Jail Rules

Initial Intake into the O’Brien County Jail

Information about an arrestee’s charges(s) and bond is generally available after an arrest by calling (712) 957-5245. Depending on the charge, there may not always be a bond. This would require the inmate to see the Magistrate or Judge prior to being released. If bond is posted at the jail – cash only is accepted. If the bond is posted at the O’Brien County Courthouse this may be done with cash, cashier’s checks or money orders. You may contact the Clerk of Court at (712) 957-3255 for more information about posting bail or bonding someone out at the courthouse.

Inmate Room & Board

Iowa Code 356.7 authorizes a Sheriff’s Office to seek reimbursement from inmates who are convicted in State court. The O’Brien County Jail charges inmates for time spent in custody, according to the guidelines presented in the Iowa Code.

Persons who receive a bill have 30 days from the sentencing date to make a full payment, or to enter into a payment plan with the O’Brien County Sheriff’s office. Failure to do so may result in the Sheriff filing a claim for reimbursement with the Court. The Court will approve the claim without hearing, and once approved the claim will have the effect of a judgment for the purpose of enforcement.

Intake & Release Process
Individuals who have been placed under arrest are transported to the O’Brien County Jail. Upon arrival, they must complete the
following steps:

  • Property Intake
  • Medical Screening
  • Fingerprinting
  • Photographing
  • Warrants Check

Jail officers are dedicated to ensuring the prompt processing and release of eligible arrestees. The amount of time required to complete this process may be affected by several things: number of arrestees being processed, cooperation of the arrestee and other scheduled tasks in the jail.

There are four ways an inmate may be released.

  1. Bond- as determined by a magistrate judge
  2. Pre-trial Release – if subject is unable to bond, they may apply through the O’Brien County Court House. If the inmate meets the criteria they will be released on their own recognizance with their promise to appear at their next scheduled court hearing.
  3. Final court appearance and sentencing- as determined by the District Court judge per court order.
    Local bonding agencies are:
    Lederman Bonding (712) 262-1010 or 800-564-8898
    ABBAS (712) 338-2390 OR (712) 336-9131
  4. Appearance in Magistrate Court
    Arrestees are generally seen in Magistrate Court within 24 hours for new charges if they are unable to bond out. The time that the Magistrate or Judge comes in for a hearing is at their discretion. The judge will inform the arrestee of the charge(s) and, if appropriate, will set a bail/bond amount. If arrestees are arrested for prior charges that were not satisfied by an earlier judgement or failure to appear, contact jail staff and they will advise you of their status. If an arrestee cannot afford an attorney he/she may apply for a court appointed attorney either through the court house or may pick up an application prior to being released if the charge is greater than a simple misdemeanor.

Visitation with Inmates

  • Each inmate can receive two visits per week. Inmate visitations are Monday through Sunday, with the exception of Friday, by appointment only between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. You must call and arrange a time for visitation with the jail at 712-957-5245.
  • Inmates are informed of visitation rules and are responsible for relaying this information to those who wish to visit them.
  • Government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID card must be presented by each adult visitor. Visitors who do not have proper identification will not be permitted to visit unless prior authorization is granted, which will be on a one by one basis.
  • Visitors must be appropriately dressed, shoes, shirts and appropriate underclothing must be worn. Visitors wearing inappropriate clothing may be asked to change or leave.
  • No one under the age of 18 is allowed to visit inmates without an adult present at all times.
  • Visitors found to be or appearing to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be allowed to visit and could face charges themselves.
  • Proper behavior of all visitors is required.
  • All inmates are required to fill out a visitor list which may include up to 6 adults. Children under the age of 18 will not be included in the number. Inmates are allowed to change their visitor lists on the 1st of every month. If you are not on the inmate’s visitor list you will not be allowed to visit. At any one time only 3 visitors per inmate are allowed in the visitation room.
  • If inmates are in administrative control and under restrictions they may not be allowed visitation.
  • All visitors are subject to search
  • No food or beverages are allowed in the visitation area

Inmate Mail Guidelines

  • Incoming mail is delivered to inmates Monday through Friday.
  • Inmate mail will only be accepted through mail service and will not be accepted from individuals at the jail.
  • All incoming mail is opened and searched for contraband (such as checks, inappropriate photos, matches, lighters,
    cigarettes, jewelry, food, unknown substances on paper etc.)
  • Mail sent by legal representatives is opened only in the presence of the inmate addressee.
  • No staples are allowed in mail
  • Tape & stickers may be removed from mail
  • Inmates may receive letters and cards.
  • Personal checks are not accepted. Cash, cashiers checks or money orders and the only accepted forms of currency.
  • Unauthorized items mailed to an inmate will be placed in their property locker or disposed of as appropriate. Inmates will
    receive items not disposed of upon their release.
  • If an inmate has been released or is transferred to another facility all mail will be returned to sender.
  • Inmate mail must be addressed as follows and should reflect the appropriate mailing address as well as a return address:
    Inmate’s full name
    PO. Box 260
    Primghar, Iowa 51245-0260

Helpful Telephone Numbers
O’Brien County Attorneys Office: (712) 631-4057  (Office is located in Sheldon, Iowa)
O’Brien County Sheriff (712) 957-3415
O’Brien County Jail (712) 957-JAIL (5245)
O’Brien county Clerk of Court (712) 957-3255

Inmate Telephone Service
When an inmate is arrested he/she generally will be allowed appropriate calls at the time of their booking to notify their family member and/or attorney of their incarceration. Once they are placed in general population they may call friends and family collect. Friends and family must be willing to accept these charges. Calling cards are available through Reliance Telephone Co. Friends and family may call (712) 957-3077 to leave a short message for inmates. Inmates will be able to retrieve these on their own. Inmate voicemail is not secure. DO NOT leave messages with confidential information. Inmates cannot receive incoming telephone calls and jail officers are not permitted to deliver personal messages to inmates. Friends and family may call Reliance Phone Company at (800) 896-3201 They will assist you in setting up an account for collect calls. This is an arrangement between the person setting up the account and Reliance; the O’Brien County Jail is not responsible for them. Phones are generally on and available to inmates from 8:00 am -1:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 10:00 pm unless they are turned off for security purposes. You may contact Reliance Telephone Co. via the internet at www.reliancetelephone.com . If an inmate is unable to get through on the jail phones, then communication must be by U.S. mail.

Inmate Property
Items Allowed into the O’Brien County Jail :

  • four (4) pairs of white socks
  • four (4) white t-shirts NO POCKETS and these must be purchased from the jail
  • four (4) pair boxers or underwear any combination
  • four (4) white non-underwire bra
  • All personal clothing that is received either from visitors or mail must be new and still in original packaging
  • Books and magazines sent directly from the publisher will be accepted only if sent by the publisher. Books must be preapproved prior to ordering and must be prepaid prior to arriving. Inmates are not allowed to send money out for these orders. If they contain staples they will not be permitted.

Inmate Commissary Account
A commissary account is established for each inmate upon arrival. All monies applied towards this may be used for candy, paper, stamped envelopes, shampoo, conditioner, pop, lined paper, body lotion etc. Any inmate commissary balance will be refunded to the inmate in the form of either cash or money order upon their release or transport to another agency or facility.

Inmates in General population status receive 3 meals per day which follow a prescribed dietary meal plan.

If an inmate becomes ill while incarcerated in the O’Brien County jail the inmate must fill out a request for medical attention (emergency situations may not allow the inmate to make a request in writing). The staff will then make arrangements through the O’Brien County designated medical provider. There is a $5.00 administrative fee for medical practitioners/doctor appointments. Over the counter medications may be available. Inmates are charged 40 cents per dose. If an inmate has pharmaceutical needs from a previous or current ailment, medications are purchased from the designated pharmacy and dispensed by jail staff at the prescribed time and prescribed dosage. All jail staff have received medication management training with the State of Iowa. Inmates may be required to pay for services received. Iowa law allows the recovery of medical costs paid by the county on behalf of county jail inmates while incarcerated within the county jail.