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San Diego County South Bay Facility Inmate Commissary

500 Third Ave
Chula Vista,
San Diego County
Main Phone: 619-691-4810
Beds: 573
The information below provides complete instructions regarding the San Diego County South Bay Facility Inmate Accounts and Deposits, Commissary Information, Depositing Money Online (where available), Mailing Inmate Money or Care Packages to the jail in Chula Vista, California.

Follow these instructions exactly to help ensure that your inmate has access to commissary, and in some cases medical and bail money, as soon as possible.

What is the Purpose of an Inmate Account?

Since inmates are not allowed to possess cash money while in custody in the San Diego County South Bay Facility, the jail maintains a 'bank account' for the inmate to purchase products and services from their commissary (canteen) store.

Commissary funds allow inmates to purchase items such as personal hygiene products, snacks and stationery supplies from the jail store.

Inmates can use money from their account to purchase phone time credits or prepaid phone cards in order to make outside phone calls to friends and family members.

Many jails also allow an inmate to bail himself out of jail if he has the funds in his account. The bail amount is typically 10-15% of the bond amount set by the court.

Inmate accounts are also used to pay the co-payment for medication and visits to the jail's medical clinic should they become ill.

Who Can Put Money in an Inmate's Account?

Anybody can contribute to an inmate's books or commissary fund as long as there isn't a no-contact order in place.

Because of the ability for family members and friends to deposit money online using a credit or debit card, jail inmates can now receive funds from anywhere in the world.

How to Put Money on an Inmate Account in the San Diego County South Bay Facility

There are usually four choices for putting money on an inmate's books:

Choice 1
Dropping Money at the Jail

Deposits may be made to an inmate’s account at the Information Office of any Sheriff’s detention facility using cash, money order or cashier’s check. Some jails have self-serve kiosks in the lobbies that accept cash, debit or credit cards.

If you can't get your questions answered online call the San Diego County South Bay Facility at 619-691-4810.

Choice 2
Deposit Inmate Money Online

San Diego County South Bay Facility is unlike many jails that contract with third party commissary fund processors, in that instead of contracting with an outside vendor, San Diego County has its own commissary processing site online.

Click here to get the inmate’s booking number.  

Then click here to deposit commissary funds for the inmate.

You may use your credit or debit card to make a deposit by clicking here and following the steps to deposit money.

Choice 3
Mail the Inmate Deposit to the Jail

Mailing a deposit takes more time to process than the other methods but can be done if you live too far away to bring it in person and you don't have a debit/credit card for online deposits. Never send cash.

Make the money order out to the inmate and make sure to include the ID# behind the name.

Address the envelope as follows:

Inmate’s first and last name and ID number

South Bay Facility

500 Third Ave

Chula Vista, CA 91910

Include your first and last name and return address on upper left corner of envelope.

No personal checks or multiple party checks are accepted. However payroll and government issued checks are permitted.

Failure to do this properly will delay your inmate getting his account credited and may require you to have to resubmit a second money order.

Call San Diego County South Bay Facility at 619-691-4810 to confirm the address to send the money order to and how they want it made out.

Click here or here to view online how to make the money order out and where to send it.

Choice 4
Make an Inmate Deposit over the Phone

This facility does not permit deposits to be made to inmate accounts over the phone.

What can an Inmate Purchase through Commissary?

People who have never been to jail would be surprised by the large amount of candy, snacks, art supplies, playing cards, hygiene products and clothing that can be purchased through a jail's commissary. Some jails have several hundred different items.

The San Diego County South Bay Facility Commissary Instructions and Information can be found here or here. If you need more information contact the jail by calling 619-691-4810.

Inmate Care Packages

This facility does offer a care package program. These can be ordered by you online and are delivered directly to the inmate.

Click here to see the packs currently being offered.

Click here to choose a pack and place the order.  

What is the Maximum Amount I can Deposit in an Inmate's Account?

Inmates are allowed to have up to $500 on the books at any given time. If your deposit will put the inmate’s account over the $500 limit, your credit/debit card will only be charged the amount that takes the account to $500.

For example, if the inmate has $460 on the books and you attempt to make a $50 deposit, your credit/debit card will only be charged $40 plus the processing fee.

Call San Diego County South Bay Facility at 619-691-4810 or click here to learn the Inmate Account deposit limits and other rules regarding depositing money on an inmate's books.

Medical Copays, Jail Fees and other Inmate Expenses

Many jails debit (charge) an inmate's commissary accounts for medical visits, any medications including over-the-counter pain reliever, jail stay fees, restitution, etc.

Taking this into consideration when deciding how much to deposit will ensure the inmate gets the amount you wanted him to have after things are deducted.

This facility does not currently charge inmates for medical visits.

A quick call to the San Diego County South Bay Facility at 619-691-4810 will let you if the policy has recently changed.

Important Tips

Call the San Diego County South Bay Facility at 619-691-4810 and ask how you can view a commissary list. This gives you an idea of what things cost the inmate and you can make an informed decision regarding how much to deposit.

The maximum deposit to an inmate’s account is $500.

Inmates at this facility are allowed to have up to $500 on their commissary accounts at any given time. If your attempted deposit amount will put the inmate over $500, your credit card will only be charged the amount that will take the account to $500.

You will receive a confirmation number by email as soon as your payment clears. The inmate also receives a notification.