1. Who can visit the jail?
    Immediate family members can visit incarcerated persons held at either jail. All visitors must present a valid photo identification. People under 18 years of age are prohibited from entering the jail for visitation.
  2. How can I make someone’s Bond?
    There are four approved methods of making someone’s bond. In most cases, you can either make a cash bond, a property bond or have an approved bonding company post the bond. Additionally, some individuals may qualify for the Sheriff’s Department’s Pre-trial Release Program. For more specific information, contact the jail’s Pre-Trial Release Office.
  3. Can I drop packages off at the Jail for an Inmate?
    No. Packages can not be dropped off at the jails. Parcel packages or boxes will not be accepted by the jail for delivery to an inmate and will be returned to sender.
  4. Can I leave money for an inmate?

Yes. There are four ways friends and family can leave money for an inmate.

  • Money Orders – Money orders made payable to the inmate, may be placed in a money envelope and dropped in the box located in the lobby of each facility. The envelope should contain the name of the inmate, the name of the sender, the amount of the money order, and the inmate’s JCID number (if known). The money will be posted to the inmate’s account the next business day.
  • By Computer – (24/7)
    Deposit Amount Fee
    $ 0.01 – $ 19.99          3.95
    $ 20.00 – $ 99.99        6.95
    $ 100.00 – $ 199.99    8.95
    $ 200.00 – $ 300.00    10.95
  • By Phone – (866) 345-1884 (Access Corrections 24/7)(Bilingual agents available 24/7)
    Deposit Amount Fee
    $ 0.01 – $ 19.99          4.95
    $ 20.00 – $ 99.99        7.95
    $ 100.00 – $ 199.99    9.95
    $ 200.00 – $ 300.00    11.95
  • Lobby Kiosk
    There is a kiosk located in the lobby of the Birmingham & Bessemer facilities.  This kiosk will accept cash only ($5.00 bills or larger).  It will not accept credit or debit cards. Those transactions can be made by phone or the internet (see above). There is a convenience fee for cash deposits of $ 3.00. These fees will be deducted from the amount deposited into the inmate’s account. The kiosk is available for deposits seven days a week.  The person making the deposit must know the Inmate’s Jacket Number and their Full and Correct Name.  A receipt will be issued from the kiosk to the person depositing the funds. Deposits can be made at either kiosk location for any inmate located in the Birmingham & Bessemer facilities. Deposits made by the use of the kiosk are immediately credited to the inmate’s account avoiding the delay associated with weekends and holidays and making the money readily available for commissary purchases.
  • The kiosk cash acceptor is operated by a third party; the Sheriff’s Office is not responsible for its operation.  If there is an issue with the deposit, notify the front clerk and they will notify the vendor.  The Sheriff’s office will have contact information but has no way to resolve any issues related to the kiosk.
  1. Can I pick up the property of an inmate?
    Yes. Friends or family, with the permission of the inmate, can pick up personal property. Those wishing to pick up property must present picture identification and sign for the property once permission to release the property is received. Friends and family must receive all of the inmate’s property in storage.
  2. Do I have to pick up property from an inmate who has just been sentenced?
    Yes. The State Department of Corrections limits the amount of property a newly sentenced inmate may bring with them. The property should be picked up by a friend or family member no later than 30 days after transfer. After 30 days the property will be donated to Goodwill/Salvation Army or destroyed.
  3. Can inmates release money to family members?
    Yes. Inmates may release money from their commissary account to immediate family members on the first and third Wednesday of the month, between the hours of 8:00 am and 3:00 pm. Family members must present valid photo identification. Money may also be released the inmate’s attorney weekdays (excluding holiday) between the hours of 8:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  4. Does the Jail have Court Dates?
    No. The jails do not maintain court dates. Information concerning court dates can be obtained through Birmingham and Bessemer Courts. Their numbers are Birmingham District Court: 325-5309, Birmingham Circuit Court: 325-5285, Bessemer District Court: 497-8520, Bessemer Circuit Court: 497-8520.
  5. Can inmates use the phone?
    Yes. Inmates can use prepaid phone accounts through Telmate. Friends and family can deposit money to a Telmate prepaid account using the following methods:- Lobby Kiosk at Birmingham and Bessemer – Cash, Credit Card, Debit Card- Call 866-516-0115 – Credit Card, Debit Card, Money Order/Gram– On line at – Credit Card, Debit CardFriends and family must create an account at or on the lobby kiosk in order to send and receive messages with an inmate contact.
  6. Can medication be dropped off at the jail by friends and family members?
    No. It is difficult to verify personal medications and to ensure proper healthcare delivery; all prescriptions will be made through the jail’s physician. Family members who have concerns about an inmate’s medical care should contact the Jail’s Healthcare staff in Birmingham at 205-325-5670 and in Bessemer at 205-481-4160.
  7. How can I find out who is in Jail?
    Under State Law, a public accounting is to be made available to all persons incarcerated in the County Jail. A copy of the Jail’s Docket Book is available for public viewing in the lobby of both the Birmingham and Bessemer facility.
    You can also search on line to see what inmates are housed in the Jefferson County Jail. You can see the full list of inmates or search by last name. There is also a list of people booked and/or released in the last 24 hours. You will be able to find out what facility they are in, what they are charged with and the amount of their bond.
  8. What is the rated capacity for the Jails? How many beds do you have?
    The original design capacity or number of beds for the Birmingham Jail was 620 beds and 100 beds for the Bessemer Jail. Due to the increase in the inmate population, both facilities have had additional beds installed in the cells. The current number of available beds in Birmingham is approximately 1,075 beds and 198 beds are available in Bessemer.
  9. Inmate Mail
    Letters to inmates enclosed in an envelope will not be accepted. All written incoming inmate mail, with the exception of legal mail, must be on a metered postcard.Incoming mail must be addressed to the inmate using their full name, date of birth, and jail number.Example:James Doe   DOB 01/01/1980   Inmate # 123456Jefferson County Jail809 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd NorthBirmingham, AL 35203Incoming mail must have a return address which includes the sender’s full name, street address, city, state, and zip code.Mail not addressed as described will be returned to sender.All mail will be inspected before it is delivered.

    Envelopes not clearly marked as legal mail will be returned to sender.

    Contraband received through the mail will be held for 10 days, then destroyed or processed for criminal offenses.

    Acceptable postcards must be metered, rectangular in shape, and should be no larger than 4”x6” in size.

  10. Are there too many State Inmates in the County Jail?
    Under State Law, the State Department of Corrections is charged with the housing of State sentenced individuals. However, due to the overcrowding in the State system, some State inmates are being held in County Jails longer than expected. Jefferson County is working diligently with the State Department of Corrections to reduce the number of State Inmates housed in the County Jails as much as possible.
Court Services
  1. Can the Sheriff’s Office give legal advice?
    No, the Sheriff’s Office can NOT provide legal advice. If you need information regarding a legal problem you should contact an attorney, local bar association, lawyer’s referral service, and legal aid organization. The Sheriff’s Office can only advise and inform parties as to those procedures and rules related to the Sheriff’s duties.
  2. Can the Sheriff’s Office serve at a P.O. Box?
    No, you must provide a physical address including zip code.
  3. Can the Sheriff’s Office serve Out of State Papers? If so what is the fee, and to whom to make the check or money order payable to?
    Yes. The advance service fee for serving out of state papers is $50.00 per service made payable to “Sheriff Mark Pettway” mailing address is: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Court Service Division 2200 8th Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203 Phone: 205-325-5729 The filing party is responsible for making sure the documents are correct and properly providing the Sheriff with a letter of instruction which shall include information sufficient to effect valid and timely service. If you would like your affidavit of service completed, please indicate so. Otherwise, we will use our affidavit of service. Of course, if you feel the individual may avoid service, a photograph is helpful but not mandatory.
  4. Can you call me to notify me when service was made?
    With the large volume of papers served by the court service division, it would be impossible for us to notify all parties after service has been made.  Once a paper is received we have 30 days to make service which includes 3 attempts when possible.
  5. I found this paper on the door and this person doesn’t live here. What do I do with the paper?
    It is important to understand that the Sheriff is not the only person who serves processes.  Private servers, constables are also permitted to serve process.  However, if you should find a document on your door for someone who doesn’t live there, please call our office at 325-5929 and we will send a deputy to pick it up.  When calling us we will need some information, such as who you are, the address where the process was left.
  6. How can I find out if you have received my papers from the courts? If so what is the status?
    Our clerical staff will be glad to assist you in answering your questions.
  7. Do they evict you when it is raining?
    No, we do not evict in inclement weather.
  8. How do I go about getting someone evicted from my home?
    First you must file an execution with Small Claims Court. Then the court will send the execution to the Sheriff’s Office for process.
Neighborhood Watch
  1. Why should I sign up to participate in the Homeland Security Neighborhood Watch?
    We’ll use the basic principles of Neighborhood Watch programs to create a network of key neighbors. You, our partner, know your community best and we need your expertise.
  2. What will I have to do?
    You will be asked to recruit a few neighbors and be trained to detect and report suspicious activity.
  3. How much time will be needed?
    The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will establish one-hour training sessions where you can learn more about the program. These training sessions will help you be aware of suspicious activity ranging from burglaries to potential Homeland Security threats.
  4. Will this cost anything?
    No. Materials and assistance will all be provided by the Sheriff’s Office.
Patrol Division
  1. Where may I file a police report?
    If you have an emergency please call 911. To report a crime that has already occured that is a non-emergency please call 325-1450. A Deputy will be dispatched to your location.
  2. Can Deputy Sheriff’s make traffic stops within city limits?
    Yes. Deputies have jurisdiction throughout Jefferson County.
  3. Is there a “Leash Law” in Jefferson County?
    Yes. You may report violations of this law to the Sheriff’s Department at 325-1450.
  4. Who do I call to find out the status of my case after a Patrol Deputy has taken the initial report?
    Normally, Felony reports are assigned to a detective.  In the Birmingham District you may check on the status of your case by calling 731-2815.  In the Bessemer District you may call 481-4210.  Misdemeanor cases are normally assigned back to the Patrol Deputy and you may contact him/her at the number the Deputy provided on the business card given to you at the time the report was taken.
  5. Where do I pay for a traffic ticket given to me by a deputy?
    First, be sure that the traffic ticket was issued by a Deputy Sheriff.  City police departments have their own procedures and location for paying them.  Tickets issued by Deputy Sheriff personnel may be paid at: Melvin Bailey Justice Center, 801 Richard Arrington Boulevard, Room 506, Birmingham, AL 35203, 8:00AM – 5:00PM, Phone 325-5309
  6. How do I obtain the release of a vehicle impounded by the Sheriff’s Office?
    A release for a vehicle impounded by the Sheriff’s may be obtained during normal business hours at the Sheriff’s Downtown Headquarters or at any Sheriff’s substation.  Vehicles may be released only to the registered owner or their designated representative.  Documents required at the time of the release are title or tag receipt and a current driver’s license.
  7. How do I obtain a copy of a report I filed with the Sheriff’s Office?
    Reports may be obtained during normal business hours, normally 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M., at the Sheriff’s Headquarters Building or any Sheriff’s sub-station. Traffic accident reports cost $3.00 however; Incident/Offense Reprots are free to crime vicitims. Arrangements may be made to have reports faxed to areas outside Jefferson County by calling (205)325-5901 during normal business hours.
  8. When do seat belts have to be worn?
    Code of Alabama, Title 32-5B-4, requires each front seat occupant of a vehicle manugactured with safety belts to have a satety belt fastened at any time the vehicle is in motion. Special exceptions to the law apply to children required to be in child safety seats, rural mail carriers, newspaper delivery, vehicles manufactured before 1965, or id in possession of a written statement from a licensed physician authorizing non-seat belt use.
  9. What is the law governing dogs running at large in unicorporated Jefferson County?
    Code of Alabama, Title 3-1-5, states that dogs must be confined to their owners premises, or premises where they are normally kept. However, dogs may accompany the owner, or other person elsewhere if the dog remains under the owner/person’s control. Generally, this means on a leash.
Pistol Permits

Who may obtain a Pistol License?
Alabama State Code provides that the Sheriff of a county shall issue a qualified or unlimited license to a person residing in the county, and is a suitable person to be licensed. Mike Hale is the Sheriff of Jefferson County.

Who may not obtain a pistol license?
The Sheriff my deny a permit application if a determination has been made that the person is prohibited from the possession of a pistol or firearm pursuant to state or federal law, or has a reasonable suspicion that the person may use a weapon unlawfully or in such other manner that would endanger the person’s self or others. In making such determination, the sheriff may consider whether the applicant:

Was found guilty but mentally ill in a criminal case.

Was found not guilty in a criminal case by reason of insanity or mental disease or defect.

Was declared incompetent to stand trial in a criminal case.

Asserted a defense in a criminal case of not guilty by reason of insanity or mental disease or defect.

Was found not guilty only by reason of lack of mental responsibility under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Required involuntary inpatient treatment in a psychiatric hospital or similar treatment facility.

Required involuntary outpatient treatment in a psychiatric hospital or similar treatment facility based on a finding that the person is an imminent danger to himself or herself or to others.

Required involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital or similar treatment facility for any reason, including drug use.

Is or was the subject of a prosecution or of a commitment or incompetency proceeding that could lead to a prohibition on the receipt or possession of a firearm under the laws of Alabama or the United States.

Falsified any portion of the permit application.

Has caused justifiable concern for public safety.

How long does the application process take?
The Sheriff’s Office will issue or deny a Pistol License Application within 30 days of receipt of a completed application.

 If denied a Pistol License, can I appeal the denial?
Yes, applicants denied a pistol license will be informed in writing by the Sheriff’s Office of the denial.  The will then have 30 days to file an appeal with the District Court of Jefferson County.

What are the age requirements to obtain a pistol permit?
It is the policy that a license will not be issued to anyone under the age of 18.

May a pistol License be revoked?
Yes, Title 13A-11-75 of the State Law provides that the Sheriff may revoke a license.

Is the license valid in other counties?
Yes, Title 13A-11-75 of the State Law says the license is valid within all the counties of the state.

How can a pistol license be renewed?
Mail or bring your old pistol license, along with $7.50 per year of your renewal period, to one of our offices. Makes checks payable to Mike Hale Sheriff. Be sure you include your correct address.

Sheriff’s Headquarters 2200 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd Birmingham, AL 35203

Bessemer Sheriff’s Office 1826 2nd Avenue North, Bessemer, AL 35020.

Center Point Sheriff’s Substation 2651 Center Point Road, Center Point, AL 35215

What is the cost of a Pistol License?
1 Year:  $  7.50

2 Years: $15.00

3 Years:  $22.50

4 Years: $30.00

5 Years: $37.50

Where do you obtain an application for a Pistol Permit?

Download an application.

Sheriff’s Headquarters 2200 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35203

Bessemer Sheriff’s Office 1826 2nd Avenue North, Bessemer, AL 35020

Center Point Substation 2651 Center Point Road Center Point, AL 35215

Will I be investigated if I make an application to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Officer for a pistol license?
Yes, we will perform an investigation to see if you have a previous arrest record or any other factor that would prohibit issuing you a permit.

Office Hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
The phone numbers are:
Downtown Office – 325-5728
Bessemer Office – 481-4201
Center Point — 856-8800                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   McCalla–434-9411

School Resource
  1. Can law enforcement officers talk to my child at school without asking me first?
    Yes, they can. SROs are recognized by federal courts as part of school administration whose mission is to act quickly to investigate any unusual occurrences at the school. SROs most often interview students as witnesses rather than as offenders.
  2. Isn’t it the law that the school has to call me if a law enforcement officer talks to my child?
    No, it is not. They frequently do call parents if a student is interviewed about a serious issue, or if the student is the victim of an offense, but they make those calls as a courtesy, not because it is the law.
  3. Are my kids safe in school?
    Students are safer in American schools than they when they are not in school! Kids are most likely to be hurt or get involved in crimes when they are not in school.
  4. Why do they keep my kids at school in bad weather?
    Sometimes it is safer to keep your children at the school where there are many adults to care for them than to send them home when travel conditions are dangerous. For small children, another concern is for the care of the children if they arrive home and parents cannot get home due to the threatening weather. SROs and school leaders are always trying to make decisions that keep students in the safest environment.
Visitation at the County Jails

When can I visit someone housed in the Jails? The visitation period for the Birmingham Jail is from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm on the following schedule (based on the first initial of the inmate’s last name) Mondays A,B,C Tuesdays D,E,F,F Wednesdays H,I,J,K,L, Thursday M,N,O,P,Q Friday R,S,T Saturday U,V,W,X,Y,Z. The visitation period for the Bessemer Jail is as follows; A-G Saturday 8:00 am to 11:00 pm, H-Q Saturday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, R-Z Sunday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm