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DC Jail

Where is the DC Jail? The jail is located in Washington DC, District of Columbia at 1422 Massachusetts Avenue Southeast. The corrections staff can be reached at (202) 544-2131.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is jail like?

Jails are not meant to be fun, comfortable, or accommodating. The first known criminal holding facility was Millbank Prison in England. Designed to house the worst of the worst. Today jails must meet federal and state regulations, but that by no means makes them a pleasant place to be. You can expect shared housing (bunk mates or “cellies”), unflattering food, and strict rules. However, most are equipped with libraries, some means of exercise, and shared television. Most jails often allow inmates to work jobs in the jail. By working jobs in the jail, an inmate can reduce the length of their incarceration.

Are jail and prison the same?

Jail and prison are not the same. The rule of thumb is you go to prison for long-term sentences (think years). County jails are designed for short-term offenses, months, days, and sometimes even just hours. Oddly, you can expect more freedom in prisons as well, especially minimum security ones. Jails tend to be more locked down. Those varies based on the type facility and the danger the inmate poses to the general public or even themselves.

Are jail calls free?

Most jails allow free calls when you are being processed, that is shortly after your arrest. This is a courtesy provided to inmates to allow them to either attempt posting bail and/or notify friends and family.

Are jail calls recorded?

You can expect most, if not all calls to be recorded.

Can a jail withhold medication?

Inmates must be afforded medical care and attention as needed. This is enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Read more...

Can jail inmates vote?

This is difficult to answer. The 1974 Supreme Court decision O'Brien v. Skinner protects the right of certain inmates to vote in elections without interference from government. But the Court left it up to state and local jurisdictions to decide how exactly to comply with the law. Meanwhile, certain states prevent felons to vote. So if you’re a felon in county jail can you vote? It depends on the state. Read more...

Are jail showers cold?

This really depends on the jail, time of day, and how much hot water is left in the water heater. Best to get your scrubbing done early.

How do jail affects mental health?

The impacts of a short-term stay can be expected to be well, short-term. But longer stays increase the length of impact. Read more...