The Bay County Jail in Florida has a maximum capacity of 1,125 inmates, but as of August 9th, 2020 it held 1,365 prisoners, resulting in overcrowding issues. The jail can be searched online, and it is responsible for a total population of 183,563 people. The Bay County Jail is located at 5700 Star Lane, Panama City, FL 32404, and can be contacted through its main phone number at (850) 785-5245, secondary number at (850) 215-5140, or fax number at (850) 215-5270.
The Bay County Jail in Florida provides off-site visitation for inmates, which is restricted to one visit per week from Monday to Saturday. Visits are limited to one hour, with a duration ranging from 15 minutes to one hour each week. Visitation times are available 7 days a week from 8:00am – 11:00pm, except during block out times from 11:00am – 12:00pm, 4:00pm – 5:00pm, and 6:30pm – 7:30pm. However, the jail is facing overcrowding issues, which have resulted in a lawsuit filed by inmates alleging neglect during the pandemic.
The Bay County Jail in Florida houses inmates with mental health issues, those awaiting trial, and those serving a sentence. The jail comprises three different jails throughout the county, and it has entire dorms dedicated to assisting mentally ill inmates. Inmates can be released after their court or first appearance, but the process can take some time. Third parties can file an inmate grievance if they believe an inmate is being mistreated under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003. An online inmate search is available on the Bay County Sheriff’s Office website, providing additional information about the jail.
Incoming mail sent to inmates is subject to certain restrictions at correctional facilities. Routine letters and family pictures are typically allowed, but they are usually scanned and made available for inmate access through the Kiosk system. Original letters and pictures are typically discarded after being scanned. However, mail that contains any material that is considered a threat to the facility, staff, or other inmates will be rejected. This includes mail with sexually explicit content, those encouraging violence, or containing instructions on how to make contraband items.
In general, correctional facilities will evaluate all other items, including paperback religious materials shipped directly from the manufacturer, on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they are acceptable. It is important to note that restrictions on incoming mail may vary from facility to facility, so it is always best to check with the specific institution for its policies and guidelines.
To ensure safety and security, incoming mail addressed to inmates is thoroughly searched by the Jail Facility staff. Attorneys may send legal paperwork, which will be opened in the presence of the inmate. However, items such as food, medicines, greeting cards, pens, pencils, markers, envelopes, stamps, stickers, packages, and cash are not permitted through the mail. Instead, money orders can be mailed to the Facility, and the inmate’s account will be credited accordingly.
Religious items may be requested by inmates through the Chaplain’s Department. Photographs can be accepted, but only if they are not offensive, do not contain sexual or gang-related content, and do not display guns, drugs, drug paraphernalia, or intoxicants. Original photographs will be discarded after being scanned into the kiosk system for inmate access.
Your inmate’s mail must be now addressed to:
Name of Facility, State
Inmate Full Name, Inmate Identifier
P.O. Box 247
Phoenix, MD 21131
While incarcerated in the Bay County Jail, inmates are not permitted to receive incoming phone calls. However, inmates are allowed to place collect calls to phone numbers that do not have collect calling restrictions. This is the most common method of placing calls from the facility. If an individual wishes to receive calls from an inmate, they must contact VIA Path Technologies at 1-877-650-4249 to create an account, and provide the facility number which is 15773.
If you want to block your phone number from receiving collect calls or remove the block from your phone number, you can call 215-5135. It is important to note that collect phone calls from inmates may be monitored and/or recorded. If an attempt is made to “call transfer” or have a “3-way conference” during the call, the call will be disconnected and the phone number may be suspended. For security reasons, the facility may restrict calls to certain phone numbers. Inmates are only allowed to call up to five telephone numbers during their stay at the Bay County Jail. The inmate classification counselor may adjust the numbers once every six months during an enrollment period.
Money orders can be obtained through in-person or mail delivery and should be made payable to the inmate. To ensure proper processing, the money order must include the inmate’s name, control identification number, as well as the purchaser’s name and address.
A kiosk machine is available in the Bay County Jail Facility’s lobby and accepts credit cards, debit cards, and cash, subject to a service fee. Refunds are not provided through the kiosk.
Inmates can add funds to their account via www.touchpaydirect.com using a phone or internet connection. To utilize the internet option, users must have the inmate’s Control Number and facility ID number (15733).
Off-site visitation is now available for family, friends, and other members of the community at the Bay County Jail. However, visitors must wait at least 90 days after being released from the jail facility before scheduling a visit. To gain entry, visitors must present a valid driver’s license, photo identification card, or passport and maintain appropriate dress, behavior, and conduct while on the premises. This includes refraining from bringing cell phones, electronic devices, purses, bags, backpacks, or strollers into the visitation area.
Additionally, food and drinks are not permitted in the on-site visitation area, and visitors are expected to refrain from using profanity or engaging in disruptive behavior during visits. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and the visitor is responsible for ensuring their behavior is appropriate at all times. Offenders are allowed a minimum of four visits per week for 30 minutes, during which on-site visitation is temporarily cancelled.
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office Jail is under the command of Major Rick Anglin, who is a graduate of Florida State University and has an extensive background in Florida Corrections. As the largest division of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, the jail has an average daily population of around 1,100 inmates. Major Anglin has prioritized collaboration with both sides of Judicial Operations and has implemented programs aimed at reducing recidivism rates. His efforts have been focused on supporting initiatives that promote rehabilitation and offer opportunities for inmates to successfully re-enter society after their release.
The Bay County Jail
Address: 5700 Star Lane, Panama City, Florida 32404.
Main Number: (850) 785-5245
Secondary Number: (850) 215-5140
Bay County is situated on the Emerald Coast in the Northwest region of Florida, with a population of 175,216 as per the 2020 census. Its county seat is Panama City, which is also a part of the Panama City, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. In February 1913, five towns located on St. Andrews Bay came together in Panama City to choose a name for the proposed new county. The name ‘Bay’ was eventually selected as it was agreeable to most citizens and reflective of the area that would be included in the county.
On July 1, 1913, the Legislature officially established Bay County, which was formed from parts of Washington, Calhoun, and Walton counties. Notably, Panama City was the birthplace of Gideon v. Wainwright, a 1963 US Supreme Court decision that ensured all individuals accused of a crime had the right to an attorney paid for by the government.