San Diego Bail Bonds » E-mail an Inmate

E-mail an Inmate

General Information about e-mailing an inmate

  • There is no expectation of privacy for e-mail messages. Every message will be reviewed by jail staff; therefore this system should not be used for legal or confidential mail, or any other privileged communications.
  • Please limit your correspondence to two message per day in lieu of postcards.
  • Messages are limited to a single page and may not contain pictures or other attachments.
  • Inmates will not receive the message electronically. The message will be received by jail staff, printed and delivered in printed form to the inmate.
  • Inmates will not be able to respond via e-mail. Outgoing correspondence will continue to be by U.S. Mail.
  • When prompted to enter your address, please enter the address that you prefer the inmate to use for any written return correspondence.
  • Do not use the inmate email system to solicit business or advertise services. Messages that appear to be unsolicited advertisements will not be forwarded to the inmate.
  • E-mail received for inmates who are no longer in custody will not be delivered.


Instructions for Sending an Inmate Message

  1. Search for the inmate on the Who’s in Jail site using the inmate’s name. To prevent conflicts in spelling, you may search using only the first two letters of the first and last name.
  2. When you submit that search, you will get a screen asking you to enter a 5-letter code. This was made necessary by people attacking our system with automated scripts. Enter the 5 letters and submit it – the letters are not case sensitive.
  3. You should see a list with one or more names. Click on the last name of the correct inmate to view the inmate’s page in the Who’s in Jail system. Please note that the last name may not look like a link, but it is.
  4. About halfway down the page you will see an envelope icon you can click in order to send a message. When you do so, you will be asked to verify your email address. This is necessary to prevent abuses related to people sending messages pretending to be someone else. Enter your email address and submit.
  5. Within a few moments you should receive an email from Open the email. It will contain a link for you to click, which will take you to an online web form where you can complete your message.
  6. The message is limited to 2,500 characters of plain text. You cannot add any photos or links. Do not prepare your message in any other text editor to cut-and-paste into our system. The use of text formatted outside our system can cause errors that will keep your message from being sent.
  7. As you prepare your message, you can click on a button to calculate the number of characters. When you are done and within the character limit, go ahead and submit your message.
  8. You should get another email message indicating your message was received. Do not reply to the message as the netwebmaster account is part of an automated system and not monitored.



    • I submit the 5-letter code but get bounced back to the search screen.
      This is caused because the system is not getting the response it expects. It can be a result of entering the code wrong, such as mistaking “O” and “Q.” It can also happen if you have conducted a previous search and your browser re-displays the same code again. It is a common browser behavior to make web viewing faster, but does not ensure you are looking at the most recent web content. To get past this, simply refresh your browser when the code comes up, and you will get a fresh code that should work normally.


    • I can’t find an inmate I believe to be in custody
      Please call the jail information line where you believe the inmate to be housed. A staff member will be able to verify if the inmate is in custody.


    • I submitted my e-mail address for verification, but did not receive an e-mail in response.
      Many internet service providers and e-mail software programs provide very aggressive spam protection. Accordingly, they will block mail from unfamiliar addresses. If you do not receive the verification message after 10 minutes, check your spam mail or junk mail folders to see if the message was directed to one of those locations.If no message is located, try adding an entry to your address book for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Use the address in the entry. Do not send mail to that address as it is not a monitored account, but many users report that adding this address book entry allows these automated messages to be received.


    • I clicked the link in the verification message, and received an error message saying the link is too old.
      Re-submit your e-mail address and obtain a new link. The links are only good for a limited time.


    • When I submit my message, I receive a “Server Error.” Is the system malfunctioning?
      Probably not. Mail can only be processed to designated housing units. If the inmate is not yet assigned to housing, the message cannot be processed and the error will occur. Most often this is encountered while the inmate is in the booking process or when pending a housing reassignment. The best option is to wait until a housing unit is designated in Who’s in Jail (other than BKG or similar indicators). Once assigned to housing, you should be able to complete a message without encountering the error.


  • I tried to send a message but got a response indicating that the email limit has been reached.
    The system has limits set which only allow a certain number of messages to be received for any inmate in a 24-hour period (10), with no more than two messages from any individual sender. Once that limit has been reached, further messages are blocked. Once 24 hours has passed from your last message, you should be able to send another message.
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