Jail Intake: They Just Took My Boyfriend to Jail! What’s Going to Happen to Him?

Watching the police handcuff someone you love and put him in a squad car is traumatizing. They typically won’t let you talk to him from the point he is placed under arrest until that first jail visit or he finds a way to call you from the jail. Not knowing what is happening is scary.

He might be taken to the city jail first, but will ultimately be driven to the county jail where other inmates awaiting trials and serving sentences are housed. There can be several hours between taking him to the city jail and finding the time to get him to the county facility, so don’t panic if the county jail keeps saying they don’t have him yet.  Oftentimes, they drive him from where he is arrested straight to county jail. It just depends on the city and the officers at the time.

Once he arrives at county, he will be booked in. The arresting officer will either transport him or he will arrive shortly after your boyfriend gets to the jail. While the officer is completing his affidavit (a sworn statement about the events leading to your boyfriend’s arrest), jail staff will handle the booking process. A court clerk or magistrate will read him his charges and let him know if he has a bond amount and what it is. He will be searched, asked many questions about his address, health, past record, gang affiliation and other things that will be entered into his file. They will take photos of his face as well as any tattoos he has on his body. He will shower (typically with shampoo that kills Lice which is a problem in many jails), then he will be assigned jail attire, a mattress, and some personal hygiene basics. When the booking process is complete, he will be escorted to his cell and will begin his stay. In large cities, he could be kept in a temporary holding area with other newcomers until a cell opens up. This can take several days.

Nurse TV Behind Bars

Shortly after his arrival, he will be given a short medical appointment with the jail nurse. This is to record any health issues he has such as diabetes, high blood pressure. If he is on non-narcotic maintenance medications, such as anti-depressants or blood pressure pills, they will arrange for him to receive those. He may not be given his normal brand, but he will be provided an equivalent that the jail has approved. Some jails will let you bring his prescription bottles to them and they will dispense them to him as prescribed.

After all this is done, he can be bailed out if he has a bond, or he waits to see the judge.

Final thoughts:  Being arrested is no picnic. It causes stress and anxiety that can be overwhelming, but most jails handle the process with professionalism and without judgment. With the exception of celebrity arrests or sensational cases, it is just a job for them. Your boyfriend will go through being booked and then he can call an attorney.

More Info:

What can I expect if I’m arrested?



About Mark Miclette 682 Articles
writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.