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Central Intake and Booking
Central Intake Division is located within the 4th Ave. Jail. With a monthly
average of between 7,400 and 8,900 inmates processed and an annual average of
between 89,000 and 107,000, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is the fourth
largest booking institute with in the country.
As the ‘gateway’ to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office jail system, Central
Intake processes inmates from a multitude of Law Enforcement Agencies,
ranging from; local police departments and county offices, to state and federal
agencies. Because of the limited amount of time an arrestee spends in the Central
Intake Jail (less than 24 hours), they are not afforded the same accommodations
as those inmates housed in full custody facilities. Specifically, they are not
provided regular visitation privileges, recreation, programs, and inmates are only
fed sack meals.
The processing of an arrestee at Central Intake is extensive and time consuming.
The booking process begins with the completion of a medical assessment to
determine the medical needs an inmate may have. Utilizing a computerized
booking process, an inmate’s personal information, charges, holds, a probable
cause statement (utilized by the courts), personal property and monies that the
prisoner was arrested with are entered into a Pre-Booking System.
In addition, inmates are processed through the Immigration Customs and
Enforcement (ICE) / 287(g), by federally trained Sheriff’s Office detention
officers, to verify their legal status in the United States. Additionally, inmates are
photographed and fingerprinted for identification verification.
All inmates with new charges must be seen in an Initial Appearance (IA) Court
within twenty-four hours of arrest, as mandated by law. There are two IA
courtrooms located within the Central Intake Division and are utilized by the
City of Phoenix Municipal Court, Superior Court, Justice Courts and a few other
municipal courts. After receiving an Initial Appearance in the IA Court, an
inmate may either be processed for release from the Sheriff's custody or may be
remanded to remain in custody.
If an inmate is to remain in custody, the Central Intake Division must ensure
that inmate is dressed out into MCSO issued black and white stripes and
interviewed by civilian personnel assigned to the Classification Division. This
process incorporates the inmate’s prior booking history, institutional behavior
and current charges to establish the inmate’s security level which is referred to as
their classification. This classification is used to determine the inmate’s security
level and where the inmate will be housed during their incarceration.
Central Intake incorporates 23 holding tanks for the majority of inmates; this is
referred to as general population. There are 17 isolation cells for inmates who
may need to be isolated because of the nature of their charges, for their own
safety, for the safety of MCSO officers, or for medical reasons. Additionally
Central Intake has 10 safe cells for inmates with severe psychological issues and
are deemed to be suicidal or homicidal. The safe cells are completely padded and
offer no fixtures which an inmate can harm themselves or anyone else with.
Information as provided by Maricopa County Sheriff's Department and should not be considered legal advice.
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