Frequently Asked Questions When Going to Jail after Sentencing

Clackamas County • Multnomah County • Washington County

Below is general facility information for the tri-county area. Specific differences with county facilities will be noted with each question if applicable. Please contact the facility you will be attending if you have any questions.

Facility Information:

Clackamas County:

Multnomah County:

  • MCDC (Detention Center/Justice Center): 1120 SW 3rd, Portland OR 97204 – 503-988-3689
  • MCIJ (Inverness Jail): 11540 NE Inverness Dr., Portland OR 97220 – 503-988-5060

Washington County:

What happens to the items on me when I am taking into custody?

All of your belongings are documented and stored as your property within the facility you will be attending. If you know you are going into custody it is best not to have any additional unnecessary items with you at that time. We do recommend you bring your photo ID and a fully charged but turned off cell phone that is password protected for your use once released.

What if I have money in my possession?

Generally, as long as you don’t owe the county any money, it will be placed in a trust account for you to use at the Commissary while in custody and returned to you when released if a balance remains.

In Clackamas County, if you owe the county any money, payments should be handled through the court and not through your jail account. We do suggest you confirm this with the jail.

In Washington County, if you owe the county any money, up to 40 percent deposited into the account will be paid to the county automatically. If you have money remaining in your account when you are released it will be returned to you by cash or check depending on the amount of the balance and if you owe the county any money. We do suggest you confirm this upon your release.

I’ve heard you can buy certain items while in jail. How does that work?

Yes. Each county has a Commissary that you can purchase items such as hygiene supplies, writing supplies, and snacks using any funds in your trust account.

In Clackamas County you can also use the money for phone calls.

In Washington County, you can use the money to pay for fees owed to the county. For more details on Washington County please visit:

If I run out of money can someone send some to me?

Clackamas County: Yes. The Clackamas County Jail will receive cash funds ONLY while you are in the facility. To make a deposit, the person must go to the front lobby of the Clackamas County Jail. The jail will accept deposits between the hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year, barring unforeseen emergencies. To allow the purchase of commissary items, money must be posted to your account by Tuesday at midnight of each week. Upon release from the jail, you will receive the balance of any remaining funds in the account in the form of a check.

Multnomah County: Yes. Money (cash or certified check) can be deposited by anyone in person at the facility you are being held at. Funds will be available to you the next business day. Please contact the facility you will be attending in advance for availability on when money can be dropped off. Please keep in mind funds may be used to pay any debts to the county.

Funds can also be mailed as a certified check (do not have cash sent through the mail) to the facility you are being held at. The check should include your name and your identification number. Personal checks, debit cards and credit cards are not accepted. For the most up-to-date money procedures, please contact the facility you will be attending. There are two ways for family/friends to learn your identification number:

  1. Calling this facility number once you are in custody: 503-988-3689
  2. Going online to

Washington County: Yes. Other people may deposit money into your account as well. The Washington County jail will accept cash, cashier checks, and money orders. Funds can be deposited in person or sent via US Postal Service (please do not send cash through the mail.) Cashier’s checks or money orders should be payable to you. Your booking number should be written on the cashier’s check or money order. For full details and guidelines, please visit:

In order to find out your booking number, family and friends can go online through this link: Or they can call the facility at 503-846-2600.

Is there anything I can take into jail with me?

The general policy for each county facility is No. You will be supplied with all necessary items and anything beyond that will be available for purchase through the commissary or issued by medical staff. The only possible exceptions to this are reading or prescription eye glasses and necessary prescription medication. We suggest you have them on your person when taken into custody and they will be reviewed but there is no guarantee they will be allowed.

In Washington County, eye glasses may also be dropped off for you at the jail or you can request to borrow a pair from the jail by filling out a request form. This process will be explained to you upon your arrival.

Please be aware that you will be searched, this will include your body and substance use testing.

I have medications I have to have that are prescribed by my doctor. How do I get access to be able to take those?

The facility you are attending will talk with you in order to obtain a health and medications history so they can make a plan for care while you are there. They will verify medications with your community provider, clinic or pharmacy. Medications are provided by the corrections health pharmacy.

However, if you are concerned about the corrections health pharmacy having your medications, bring them with you when you are being taken into custody in their original/current prescription bottle and they will be reviewed. There is no guarantee you will be able to take them in with you. The general policy is “no.”

Can my family/friends visit me?

Clackamas County: Yes. You may have up to six (6) different visitors on your visiting list. You must provide the Jail with the following for each visitor on the list:

  1. Visitors full name
  2. Visitors date of birth
  3. Visitors phone number
  4. Visitors current physical address

No one will be allowed to visit if they are not on the list or have been listed incorrectly on the visiting form. Visitors will not be allowed for the first 72 hours while you are in custody so that a criminal background check can be performed on all visitors on your list. You may only add or delete names on your visitor list after you have been in custody for 30 days and then each 30 days thereafter. For more information please visit this web link:

Multnomah County: Yes. You must place them on your visiting list prior to their visit and they may only visit during specified hours. Friends and family members visiting are considered Social Visits. There are specific guidelines for visitors to follow as well. We suggest that you and your potential visitors to read the detailed visitor information at:

Visiting hours for each Multnomah County facility and special guidelines for minors can also be found at the above link.

Washington County: Yes. You must place their names on your approved visitors list prior to their visit and they may only visit during specified hours. Friends and family members visiting are considered Social Visits. Washington County adheres to a strict visiting schedule and set of rules. We suggest that you and your potential visitors to read the detailed information at:

Can my family/friends bring me anything?

No. They cannot bring you any property with the exception of prescription eye glasses. They can be dropped off at the facility you are being held at and will be inspected, but may or may not be approved.

In Multnomah County, the person dropping them off must provide ID and a valid mailing address. Eye glasses are given to you upon approval by your counselor. If the eye glasses are not approved by the counselor, the eye glasses will be mailed back to the person who dropped them off.

Will I be able to make phone calls from jail? What is the process?

Clackamas County: Yes. The Sheriff's Office works with the phone company Telmate. Here are some basic rules regarding telephone usage:

  • Telephones are available in all housing units at the Jail, with the exception of disciplinary blocks.
  • Assume all calls will be monitored or recorded.
  • Telephones may be used to call collect locally or anywhere in the United States as long as the call recipient will accept the collect charges.
  • The telephones are for outgoing calls only; they will not accept incoming calls.
  • To add money to your account to make calls, you can contact Telmate at (866) 516-0115 (toll-free). Telmate customer service representatives are available 24/7 to help you send money or answer your telephone questions.

More details, including a link to setting up a Telmate account can be found at:

Multnomah County: Yes. You will have access to a listing of free calls to public defenders, official agencies, parole and probation officers and certain private attorneys in each housing area. Calls made to any of these numbers are free of charge. Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Attorney/legal calls are to be made during scheduled phone times.
  • Assume all calls will be monitored.
  • Three way or third party calls are not permitted.
  • You will have to contact your family/friends/attorney via collect telephone call during limited phone times; family/friends cannot call you.
  • Each personal call is limited to fifteen (15) minutes.

More details can be found through the Inmate Guide

Washington County: Yes. You will be able to use telephones that are located throughout the jail housing units to place outgoing calls. The jail uses the telephone service provider Telmate. Each housing unit has specific rules concerning telephone calls. The basic rules are:

  • You will have access to telephones during the day time, except during meals
  • You cannot receive telephone calls
  • Jail staff will not relay messages
  • You may place normal collect calls (subject to fees by your phone service provider) or you may use the Telmate prepaid phone account service
  • You will not be allowed to make non-typical collect calls, 3-way calls, or unwanted calls
  • If using a Telmate prepaid phone account you may receive voice mail messages through that account
  • Expect all phone calls to be recorded
  • TTY services for the hearing impaired are available to you upon request

We do suggest exploring your options with Telmate before entering into custody. To learn more information and how to set up an account, please visit the Washington County Phone Services page

Can my family/friends call me?

No, they cannot call you. You can only call them during scheduled phone times at the facility you are being held at.

What if someone wants to send me something? What do they need to do?

Clackamas County: The jail regulates all mail to provide a safe, secure, and orderly treatment-based environment. You may send and receive mail and receive approved publications consistent with jail interests and accepted rehabilitation practices. Here are some basic guidelines:

  • You will be allowed to send and receive mail that complies with U.S. Postal regulations and the rules governing the Clackamas County Jail.
  • No mail or notes may be left at the Jail for you - all such materials must be received through the U.S. Mail.
  • You may not send, receive, transfer or possess materials in violation of the rules governing the Clackamas County Jail.
  • It is your responsibility to notify your family and friends about the mail rules and regulations.

For more detailed information please visit this web link:

Multnomah County: Mail should be sent through the US Postal Service to the facility you are located at. Mail should be addressed with your name, identification number and the facility address you are located at.

Washington County: Mail must be sent through the US Postal Service. Mail should be addressed as follows:

Your name, Booking number
Washington County Jail
215 SW Adams Avenue, MS 33
Hillsboro, OR 97123-3874

How do they know what is ok and not ok to send?

Mail policies are subject to change at each facility. For a detailed list of acceptable and unacceptable items and the most up-to-date information, please visit the links below:

Clackamas County:

Multnomah County:

Washington County:

Will I have access to the internet while in custody?

No. There is currently no access to the internet while in custody at any of the tri-county facilities.

*This document was prepared for information purposes only. This is not legal advice. Because policies are independently controlled by Law Enforcement, they are subject to change at any time. If you have any questions, please contact the facility directly.

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