How to Contact an Inmate at the Salt Lake County Jail

It’s never easy when a loved one is incarcerated in jail or prison.  However, as long as you follow the rules and regulations, you can still keep in touch with your loved one.  In this article, we’ll explain the rules and procedures for friends and family who want to contact inmates at the Salt Lake County Jail.  You can also find more information about the jail’s rules and policies in our Guide to Salt Lake County Jail.

Utah criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson explains how to contact detainees at the Sale Lake County jail if your loved one is detained.

Rules for Calling Prisoners at the Salt Lake County Jail

There are three ways to communicate with inmates at the Salt Lake County Jail: phone, traditional mail, and email.  However, the jail enforces very strict rules which all family members, romantic partners, etc. must comply with.

If you want to talk to an inmate on the phone, you must arrange a time for the inmate to call you.  Under jail rules, inmates can only place calls and are not allowed to receive them – no ifs, ands, or buts.

There are two ways for SLC Jail inmates to make phone calls to their loved ones.  Inmates can either:

  • Make collect calls.
  • Use their commissary account to purchase a phone card. (“Commissary” is simply another word for a shop inside a jail or prison. Commissaries generally sell items like candy, snacks, stamps, toiletries, writing supplies, and clothes.  Inmates cannot possess cash money, so friends or family must pre-load commissary accounts with funds.)

Most of the time, SLC Jail inmates are allowed to place collect calls between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and 9:30 P.M.  There are two ways to configure your cell phone to accept collect calls.  You can:

  • Create a pre-paid account through the jail’s CenturyLink system.  The CenturyLink Public Communications Portal functions as the SLC Department of Correction Inmate Calling Center.
  • Dial (888) 506-8407 to start the set-up process.

Sometimes, normal phone privileges are disrupted because the jail is placed on lockdown.  Lockdown is a slang term for the emergency protocols jails and prisons use to stop escape attempts or intervene in a dangerous situation, like a fight between inmates in the exercise yard.  Normal calling hours can also be interrupted if there’s an emergency or change in circumstances which affects the inmate’s housing or classification.

Rules for Sending Letters and Email Messages to Inmates

SLC Jail inmates are allowed to send and receive letters in the mail.  However, there are few rules for both senders and recipients to keep in mind:

  • Inmates can only send letters using stamps purchased at the commissary.  Therefore, if you want to send letters back and forth with an inmate, you’ll need to put some funds on their commissary account so that they can buy the stamps they need.
  • Inmates are allowed to receive letters, but don’t expect your communications to be private.  All mail is opened and inspected by jail personnel, so when you’re writing your messages, just think about how much you’re willing to share with an unknown third party.
  • Contraband isn’t just drugs and weapons.  In fact, there are only two items which are not considered contraband:
    • Paper products
    • Photographs (4” x 6” or smaller only)

If you don’t have the patience for snail-mail, you can contact your loved one instantly via email.  The only catch is that each message costs 50 cents.  You also can’t use traditional email providers like Gmail or GoDaddy.  Instead, you have to use the jail’s email system, which is called ConnectNetwork GTL.

Of course, you can also visit your loved ones in person, as long as you follow the jail’s visiting hours and rules for visitors.  If you violate the rules or arrive outside the appropriate visiting hours, you can be asked to leave the facility. The Salt Lake County Jail is located at the following address:

3415 South 900 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84119

If your loved one is in custody at the Salt Lake County Jail, we can help them fight their charges and even if they have already been convicted, we can often bring an appeal, seek reconsideration or take other steps to reduce the amount of time they serve. Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson has more than 16 years of experience handling a wide variety of misdemeanor and felony cases, and gives free initial consultations.  To set up your free consultation with Darwin, call the law offices of Overson Law LLC at (801) 758-2287 today.