O’Brien County Jail Family & Friends Information

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O’Brien County Jail

O’Brien County Jail
240 1st Street N.E.
Primghar, IA 51245

712-957-5245

The O’Brien County Jail is the main jail in O'Brien County Iowa. While the police in the cities and towns in O'Brien County can arrest and detain offenders, the O’Brien County Jail is the facility that is accredited by Iowa to hold inmates for more than 72 hours.

The O’Brien County Jail, located at:
240 1st Street N.E.
Primghar, IA 51245 
can be reached 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 712-957-5245.

The main reason that people call 712-957-5245 is to find out if a particular person is in custody, although you can look up an inmate online by going here. You can also get answers to whatever questions about an inmate, and the services for O’Brien County Jail that you may have by clicking on any of the questions below:

How to search for an inmate?
Can you look up an inmate’s mugshot?
How do you look up an offender’s criminal charges, bond or inmate number?
How do you visit an inmate?
What are the visitation hours?
Can you visit inmates in O'Brien County by video from home?
How do you get phone calls from an inmate?
Can you send mail, books, or newspapers to an inmate?
How do you send an inmate money?
Does O’Brien County Jail have inmate commissary?
Can an inmate receive and/or send email or text messages?
Do inmates in O'Brien County have access to computers or tablets?
How do you pay an inmate’s bail or bond?

Every year the O’Brien County Jail has approximately 1160 bookings, with a daily average of 58 inmates and maintains control of the facility with a staff of 14.

Inmates in this jail range from low level misdemeanor offenders to those being held and awaiting trial for violent crimes like robbery, rape, and murder. Therefore, given the mix of potentially dangerous inmates, the security level is very high. 

The O’Brien County Jail is equipped with a state-of-the-art locking system, closed circuit cameras covering every area where inmates are located, and jail staff that utilize a communication system that keeps each of the guards and civilian staff in constant contact. 

Guards that circulate in the same general area of the inmates are armed with eye-blinding mace that will turn an inmate having a violent outburst into a weeping child. They also carry stun weapons, short clubs, flashlights that have dual use as both a light source and as a weapon, and handcuffs. Guards at entrances and in areas not frequented by inmates are armed with various firearms. The goal of such tight security is to keep both the staff and the inmates safe.

For other jails in O'Brien County, jails in neighboring counties, and local police jails and juvenile detention centers for young offenders under age 18 in this county, click here.

Unlike the Iowa Department of Corrections, where inmates are sent once convicted of a crime and sentenced to a period of more than a year, the O'Brien County Jail System is populated by short-term offenders; those who have just been arrested and awaiting to be bonded out by friends or family, those who cannot afford or get bailed and are awaiting trial, or those who have already been convicted of a crime and sentenced to a term of less than one year. Many of the latter inmates become ‘workers’, who can reduce their sentence by performing jail maintenance or working in the kitchen. An upside to being a worker is they also get paid a small stipend so when they get released, they have a few dollars in their pocket.

When an inmate is convicted and sentenced to a year or more, they are transferred to the Iowa Department of Corrections or the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  

Inmates that are convicted of a misdemeanor and/or sentenced to less than one year of a state crime serve their time in the O’Brien County Jail. 

Illegal immigrants convicted of a state or federal crime will first do their time, then may be transferred into ICE custody for deportation.

How Do You Schedule and Visit an Inmate in O’Brien County Jail?

To set up an account to schedule and visit your O'Brien County inmate, follow these instructions:

  • Register and set up a new account with RELIANCE, or log in if you already have an account.
  • Select O’Brien County Jail, then select your inmate who you will be visiting.
  • Your identity will have to investigated and approved by the O'Brien County staff.
  • Once approved, you can schedule a visit.

For all the information you need in order to schedule and visit your O'Brien County inmate, or to assist them in visiting with others, including instructions, fees, cost of each visit, requirements for free visits, tablet rentals that can be used for visits, payment methods and times that your inmate can have a visit, check out our Visit Inmate Page.
NOTE: All of your visits with your inmate will be monitored and recorded. Use discretion when discussing sensitive information about their pending case.


 

How Do Inmates in O’Brien County Jail Make Phone Calls?

To set up your O'Brien County inmate to make to make phone calls to you and others, follow these instructions:

For all the information you need in order to receive phone calls from your O'Brien County inmate, or to assist them in making calls to others, including instructions, fees, cost of calls, payment methods and times that your inmate can use the phone, check out our Inmate Phone Page.
NOTE: All of your communication with your inmate will be monitored and recorded. Use discretion when discussing sensitive information about their pending case.


 

How Do Inmates in O’Brien County Jail Send and Receive Texts and Emails?

To set up your O'Brien County inmate to make to send and receive texts and emails to you and others, follow these instructions:

For all the information you need in order to send and receive texts and emails from your O'Brien County inmate, or to assist them in sending and receiving secure messages to and from others, including instructions, fees, cost of each message, tablet rentals, payment methods and times that your inmate can send messages, check out our Text/Email an Inmate Page.
NOTE: All of your communication with your inmate will be monitored and recorded. Use discretion when communicating sensitive information about their pending case.


 

How to Send Money to an Inmate in O'Brien County

To send commissary money to an inmate in O’Brien County Jail follow these steps:

  • Register with Access Corrections by creating an account.
  • Select Iowa, then select O’Brien County Jail, and then the inmate you want to send money to.
  • Choose the amount of money you want to send, and input your payment method.

For all information on how to Send Money to an inmate's account check out our full money and commissary guide for O’Brien County Jail.


 

Third Party Jail Inmate Services for O’Brien County Jail

Communication and Monetary Services for Family and Friends of Inmates

Gone are the days where O’Brien County Jail supervised their own phone system, mail system, visitation, commissary and inmate money deposit systems. Jails throughout the United States are now partnering with high tech companies to provide and manage these servives for them and the jail in O'Brien County is no different.

Everything from video calls, to messages to visitation, and even digital mail and money deposits can be done from your home computer or personal device. Inmates in O’Brien County Jail, if they don't already, will soon have their own personal tablets for watching movies, TV shows, access to educational and and legal information, and more.

As O’Brien County Jail adds these services, JAILEXCHANGE will add them to our pages, helping you access the services and answering your questions about how to use them and what they cost.

You can check out this information now by going to the: Family Info page, Visit Inmate page, Inmate Mail page, Inmate Phone page, Send Money page, Inmate Bail page, Mugshots page, Text/Email an Inmate page, Commissary page, Remote Visits page, or the Tablet Rental page. 

O’Brien County Jail

STATE COUNTY BEDS
Iowa O'Brien 58


PHYSICAL ADDRESS

240 1st Street N.E.
Primghar, IA 51245


TELEPHONE NUMBER


FAX

712-757-5445

INMATE MAIL

Inmate's First and Last Name
O’Brien County Jail
P.O. Box  260
Primghar, IA 51245


EMAIL

[email protected]


Frequently Asked Questions

How many inmates are in the O’Brien County Jail in Iowa?
There are 58 inmates in the O’Brien County Jail in Iowa. While that is what they are approved to have incarcerated at any one time, they have on occasion had to add additional beds, even having inmates sleep on the floor when overcrowding becomes an issue. When possible, O’Brien County Jail will temporarily transfer some inmates to a neighboring facility, or if necessary, release some offenders from custody. Learn more about how to search for a specific inmate in the O’Brien County Jail.

How many people get arrested and booked into the O’Brien County Jail in Iowa every year?
In 2021, a total of 1160 offenders were booked into the O’Brien County Jail in Iowa. That is less than previous years, mostly due to restrictions related to the COVID pandemic. As of April 2022, the number of arrests and bookings are returning to normal, which means they are running higher than 2021. Learn more about how to search for an inmate in the O’Brien County Jail.

How many people work at the O’Brien County Jail in Iowa?
The O’Brien County Jail maintains a staff of approximately 14. Staff positions include correction officers, maintenance, clerical, kitchen workers and management. Iowa law allows for inmates to work alongside the paid staff during their incarceration, saving the facility money. Even though the inmates are paid, the cost is less than 15% of what a normal worker from the outside would be paid.

Does the O’Brien County Jail in Iowa have an inmate search or jail roster to see who is in custody?
Yes, the O’Brien County Jail in Iowa has an Inmate Search Roster feature. Learn more about how to search for an inmate in the O’Brien County Jail. When you get to this page click on the big green button that reads 'OFFICIAL O’Brien County Jail INMATE LIST'. After clicking on the link, type in the offender's name and then click 'search'. You can always call and speak to someone on the staff at 712-957-5245 if you are have further questions. In most cases the Inmate Roster provides information about the inmate's bond, criminal charges, mugshot, and even their release date, as long as they are not being sent to a Iowa prison or the US Bureau of Prisons to serve a sentence that is longer than one year.

What is the address and phone number of the O’Brien County Jail in Iowa?
The O’Brien County Jail address and phone number is: 240 1st Street N.E.
Primghar, IA 51245. Their phone number is 712-957-5245. To find out the address for sending an inmate mail, sending newspapers, magazines or care packages, learn more about how to mail an inmate in the O’Brien County Jail.

Where do I found out all the inmate services at O’Brien County Jail, such as visitation policy and schedule, how the inmate phone system works, emailing an inmate, and sending them money to buy things in commissary?
Here is where you get direct access to all the information you need for O’Brien County Jail inmate services: Learn more about how to visit an inmate in the O’Brien County Jail. Learn more about how to get phone calls from an inmate in the O’Brien County Jail. Learn more about how to text/email an inmate in the O’Brien County Jail. Learn more about how to send money to an inmate in the O’Brien County Jail. Learn more about how to mail an inmate and what's allowed in the O’Brien County Jail. Learn more about inmate commissary in the O’Brien County Jail.

How do I bail or bond an inmate out of the O’Brien County Jail?
Call 712-957-5245 for the type of bond and any information that is required for a particular individual at O’Brien County Jail. A bond is set according to a court-approved schedule. You will either have to pay a cash bail, or put up a private, surety or a property bond to guarantee to the court that the defendant will return on their assigned court date. Learn more about how to bail or bond out an inmate in the O’Brien County Jail.

This facility, known as "O’Brien County Jail" is also known as O’Brien County Jail, Iowa, O'Brien.