Offenders arrested within city limits are booked and processed at El Cerrito Jail located at 10900 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito CA. The building is heavily secured as it is shared with the armed officers of the El Cerrito Police Department. It is a short term facility with limited space, inmates are held in a single-person cell.
Intake handles arrestees that include their booking and fingerprinting. Inmates will remain in jail until their court arraignment where they will learn their fate by a magistrate. If bail is posted, or the arrestee is bonded out or released on their own recognizance the offender is released. If bail is denied, they will be transported by the sheriff for a longer stay at the Contra Costa County Jail.
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The El Cerrito Jail is run by the local police departments where arrestees may be detained for short periods similar to the Contra Costa County Jail (which is run by the county sheriff). The security is tight, classified "medium" as the building is also the operations center for the PD. The jail is located at 10900 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito and inmates may be visited during posted hours. Visitation is often non-contact through protective glass, call 510-215-4400 for days and times.
Many inmate detainees are delivered daily on minor misdemeanor charges like being drunk or high, or with injuries from fights or assaults that led to their arrest. Some are mentally ill with no other place for the local police to place them. Some may stay less than one day or a few days until they are released in a court proceeding after putting up bail or on their own recognizance promising to return for their court dates.
This city jail is designed in "pods" with a large common area where the tables are affixed to the floor along with attached seats. There are individual cells usually on two levels. Most of the time all inmates must remain in their cells, but, there are times the inmates are allowed in the pod playing games, eating or watching television. The inmates do not leave the pod unless they are going to the commissary, the library or the recreation area, under the supervision of guards.