody when they have completed
their sentence. A “Served Time” release will occur on the final
day of the served sentence. Each facility has a specific process
for served time releases, and release times vary accordingly.
Facility Release Process
San Diego Central Jail (SDCJ)—Inmates who have completed their local sentence
are generally released starting at 6:00 in the morning. Other
types of releases are processed twenty-four hours each day.
Inmates are released through a door located several feet south
of the entrance to the public lobby of the Information Office.
George Bailey Detention Facility (GBDF)—Inmates who have completed their local sentence
are generally released after approximately 7:30 a.m. Other releases
occur throughout the day. Those without transportation
arrangements will be taken to the San Diego Trolley.
East Mesa and Faclity 8 Detention Facilities (EMRF, FAC8)—Inmates are brought to GBDF
to be released and are subject to the GBDF release schedule.
Las Colinas Detention Facility (LCDF) - Inmates who have completed their local sentences may be
released after midnight only if pick-up arrangements are made and confirmed prior to release.
Those that have not secured pick-up arrangements will generally be released between 7:00
and 8:00 in the morning. Other types of releases are
processed twenty-four hours each day. Inmates are released into the public lobby by the Information Office.
South Bay Detention Facility (SBDF)—Inmate releases of all types
take place between 12:30 in the afternoon and 10:30 in the
evening. Inmates are released into the public lobby by the
Vista Detention Facility (VDF)—Inmates who have completed their local sentence
are generally released between 6:30 and 8:30 in the morning. Other types
of release are processed twenty-four hours each day. Inmates are
released through a door into the lobby of the Information