Going to jail is a stressful experience – not only for the individual arrested but for their loved ones who have to figure out how to navigate the system. Tarrant County has four separate jail facilities in Fort Worth, all of which are overseen by the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department. Where an inmate ends up depends on the charge for which they were arrested, their age, criminal record, and medical history.
In an effort to make things easier for inmates and their loved ones, we’ve compiled comprehensive information about Tarrant County Jail, including how to find out if someone is in custody, the booking process, visitation hours, and more. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, give us a call. We’ll try to help.
How to find out if someone is in custody in Tarrant County
Trying to determine if someone is in custody in Tarrant County can take some time and effort, especially if they were arrested in Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Police Department contracts with Mansfield Law Enforcement for jail operations, which means many individuals arrested in Fort Worth will be taken to the Mansfield Law Enforcement Center. They will later be transferred to a Tarrant County Jail facility after they are formally charged, if they have not yet bonded out. Here’s six suggestions if you are trying to find out if someone is in custody in Tarrant County.
Tarrant County Inmate Search
- Search the Tarrant County Inmate Search page.
- Call Tarrant County Jail Information: (817) 884-3116 and (817) 884-3117.
- Visit the Tarrant County Jail at 100 N Lamar St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
- Call the Mansfield Jail at 817-804-5731.
- Check the Mansfield Law Enforcement Center, 1601 Heritage Parkway, Mansfield, Texas 76063
- Look up inmates in Mansfield Jail.
What happens when you are booked into Tarrant County?
So you have been arrested, handcuffed, placed in the back of a patrol car, and transported to a local jail. Now comes the booking process. Booking refers to the process of collecting information about a suspect in custody, which includes their name, age, address and arrest details. This information is compiled and entered into a computer where it will remain attached a County Identification Number (CID). This number is unique to you and will attach you to all of your Tarrant County cases for the rest of your life. It will be the best reference number for you to locate any of your past or pending cases.
Once you arrive at jail, you will be asked to identify yourself. Next, you will be questioned, fingerprinted, given an iris scan and photographed for jail records. Every person brought to the Tarrant County Jail is subject to an iris scan at the time of their booking. Your prints will also be run against a number of databases across the country to check for additional warrants or outstanding cases.
When you enter into the jail you will be searched, more thoroughly than in the field, and forced to turn over any personal items. The level of search will depend upon the severity or type of offense. You may be strip searched for drugs or weapons. In fact, if you’ve been arrested for a drug offense in the past, you will most likely be strip searched. Next, depending upon your length of expected confinement, you may be given clothing and bedding including: a jail uniform, a pair of sandals, a mattress, a mattress cover, a towel, and a blanket.
It is important to remember that everything you bring into jail can and will be searched. All the personal items you bring into a correctional facility will be placed in storage. If you bring contraband into a correctional facility, you could be charged with a felony offense. Moreover, prosecutors can check your property at the jail and later use what they find against you in court. If you have evidence of illegal activity or contraband, like marijuana, prescription drugs, or counterfeit money, leave those items in your car or home. For example, if your cell phone is in your purse but it is next to a counterfeit $20 you picked up the week before, then do not ask the Fort Worth police officer to get your cell phone for you so you can take it to the jail. Likewise, in a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) investigation, things like bar receipts left in your pocket can be used against you in court if found during a search.
After the search, jail personnel will complete a medical intake form. This form will include a basic physical evaluation. If you were arrested for suspicion of DWI, officials will note whether you appear intoxicated in this basic evaluation. You will be asked a series of questions about your medical history and physical well-being. Any answers you provide could reveal potentially incriminating facts about yourself. Because these are basic identifying questions, you are not protected under the 5th Amendment during this process.
Where will an inmate be housed in Tarrant County?
You will either be booked in first at a city jail facility or you might be processed at a Tarrant County Jail facility. If you’re first brought to Tarrant County, you will be processed at the Tarrant County Correction Center in downtown Fort Worth. However, after the booking process, you may be transferred to the Mansfield Jail or to one of the four Tarrant County Jail facilities: Belknap Facility, Greenbay Facility, Cold Springs Unit, and Lon Evan Corrections Center. Where you are housed will depend upon your criminal history, the type of charge for which you are booked in, your age, medical condition, and behavior while in custody. Once you are assigned to a facility, you will be assigned to a bed and provided basic hygiene items.
When can you visit an inmate?
Although Tarrant County Jail facilities are always open, the visiting hours are limited to specific times and days and the visitation rules are strictly enforced. The information listed below applies to all Tarrant County jail facilities, except for the Cold Springs Unit. Due to the physical layout of the visitation area at Cold Springs, male inmates receive visitors during even hours, while female inmates have visitors during odd hours.
Inmates whose last names begin with the letter A – L
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Inmates whose last names begin with the letter M – Z.
3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday & Monday
Inmates whose last names begin with the letter A – L.
9 a.m through 9 p.m.
Sunday & Tuesday
Inmates whose last names begin with the letter M – Z.
9 a.m. through 9 p.m.
What are the visitation rules?
- The signing up of visitors shall begin 30 minutes prior to the start of visiting hours. Visitors will not be processed after 8:30 p.m.
- Each inmate will be limited to one 30-minute visit each day. A maximum of two adults will be allowed to visit at any one time. No more than two children, 17 years or younger, may visit. Important: Children 17 years of age or younger must be accompanied by an adult.
- Each inmate may receive a maximum of three visits per week, not including attorney, law enforcement or professional visits, unless approved by a supervisor.
- Visitors who have been incarcerated in a Tarrant County detention facility in the past six months will not be authorized to visit.
- Visitors 18 years of age and older must present proper identification containing their photograph, such as a valid driver’s license, identification card, passport, Immigration ID card, Mexican consulate cards, and military ID cards.
- Out-of-town residents who live further than 150 miles from Fort Worth will be allowed a 40-minute visit.
- A conservative dress code will be enforced for all visitors. The following items are not permitted: revealing shorts; sundresses; halter tops; bathing suits; see-through garments; low-cut blouses or dresses; leotards, spandex or tight-fitting pants or blouses; miniskirts; backless tops; pajamas; hats or caps; sleeveless garments; skirts 2 inches or more above the knee; dresses or skirt with a high-cut split mid back, front or side; clothing that looks like inmate clothing
- A number of everyday items are not permitted in the visitation areas including: tobacco, lighters, matches, cameras, electronic recording devices, cell phones, backpacks, bags, purses or unlabeled prescription medication. Food and drink are also prohibited, except for infants who are permitted to have a bottle.
How do you put money on someone’s books?
Money deposits for inmates are accepted seven days a week at the Tarrant County Correction Center, 100 N. Lamar Street in Fort Worth. However, money CANNOT be accepted during the following times:
6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
After 10 p.m.
Can inmates call from Tarrant County Jail facilities?
Inmates are allowed to place collect calls from jail. If the recipient accepts the call, then he or she will be billed directly by the phone company. Inmates cannot receive incoming calls. If you are unable to receive collect calls from an inmate, call Securus Technologies at 1-800-844-6591 to find out why the calls are being blocked and to find out how to remove it.
How do you address inmate mail?
Letter to inmates should be addressed as follows:
Sender’s first name and last name
Sender’s home address
City, State, Zip Code
Inmates full name and CID number
C/O Tarrant County Jail
100 N. Lamar
Fort Worth, Texas 76196
Where can I post a bond for someone in Tarrant County Custody?
Bonds may be posted at any time at the Bond Desk, which is located inside the Tarrant County Corrections Center, 100 N. Lamar, Fort Worth, TX 76196. Call the Tarrant County Jail Inmate Information Line 817-884-3116, to determine if bond has been set and the amount of the bond.
Should you hire an attorney or bondsman first?
Here are some reasons you should hire an attorney before you hire a bondsman if you are charged with a serious criminal offense:
The bond may be set too high.
The bond may be set too high. You will have no idea if the bond that was set on your loved one’s case is reasonable or not. An attorney will be able to determine whether the bond is within the range customary to your location. A bondsman has little incentive to tell you that the bond is set high because a higher bond translates to a higher fee.
The bond may not have been set.
If you are charged with a criminal offense but bond has not been set, you will want to talk to a criminal defense attorney immediately who can approach a judge on your behalf to get a bond set or to file a writ of habeas corpus for your release.
The attorney advantage.
The sooner an experienced criminal defense attorney is working on your case, the sooner the charges may be reduced or dropped. It is even more important on a felony case to involve a criminal defense attorney early in the process because felony cases must go through the Grand Jury process. A skillful criminal defense attorney can use the grand jury process to your advantage.
You may not need a bondsman.
You may be able to post a cash bond or their might be other ways to secure you loved one’s release. For instance, Tarrant County Pre-Trial Release is a way for qualified prisoners to be released without paying a bond. Pre-trial release is a personal bond, or promise, to appear. Tarrant County Pre-Trial Release is responsible for gathering and reviewing information about a prisoner to determine whether to release the prisoner from custody. Your loved one may also be eligible for release on mental health bond conditions or a personal recognizance bond.
Posting a Cash Bond
Bonds may be posted at any time, 24 hours a day, at the Bond Desk, which is located in the Tarrant County Corrections Center, 100 N. Lamar, Fort Worth, TX 76196. The number to the Bond Desk is 817-884-1216. Learn more about cash bonds and bonding someone out of jail.
Pretrial Release: A Bond Alternative in Tarrant County
Tarrant County Pretrial Services provides a way for an inmate to be released from custody without putting up a cash bond or going through a bondsman. Pretrial Services is available to individuals charged with:
- Class A and B misdemeanors or
- Non-violent felonies.
To be eligible for release through pretrial services, the defendant:
- Must be a resident of Tarrant County or reside within a 50-mile radius.
- Must be in jail on a Tarrant County offense
- Must provide positive identification
- Must not be on parole or probation nor have any previous felony convictions
- Must be willing to appear in court for all scheduled court appearances until the case is disposed
- Defendants who have first degree felonies or who have a history of bond forfeitures are excluded from consideration unless ordered by a judge.
If you believe you or a loved one may be eligible for Pretrial release, contact Tarrant County Pretrial Release at 817-884-1465. The fee is $20 or 3 percent of the amount of the bond, whichever is greater.
Tarrant County Criminal Defense Attorneys
Varghese Summersett PLLC is here to assist you when you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense in Tarrant County, Texas. We handle all levels of state criminal offenses. This includes driving while intoxicated cases, white collar crimes, drug crimes, and crimes against persons or property. To discuss the specifics of your case, call our office today at 817-203-2220.
Everything you've ever wanted to know about bonds. A must-read before you bond your loved one out of jail.