The information below provides complete instructions regarding the Cuyahoga County Jail Inmate Accounts and Deposits, Commissary Information, Depositing Money Online (where available), Mailing Inmate Money or Care Packages to the jail in Cleveland, Ohio.
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.
Since inmates are not allowed to possess cash money while in custody in the Cuyahoga County Jail, 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.
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.
There are usually four choices for putting money on an inmate's books:
Dropping Money at the Jail
The jail has a self-serve kiosk in the lobby where you can deposit money to an inmate’s account. It is a cash only machine and it does not provide change. Be sure to being the exact amount of money you wish to deposit.
You must know the inmate’s first and last name and SO number. Call 216 443-6000 then press 2 to reach the jail and obtain the SO number.
If you can't get your questions answered online call the Cuyahoga County Jail at 216-443-6002.
Cuyahoga County Jail does not contract with a third-party company to process deposits to inmate accounts. This policy can change at any time.
Call 216-433-6000 or click here to see if the jail is now accepting online deposits.
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. Always send a Money Order from the US Post Office, a reputable bank or Western Union.
Make the Money Order out to the inmate's name and SO number. Address the envelope to:
Inmate's Full Name & SO Number
Cuyahoga County Jail
P.O. Box 5600
Cleveland, OH 44101
Use a pre-embossed with postage envelope. (You can buy these at the post office.) Do not use envelopes that you have to place stamps on. They will be rejected.
If you mail a deposit money order, the inmate will sign it over to the jail, the jail will convert it to cash and make the deposit in the kiosk for you.
There is no limit to how much money you can deposit to the account, but inmates are restricted to $30 of commissary purchases per week.
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.
Click here or here to view online how to make the money order out and where to send it.
This jail does not accept deposits over the phone, however, the policy can change at any time.
Click here to find out if the jail is now accepting deposits by phone.
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 Cuyahoga County Jail Commissary Instructions and Information can be found here or here. If you need more information contact the jail by calling 216-443-6002.
Some jails have contract agreements with third party Commissary companies that ship predetermined Care Packages of candy and snacks.
These can be ordered by you online and are delivered directly to the inmate.
This facility does not limit the amount that you can deposit on an inmate’s account but the inmate is limited to spending no more than $30 a week on commissary.
Call Cuyahoga County Jail at 216-443-6002 or click here to learn the Inmate Account deposit limits and other rules regarding depositing money on an inmate's books.
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.
A quick call to the Cuyahoga County Jail at 216-443-6002 will let you know how much is deducted from the books for each fee related to medical issues or other jail expenses.
Online you can find the medical fee information by going here, Other Cuyahoga County Jail fees can be determined by going here or calling 216-443-6002.
Call the Cuyahoga County Jail at 216-443-6002 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.
Because there is typically a delay when you mail commissary funds due to the jail having to get the inmate to sign the money order then having to deposit it to the kiosk, it is better to send a couple weeks of commissary at a time if possible.
This reduces the number of times the process has to be followed.
Not surprisingly much of an inmate's commissary money is used to purchase item's to pay gambling debts or purchase prescription medicine from another inmate. If your inmate is spending more than $3-4.00 a day on commissary items, you are paying for him or her to gamble or buy drugs.
Put your financial needs first and the inmate's second. Don't forget, the inmate is getting three free 2,000 calorie meals a day. The food may not be of the highest quality, but the commissary food is generally much less nutritious.
Click here to view the jail website for additional information.