Tuscaloosa County Jail
Inmates are provided with a copy of the Tuscaloosa County Jail Inmate Handbook before being escorted to their assigned housing unit. Upon release, inmates are required to return the Handbook to the Officer processing their release from the Tuscaloosa County Jail. Any inmate that destroys, damages, or does not return their handbook, which was issued to them, is subject to a monetary fine.
The rules and regulations contained herein revoke and supersede the rules and regulations of all previous handbooks and are in effect until superseded by subsequent additions, deletions, or corrections.
This handbook does not contain all the rules and regulations that govern the inmate population but does contain guidelines for the conduct and general expectations of the incarcerated in the Tuscaloosa County Jail. Because a rule or regulation does not appear in this handbook does not mean that it does not exist and that it doesn’t apply to the incarcerated population.
Those rules and regulations contained herein and elsewhere such as employee’s PPD and memos are applicable to all inmates incarcerated in the Tuscaloosa County Jail regardless of classification status or category. Violation of these rules and regulations by any inmate may result in disciplinary action and or criminal prosecution.
Written policy, procedure, and practice prohibit discrimination based on an inmate’s race, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or political views in making administrative decisions and in providing access to programs.
Any questions concerning the contents herein should be directed in writing to the Chief Jail Administrator or the Sheriff of Tuscaloosa County.
- You have the right to be treated respectfully, impartially, and fairly by all jail deputies.
- You have the right to be informed of the rules, procedures and schedules concerning the operation of this facility.
- You have the right to receive: nutritious meals, proper bedding, clean clothing, and a laundry schedule for cleanliness, an opportunity to shower regularly, certain toiletry articles and accessible medical treatment.
- You have the right to correspond by mail with family members and friends who are not incarcerated in the Tuscaloosa County Jail or any other federal, state, county or city correctional facility.
- You have the right to unrestricted and confidential access to the court by written correspondence.
- You have the right to legal counsel and the right to have private attorney/client visits.
- You have the right to a reasonable amount of exercise. Exercise can be held either in the large dayroom area or on the rec yards as determined by staff. Occasionally, extreme weather conditions or other exigent circumstances may prevent access to the outdoor exercise area. The health and safety of inmates in our custody is of primary importance.
- You have the right to attend non-denominational religious services as provided by volunteer clergy.
- It is your responsibility to treat others; jail deputies, staff, and inmates, in the same manner you would like to be treated by recognizing and respecting the rights of others.
- It is your responsibility not to waste food, to follow laundry and shower schedules, to maintain neat and clean living quarters, and to seek medical care if needed.
- It is your responsibility to honestly and fairly present your petitions, questions, and problems to the court, and use the services of an attorney.
- It is your responsibility to take advantage of activities that may help you live a successful and law abiding life within the Tuscaloosa County Jail and in our community. You will be expected to abide by the regulations governing the use of such activities.
INMATE INTAKE PROCEDURE
You will be issued a wristband upon your initial booking into the Jail. This wristband is how Jail staff will identify you for head counts, meals, commissary, canteen and movement throughout the jail. Your wristband must stay on your wrist at all times. You will not be eligible to receive commissary, canteen, or tablets without your wristband affixed to your wrist. If you damage your wristband to the point it will no longer scan or stay on your wrist, you will be charged $10 for a replacement. Replacements will only be given out once per month. You will not be able to receive commissary, canteen, or a tablet while you do not have a wristband. Attempting to use another inmate’s wristband or PIN number will result in disciplinary action.
Upon committal to the Tuscaloosa County jail, you will be required to surrender any and all forms of money in your possession. Upon surrendering all monies, it will be totaled, logged, and a receipt issued to you. During your incarceration, you may use this money to purchase items from the commissary or release it to an outside source. After your release from the Tuscaloosa County Jail, you may return and pick up your funds or remaining funds from the commissary clerk on the scheduled days and times which are: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. 4 p.m.
Any expenses which you incur during your stay here, such as damaged jail property, or medical co-pays and commissary purchases, will be deducted from your inmate account.
When you are discharged from here, you will be issued a debit card in the full amount of your outstanding account balance. You will be instructed as to where you may use the card if you do not have a bank account.
Be aware that medical co-pays are subtracted from your account even if you have no funds. Any funds which you may receive in the future will have these negative amounts subtracted.
Upon entering the Tuscaloosa County Jail, you were patted down. This was to ensure that you will not introduce contraband into the facility. Before you are booked, all property that you have will be surrendered to the on-duty booking rover to be inventoried. During this process you will be issued a hanging bag with a number. Your property will be safely stored until your release from this facility. After the completion of the inventory sheet and your signature stating that all property has been surrendered and properly logged, you will begin the booking procedure. Depending on the situation this process can take up to an hour. If you are unable to post bail, you are encouraged to release your property to a relative or friend. Unless you are sentenced to state time your clothing will be the only items not released.
During the booking process you were asked several questions regarding your health. It is very important that you answered these questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge. Within the next seventy-two hours of your entry into the General Population of the jail, a medical staff member will perform an initial medical screening. Answering truthfully and correctly is vital for your health needs and those already incarcerated in the Tuscaloosa County Jail. (SEE ALSO INMATE SERVICES AND PROGRAMS)
Housing Unit Assignment
After the booking process and depending on your ability to post bond, you will be assigned to a housing unit based on your charges and other circumstances. Before being admitted to that housing unit, you will be required to shower with soap provided to you to prevent the spread of body lice or other pests. Any changes in your housing assignment must be approved by a supervisor or the Inmate Welfare Officer. You may also request a housing assignment re-evaluation by submitting an Inmate Request Form stating your reasons to the Inmate Welfare Officer.
Unauthorized changes of cell or bed location is prohibited. All new admitted inmates will be placed in a 14-day medical review dorm.
Special Needs Inmates
Those with special needs will be assigned housing in an adequate dorm.
County Issued Items
Upon your committal and before being escorted to your assigned housing unit, the following items will be issued to you.
- 1 uniform shirt
- 1 uniform pants
- One mattress
- One blanket
- One sheet
- One towel
- One face towel
- One toothbrush
- One tube of toothpaste
- One bar of soap
- One roll of toilet paper
- One cup
- One spoon or spork
- One inmate handbook
- One property bag
You will be held accountable for all county issued clothing, linens, and other items provided by the facility. You are not to exceed the number of county-issued or permitted items in your cell at any given time. If you damage county property and or county issued items, you will be subject to criminal charges and responsible for any costs and repairs to replace or fix damaged items.
*** Mattresses are not to be altered or damaged. The mattress cover is not to be removed, torn, or the stitching removed. Any damage to a mattress will result in a $50 charge to your inmate account as well as possible criminal charges. You will not receive a new mattress if you intentionally damage your issued mattress.
***Uniforms are not to be altered, marked on, or cut. Damage to a uniform will result in a $12 charge (per shirt or per pant) to your inmate account as well as possible criminal charges.
***Intentionally damaging an inmate tablet will result in at least a $100 charge to your inmate account as well as possible criminal charges.
All prices are subject to increase as costs increase.
Section 14-11-10 - Injury to or destruction of state property, etc., by convict or prisoner.
Any convict or prisoner who willfully or maliciously injures or destroys any building or property belonging to the state or any agency or instrumentality thereof of value more than $25 is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years.
Personal clothing can be purchased from the commissary. You are allowed up to three of any clothing items listed. Other permitted items are:
- Contact lenses
- Prescription eyeglasses (approved by medical staff)
- One (1) Religious Text such as Holy Bible, Quran, Torah etc.
- Three (3) Photos
- Legal documents pertaining to your case
If incoming mail includes items, you have already met your limit on you may return them to sender or have them placed in your personal property or surrender them to staff for disposal. Any items found in excess of allowed limits will be confiscated. No shoes or undergarments or socks will be allowed in the jail from the outside. Inmates can purchase all these items from the jail commissary. Family and friends may deposit funds on the inmate's account via the kiosk in the jail lobby or on a portal for web deposits at http://team3.inmatecanteen.com/.
Any item not approved for entry into housing units, listed on the inmate commissary order form, or not issued by the facility are considered contraband. This includes articles of clothing such as undergarments, foot ware, tobacco products, etc.
Inmate Request Forms
To ensure quick and effective communications with the facility staff, an inmate request form is available to you. Inmate request forms are kept on each individual post, can be obtained from asking the on-duty officer assigned to your post and available electronically on the tablets. All inmates request forms should be submitted electronically, or to the post officer. Forms submitted that are non-legible and unsigned will be discarded.
Inmate Medical Forms
Inmate medical request forms can be obtained by medical staff, post officers and electronically on the tablets. To obtain medical assistance a medical request form must be filled out completely and electronically submitted or returned to the on-duty roving officer assigned to your post. However, you will be required to pay a co-payment charge.
- $25 for each visit
- $20 for each prescription if continuous on a monthly basis, then it is $20 for all prescriptions together.
Any request for non-prescribed medication must also be submitted on a medical request form (NO EXCEPTIONS). There is a fee for non-prescribed medications. Prices may differ on other items. Be sure to consult medical staff.
Inmate Grievance Forms
If you have a grievance, you must submit an inmate grievance form obtained from the on-duty officer assigned to your post or electronically on the tablets. It is your responsibility to file a grievance if you have been subjected to:
- A criminal act by another inmate
- A prohibited act by a staff member
- Abridgement of civil rights
- Denial of privileges without just cause
All grievance forms must be addressed to a shift supervisor or to the Inmate Welfare Officer and should include the date, time, names of all persons involved, and all pertinent details of the incident including the names of any witnesses. All grievances are promptly and thoroughly investigated, appropriate corrective action taken, and a follow up report will be issued to you.
Should you file a grievance that is later determined to be fabricated you will be subject to disciplinary action. Should you file a grievance, and it is not found in your favor, you have the option of an appeal to the Chief Jail Administrator or his designee.
GUIDELINES FOR REQUESTS & GRIEVANCES
Inmates must follow these rules when submitting an Inmate Grievance or Request:
All requests or grievances should be completed and submitted as soon as possible after the occurrence of any specific event.
Do not send more than one grievance or request addressing the same issue unless an emergency exists.
Limit the request or grievance to one issue per form, kiosk, or tablet entry, clearly stating the nature of your request.
Requests on the behalf of other inmates are not acknowledged unless a true emergency exists, or it involves a PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) related request or submittal of information.
Forms or requests containing unnecessary profanity are not acknowledged.
Requests and grievances will be received from individual inmates, not from an entire block.
Inmate Grievance Appeal
If an inmate has a disagreement with the answer of a properly submitted Inmate Grievance, he or she may appeal to the next highest level available within five days. If a sergeant answered your grievance, you may appeal to a lieutenant. If a lieutenant answered your grievance, you may appeal to the Captain. After that, the Chief will be the last level of appeal. Inmates have five days to submit an appeal after the receipt of each answer of the grievance process. Limitations for appealing disciplinary actions may vary from this and will be based on the Inmate Disciplinary policy. Decisions made by the Chief are final and not subject to further appeal within the Sheriff’s Office.
Medical related grievances are referred to the contract medical supervisor. Any appeals will be referred to the Medical Director. Jail Administration will review all medical related grievances but will not make decisions which are most appropriate for medical professionals.
During your incarceration you have access to the U.S. Postal Service and may correspond with persons and organizations subject only to the limitations necessary to maintain order and security however, all incoming and outgoing mail is checked by staff for content, cash, money orders, and any unauthorized items considered to be contraband before being delivered to the appropriate person.
Prohibited items received through the mail are returned to the sender at the sender’s expense or discarded. Any items that violated federal, state, local statutes, or pose any threat to the safety, security or orderly running of the facility are prohibited and subject to criminal prosecution.
Inmates may also receive approved email that comes through the Tuscaloosa County Jail website. Additional correspondence is available using tablets that are issued to the inmate.
You have the right to correspond with counsel and courts without having correspondence read, but keep in mind that all mail is checked for contraband. Any Correspondence from inmates of the Tuscaloosa County Jail with inmates of other facilities must be approved by the Chief Jail Administrator.
Outgoing mail must have your full name that was used during booking, and the return address of:
Your Name, Cell
1600 26th Avenue
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401
All out-going mail is stamped “Inmate Tuscaloosa County Jail.” Incoming mail must have your full name that was used during the time of booking, and your housing location.
INMATE PRIVLIDGES AND SERVICES
(A PRIVLIDGE IS NOT A RIGHT)
Televisions are provided in each housing unit. Televisions may be removed or turned off for disciplinary reasons. If you damage or destroy a television, you will be held responsible for the cost of it and the replacement and will be subject to disciplinary action and or prosecution.
Securus is the Tuscaloosa County Jail’s inmate telephone communication provider. They are contracted through the Tuscaloosa County Commission.
During your stay, you have access to telephones which are located in each housing unit and are made available daily excluding mealtimes and lockdown status. To place a telephone call from this facility you will be required to use a special PIN number given to you during the booking process. This number is the same as your commissary number. All calls are outgoing and collect calls. There will be a toll charge billed to the party accepting the call. All calls are subject to monitoring and recording.
You should be respectful of others by keeping calls to fifteen minutes and staying an arm’s length away from anyone using the telephone. Staff members will not transfer calls and will not take messages. If you damage the telephones in any manner, you will be subject to disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution. Your inmate account will also be charged for the replacement or repair cost of the damage you cause.
Three-way calls and inmate to inmate calls are strictly prohibited and may lead to disciplinary action such as having your telephone privileges suspended and or telephone numbers blocked.
Securus is the Tuscaloosa County Jail’s inmate video communication provider. They are contracted through the Tuscaloosa County Commission.
All visits are conducted remotely and are subject to monitoring and/or recording.
Onsite Video Session vs. At-Home Video Session
- An onsite video session is like standard through-the-glass visitation except that the visitor will travel to the jail and visit with you using a touchscreen terminal located at the jail’s visitation center.
- An At-Home video session enables visitors to visit with you from home or anywhere else with an Android or Apple smartphone or a computer with webcam, and internet access.
During your incarceration you are given the opportunity to receive one onsite video visit per week, lasting a total of 20 minutes each. with a maximum of two adults (age 16 and older with a valid state I.D. with photo). Visiting days and hours will be set by the Chief Jail Administrator and are subject to be changed.
NO CAMERAS, PHONES, OR VIDEO EQUIPMENT IS ALLOWED IN THE JAIL LOBBY OR VISITATION AREA. Violation of these rules will result in loss of visitation privileges.
All visits (EXCEPT those with an attorney) are subject to monitoring and recording.
All visitors are required to make appointments by calling (205) 349-4511 Monday thru Friday between the hours of 8am to 4pm 24 hours prior to the visiting day. All visitors are required to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled visit and provide a current state identification card with their photo.
Persons under the age of sixteen are not allowed an on-site visit and all persons under the age of eighteen must be accompanied by an adult while in the jail visitation center. Any persons on furlough or pass from any correctional institution are not allowed to visit. Also, visitors cannot have a misdemeanor arrest within 6 months of the visit or a felony arrest within one year of the visit. All visitors must also be properly dressed (no short skirts, short pants, sleeveless shirts or low cut tops.)
Denial or Termination of a Visit
A visit may be denied or terminated and visiting privileges suspended under the following circumstances:
- Visitors under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
- Insufficient space available.
- Refusal by a visitor to submit to search procedures.
- Refusal or failure to produce sufficient identification or documentation for the purposes of registration OR falsification of identifying information by a visitor.
- Violation of jail rules by a visitor or inmate.
- Failure to prevent children from disturbing other persons in the visiting area.
- Inappropriate display of affection, suggestive activity, or inappropriate dress.
- Failure to arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled visit.
- Other conduct or conditions deemed by the Visitation Officer or Shift Supervisor to be disruptive to visiting operations or to the security of the jail.
At-Home Video Session
Securus Video Connect allows inmates to securely connect with friends and family members from their home, office, or anywhere while they are using the Securus Android or iOS app or a PC with internet access, and webcam.
Securus eMessaging allows family and friends to communicate with an incarcerated loved one using email like messaging.
How it works:
- Visitor must have a Securus Online account and login to use eMessaging
- Messages are sent and received from the eMessaging inbox from the Securus website or on the Securus mobile app
- eMessages are paid for by purchasing a book of ‘stamps’. Stamp pricing varies by facility.
All messages and photos are subject to review by the facility. If a message is rejected, you will receive a reject message in you inbox with the reason for the rejection. Stamps are not refunded if messages are rejected.
Website Email Messages
For remote visitors to access this free messaging service, go to www.tcsoal.org and navigate to “WHO'S IN JAIL.” The remote visitor can search for an inmate by name. Once that inmate is chosen, the visitor is given the option to “EMAIL INMATE.” Messages can be sent with one photo. All messages and photos are subject to review by the facility. This service is free.
Commissary Services are made available to you once a week. Commissary order forms are passed out weekly. There is a one-hundred-dollar limit on purchases. You are not allowed to make exchanges on store items after your transaction has been processed. To ensure that you receive all items ordered, do not exceed the amount of money you have in your account and check your order once you receive it for its accuracy. Any adjustments needed will be made by the commissary officer. If you are housed in any form of special housing your order will be evaluated before being processed. All items must be kept in an orderly fashion, keep this in mind when ordering. Any inmate who is found to be ordering and or receiving commissary in another inmate’s name will have their commissary privileges suspended and may face criminal prosecution.
The Tuscaloosa County Jail offers a KIOSK located in the Front Lobby of the Facility for Family and Friends to deposit funds on your commissary account. This KIOSK can take cash. For each cash transaction there is a service fee charge. All monies taken in by this method are immediately placed on your commissary account for your use.If you want to make a purchase from the commissary the money will need to be posted to your account, no later than Wednesday of that week by 8:00 am.
A Canteen Service is made available to you. This service consists of a special food tray that can be purchased, using your commissary account, three times a week and served every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Items served vary and are not items served during the course of regular facility meals with the exception of a dessert. Canteen can be ordered on tablets and cost $9.00 per meal. A maximum of two orders are allowed per canteen per inmate. All canteen orders are due by 8am the morning of delivery.
***Canteen Meals may contain non-kosher and/or non-vegan items and may not be ordered by those on a Kosher, Vegan, or similar restricted diet.
INMATE SERVICES AND PROGRAMS
Food Service and Meals
Summit Food Service is the Tuscaloosa County Jail’s inmate food service provider. They are approved through the Tuscaloosa County Commission.
You will be served at three meals a day with at least two of those being hot. All meals are served at regular times during 24-hour periods. You will be required, during this time, to be properly dressed in the required uniform for that day and to line up against the wall and receive your tray in an orderly fashion. Any inmate caught taking more than one tray will be subject to disciplinary action. After completion of each meal, you will be required to return your food tray. Any person who damages food service items will be subject to disciplinary action and any fees acquired for replacement of the damaged items.
Special dietary meals will be provided for medical reasons as prescribed by the medical staff.
You should have your laundry ready at the times designated for your area. The laundry schedule is subject to be changed at any time.
The Tuscaloosa County Jail, its staff, and contractors Southern Health Partners will not discuss an inmate’s healthcare with any family or friends due to HIPPA laws. Southern Health Partners is the approved health care provider for the Tuscaloosa County Jail and is approved by the Tuscaloosa County Commission.
Medical care is available twenty–four hours a day for emergencies and on a regular scheduled basis for non-emergencies.
Sick call is conducted Monday thru Saturday. You must submit a request for medical evaluation to be seen during sick call. If you fail to turn in a request or miss sick call for any reason you must wait until the next scheduled sick call. Medical Requests forms are available on the tablet and can be distributed upon request by jail staff. Sick call is conducted by a licensed nurse. To see the doctor, a nurse must refer you. If you become ill, you should notify the on-duty rover for your post to receive prompt medical care.
The Tuscaloosa County Jail provides certain medical services at no charge. The medical services provided are listed below:
- Admitting physical screening
- Admitting dental screening
- Mental health screening
- Medical emergencies (if determined by medical staff)
Other medical services requiring payment unless you are deemed indigent are:
- Dentist visits
- Sick call
- Doctor visits
- Prescription medication
- Over the counter medication (Tylenol, Laxatives, etc.)
Co-pay Policy for medical, dental, and mental health services at the Tuscaloosa County Jail are as follows:
- Co-pays for medical services from the nurse, doctor, dentist, mental health services, lab work/X-rays, and medications will be charged to the inmate’s account.
- All inmates will receive the same level of medical, dental, and mental health care regardless of their ability to pay.
- If the inmate has insufficient funds to cover the co-pay, the inmate’s account will be debited as money is placed into their account. If an inmate leaves the jail with a negative balance and returns at some later date, the negative balance may carry over and the inmate’s account will be debited as he/she receives money on his/her account.
- When an inmate is seen for medical, dental, or a mental health service, the inmate will be assessed/charged a co-payment fee (fee schedule outlined below.) A prescription fee will be charged for each medication prescribed (including over-the-counter medications.)
- Once the inmate is seen, the medical staff will submit the charges for services provided, to be debited from the inmate’s account.
Medical services not subject to co-pay include but are not limited to: medical clearance for work detail, routine blood pressure monitoring, TB skin test, or blood sugar monitoring.
Costs for medical services are:
- $25 for each visit
- $20 for each prescription if continuous on a monthly basis, then it is $20 for all prescriptions together.
Any request for non-prescribed medication must also be submitted on a medical request form (NO EXCEPTIONS). There is a fee for non-prescribed medications. Prices may differ on other items. Be sure to consult medical staff.
Any inmate that is sent to the hospital under false pretenses will be subject to financial re-imbursement to the Tuscaloosa County Jail.
Medical staff deliver needed medications daily. If you are receiving medications you must respond to medical staff immediately with water, to be able to take your medication, after having your name called. You must receive your own medications from the nurse. If you send another inmate to receive your medication or do not respond to your name call, you forfeit your medication for that day. If any inmate is caught taking another person’s medication is subject to disciplinary action and criminal prosecution.
Any female inmate, if required, has access to pregnancy management services which include the following: pregnancy testing, routine and high-risk prenatal care, management of chemical addiction, comprehensive counseling and assistance, appropriate nutrition, postpartum follow-ups.
Mental Health Care
Inmates who want to request Mental Health Services should complete the “Medical Request” form on the dorm kiosk or tablet. If the request is an emergency, the inmate must make an officer aware of the request. If an inmate does not have access to a kiosk, he or she must ask an officer or medical staff for a paper form.
Inmates have the opportunity to participate in practices of their religious faith subject to the limitations necessary to maintain order and security. Each inmate is allowed to have one (1) new, unopened religious text, Holy Bible, Torah, Quran etc. Religious texts are also available on inmate tablets. Clergy visits are scheduled on a regular basis and as time permits. Inmates who desire to see a particular community minister may contact that minister and request that he or she make arrangements with the jail. All special visits must be cleared through the Chief Jail Administrator.
The Tuscaloosa County Jail recognizes that, according to the United States Supreme Court, marriage is a fundamental right that is not extinguished as a result of incarceration. Although affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, the right to marry, like many other rights, is subject to restrictions during incarceration. An inmate will not be permitted to wed another inmate.
If an inmate desires to wed a non-incarcerated individual, the following procedures will be followed:
− Using the kiosk located in the housing units, an inmate who wishes to wed must first submit an Inmate Request expressing their desire to wed along with the name of their non-incarcerated intended spouse.
− Simultaneous with the request from the inmate, the non-incarcerated intended spouse will complete a background authorization form. The approval process will not begin until the background authorization form is completed and submitted to jail administration.
− A jail supervisor will be appointed to conduct the approval process and at the conclusion of the process and will provide a written response to the inmate advising if the request to wed has been approved or denied.
− If the appointed supervisor denies the request, the specific reason(s) will be communicated to support the decision. The inmate will then have the right to appeal the decision utilizing the inmate grievance system.
− If the marriage request is approved, the appointed supervisors will respond to the inmate’s request in writing.
*Federal inmates will not be permitted to wed without the express authorization of the appropriate Federal agency. The U.S. Marshals may be contacted to gain the authorization.
Under Alabama Act 2019-340, persons wanting to marry will no longer file an application for a marriage license with the county probate court, and the courts will no longer issue marriage licenses. Probate judges will instead accept notarized forms completed by couples as official records of marriage. There is no longer a state requirement to solemnize a marriage. Once a request to marry is approved by the Assistant Jail Commander the non-incarcerated party can then present a completed marriage certificate form to Jail Administration. The form will then be presented to the inmate for a signature and
notarized by an Alabama Notary. Inmates are never permitted to have conjugal visits while incarcerated in the Tuscaloosa County Jail.
The service of a notary public is available free of charge to inmates upon request. Only items relating to your legal case will be approved for notarization. Requests for this service must be submitted on an inmate request form that can be obtained by the on-duty post rover.
The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Transport Unit will transport you to the Tuscaloosa County District or Circuit Court system, or Federal court in which you are required to attend. Municipal inmates will be transported to that court by the appropriate agency. However, there are various court dates where your presence will not be required. If the Judge, District Attorney, or your attorney tells us not to bring you to court, you will not be transported to court. Therefore, you may have some court dates come and go without an appearance by you.
While in Court, you are expected to remain quiet unless spoken to by court personnel. Talking among other inmates is not permitted. You will also not be allowed to visit with family or friends while in court. If you bring anything back from court, other than legal papers from the court or your attorney, it will be considered contraband.
Each inmate is responsible for his or her own appropriate court attire. The jail issued uniform is the only acceptable clothing for court. Uniforms will be worn the correct way. Civilian attire may be worn for jury trials only. Trial clothes will be accepted only when an inmate’s case has been called for trial by the judge and it is set to begin. The inmate’s attorney or family member may bring civilian clothing to this jail for the inmate to wear during his/her jury trial. All court clothes must be picked up within fifteen (15) days after the jury verdict has been announced or a plea has been entered. All court clothes not picked up in fifteen days will be donated to a recognized charity. Court clothes will consist of the following:
- One dress or pants suit (women)
- One suit or one pair of trousers and one shirt (men)
- One tie
- One pair of shoes
Inmate Worker Program
Inmates who are interested in becoming an Inmate Worker can obtain an application from any on-duty post rover. Inmates selected are those that are considered to be low security risks and show a promise of good behavior and consistent work habits. All inmates are eligible for inmate worker status consideration except those in the following categories:
- Maximum-security inmates
- Inmates with major medical problems
- Inmates with serious mental problems
- Suicidal inmates
- Violent inmates
- Escape risk inmates
- Federal and immigration inmates
- Inmates with “no bond” and inmates with bonds over $50,000 (inmates in this category will be evaluated on an individual bases)
- Parole violators
- Inmates charged with crimes of violence
Before becoming an Inmate Worker, the inmate must sign a contract with guidelines that the inmate must agree to. These guidelines are as followed:
- I agree to abide by all rules and regulations of the Tuscaloosa County Jail, as described in my inmate handbook.
- I agree to conduct myself in a responsible manner to maintain a proper work attitude and to report to work on time as scheduled.
- I agree to perform work duties upon the request from all staff members.
- I will not do anything to discredit or disrespect other inmates, Inmate Workers, or staff members.
- I agree to do my part in cleaning the dayroom daily.
- I agree to maintain good health and hygiene habits and follow the health regulations pertaining to cleanliness with kitchen and facility operations.
- I agree to respect my free time and not to disrupt or bother my fellow inmates in regard to their sleeping, study, and free time.
- I understand that Inmate Workers may receive additional privileges I will not abuse those privileges.
- I agree to accept any additional duties assigned to me by any staff member.
- I understand that if I am unable to perform my duties for any reason, for more than three days in a row, I may lose my Inmate Worker status, good time, and or be returned to general population.
- I understand that my work performance and my attitude toward my work is evaluated on an ongoing basis by the facility staff.
- I understand that unwillingness to complete any job assignment, disrespect to other, or insubordination to staff may be reason for my removal from the Inmate Worker program.
- I understand that leaving my work detail without permission will result in an escape charge.
- I understand that there is no outside visitation allowed for Inmate Workers and that all contact with the public is strictly prohibited.
All applicable inmates that fill out the inmate worker form must sign and understand these rules and regulations, inmates must also understand that any violation of these rules will result in loss of goodtime credits and or removal from the inmate worker program. Also, all inmate workers are subject to random drug tests.
Inmate Dress Code
Inmates shall be dressed in jail issued shirt and pants at all times. Shirts are to be always tucked in. At no time will any inmate be allowed to wear skullcaps, rags, or any other items on their head.
Headcount is a routine facility operation which requires inmate/detainees to stand up in proper uniform and identify themselves to Tuscaloosa County Jail Staff. Headcount occurs multiple times per day. Your identification is confirmed by scanning your wristband and comparing your booking photo. Failure to comply with the Head Count/Roll Call procedure may result in disciplinary action.
While exiting cells, on any given day, for any destination other than recreation areas, inmates must be fully clothed in Tuscaloosa County Jail attire. Any clothing altered by inmates, both privately owned and issued, may be confiscated. While being escorted through the facility, inmates will walk handcuffed and single file with their right shoulder to the wall at all times.
During the times of an emergency, inmates are to follow the instructions given by staff. Staff are trained to supervise the evacuation of the jail should the need arise. Failure to follow evacuation procedures and orders as given by staff can result in disciplinary action and or criminal prosecution.
Fire emergency evacuation routes are posted throughout the jail. Emergency doors are clearly labeled throughout the jail. Fire drills are to be treated as if an actual fire exists. Remember, if a fire is started by a careless or irresponsible person your life as well as others may be endangered.
Housing Rules and Regulations
Each dorm, or cell, and the surrounding area must remain neat and clean at all times. Each inmate is responsible for his/her day room/cell and the surrounding area. Nothing is to be posted or glued on walls, mirrors, bars, or windows. No writing or drawing on walls or ceilings is permitted.
- Housing Units:
- Each Inmate shall be responsible for the cleanliness and order of their immediate area. All inmates shall be responsible for the cleanliness of the day room area of the housing unit.
- Floors shall be swept and mopped daily.
- Toilets, sinks and showers will be cleaned daily.
- Trash receptacles will be emptied and cleaned daily.
- Litter will not be permitted to accumulate on the floors or in an inmate’s cell.
- The placing of pictures or other items on the walls is strictly prohibited.
- The placing of items in windows, on windowsills, on grill bars, or hung from lighting, sprinkler heads or ventilation fixtures is strictly prohibited.
- Other Jail Areas:
- Other areas of the jail will be kept clean by inmate workers.
DAY ROOM AND CELL AREA:
It will be the responsibility of inmates using the day room and lavatory areas to keep these facilities neat and clean at all times. The following rules will be adhered to by all inmates in the general population housing areas:
- No beating on the dorm glass or cell doors.
- No clotheslines or hanging of laundry.
- No standing on the day room furniture.
- No writing on the day room glass, windows or doors.
- Inmates must be fully dressed (jail uniform) and clothing must be worn appropriately while
in the day room.
- Cell doors, lights, cell windows, and/or air vents will be free of clutter.
- Nothing is allowed to be draped from bunks or handrails.
- Mattresses will be positioned horizontally on the bed, and no more than one (1) mattress will be used by any inmate at any one time, unless otherwise prescribed by the medical staff.
- No wearing of any type of headgear in the dayroom (head rags, etc.).
- No wearing of any altered clothing items (false sleeves, homemade belts, etc.).
- Inmates may only possess one facility issued toothbrush or utensil either on their person or in their cell.
- When an officer(s) enters the dorm or room of inmates the inmates shall be required to sit down until such time officer(s) leave.
- When being escorted throughout the facility inmates shall stop and turn to their right when an officer(s) approaches either from ahead or behind until the officer(s) passes.
You will not be permitted to relocate from one housing area to another, unless ordered by the Jail Staff. You are expected to relocate when so ordered. Failure to comply can result in disciplinary action. The shift supervisor may place an inmate into administrative confinement if the inmate’s behavior causes serious safety or security problems. This is not a disciplinary measure.
No arm wrestling or general “horseplay” (pushing, kicking, hitting, wrestling or similar activity) will be tolerated throughout the jail. You are not allowed to enter another inmate’s cell, nor are other inmates permitted in your cell. Jail equipment, i.e. stools, tables, etc. will not be used for workout equipment. Summary punishment may be utilized by a shift supervisor on a specific cell or dormitory to maintain security of the facility.
Smoking, the use of, or the possession of any type of tobacco product or other smoking paraphernalia is prohibited at the Tuscaloosa County Jail. Burning of wicks or other items in strictly prohibited.
Contraband is generally defined as any item that was not issued to you or determined allowable for inmate use. Contraband is never to be in the possession of, or in the area of an inmate. Being in the area of, having the control over, or being in the proximity of contraband is a punishable offense.
Inmates in dorms and cell blocks are allowed to shower at any time. Inmates in holding cells, lock down, and suicide watch will be showered on night shift. It is recommended that inmates shower daily, but at least one shower per week is required.
The jail provides a recreation area available for daily exercise, as the weather permits. Inmates are not required to participate in any exercise, recreation or leisure time activity. Any inmates that do not participate in outside recreation will be confined to his or her cell until the other inmates have returned. This is to ensure the safety and security of the other inmate’s personal property, and not to be confused as a disciplinary measure. Inmates are also encouraged to utilize the indoor dayrooms for walking and or aerobic exercise at all times and especially in the event of unfavorable weather conditions.
INMATE DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES
Disciplinary procedures are designed to maintain security, ensure the safety of inmates, staff, the public, and promote order within the facility. Violation of rules and regulations outlined in this appendix will be processed in accordance with the following procedures.
Any detention officer or deputy of the Tuscaloosa County Jail may charge an inmate with a rule violation. From any charge of rule violation, the inmate may go before an inmate disciplinary committee, be criminally charged, and or both.
An inmate disciplinary committee will be established to provide a fair and impartial hearing and consistent formal means of determining inmate guilt or innocence in the event of an alleged infraction of facility rules and regulations. Guidelines will be established to ensure the disposition of disciplinary sanctions are consistent with various degrees of violation.
- When an inmate is alleged to have committed a violation of the law, the case will be referred to the criminal investigations division for follow-up.
- When an alleged rule violation is reported, an appropriate investigation will begin within 24 hours of the time the violation is reported and be completed without unreasonable delay, unless there are exceptional circumstances for a delay.
- Inmates charged with a rule violation shall receive a written statement of the charges including a description of the incident and the specific rules violated, no less than 24 hours prior to the disciplinary hearing. The hearing may be held within 24 hours with the inmates written consent.
- Inmates charged with rule violations shall be present at the hearing unless they waive that right in writing or through behavior. Inmates may be excluded during the testimony of any inmate whose testimony must be given to confidence. The reasons for the inmate’s absence or exclusion will be documented.
- Inmates charged with rule violations shall have a disciplinary hearing as soon as it is practicable but no later than five (5) days, excluding weekends and holidays, after the alleged violation. Inmates shall also be notified of the hearing at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing.
- Postponement or continuance of a disciplinary hearing may occur for a reasonable period and for good cause.
- All disciplinary hearings shall be conducted by an impartial person or panel of persons and a permanent record of the procedure being made and maintained in the inmate’s file.
- The inmate will be given the opportunity to make a statement and present documentary evidence, and to have in attendance at a disciplinary hearing any person who has relevant and not unduly cumulative information, except when doing so may jeopardize the life or safety of any person or the security or order of the facility. Such reasons for denial will be documented.
- A staff member may assist inmates at disciplinary hearings if requested. A staff representative shall be appointed to assist an inmate when it is apparent that the inmate is incapable of collecting and presenting evidence effectively on his or her own behalf.
- The inmate disciplinary committee’s decision shall be based on information obtained during the hearing process, including staff reports, the statement of the inmate charged, and evidence derived from witnesses and relevant documents.
- A written record will be made of the disciplinary hearing decision and a copy given to the inmate. Hearing records and supporting documents will be kept in the inmates’ file and in disciplinary committee’s records.
- A review of all disciplinary hearings and dispositions may be conducted by the Chief Jail Administrator or designee to ensure conformity.
- Inmates will have the right to appeal decisions of the Chief Jail Administrator who shall either affirm or reverse the decision within five working days of the appeal. Inmates have the right to appeal the ruling of the committee within 15 days of the verdict.
- Any guilty verdict of major rule violations shall be sent to other county, state, and or federal institutions along with the inmate.
TYPE OF SANCTIONS
CATEGORY ONE OFFENSE – INMATES ARE SUBJECT TO A VERBAL OR WRITTEN REPRIMAND AND OR SEVEN DAYS LOSS OF PRIVILEGES.
CATEGORY TWO OFFENSES – INMATES ARE SUBJECT TO A VERBAL OR WRITTEN REPRIMAND AND OR 8 TO 14 DAYS LOSS OF PRVILEGES.
CATEGORY THREE OFFENSES – INMATES ARE SUBJECT TO 15 TO 21 DAYS LOSS OF PRIVILEGES AND WILL BE SUBJECT TO DICIPLINARY CONFINEMENT.
CATEGORY FOUR OFFENSES – INMATES ARE SUBJECT TO 22 TO 30 DAYS LOSS OF PRIVILEGES AND WILL BE PLACED IN DICIPLINARY CONFINEMENT. INMATES MAY ALSO BE SUBJECT TO POSSIBLE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.
RULE VIOLATIONS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO THOSE LISTED BELOW
CAtEGORY ONE OFFENSE
- Wearing a disguise or mask.
- Failure to follow safety or sanitation regulations.
- Gambling, preparing or conducting a gambling pool, possession of gambling paraphernalia.
- Being unsanitary or untidy; failing to keep one’s person and one’s quarters in accordance with set standards.
CATEGORY TWO OFFENSES
- Indecent exposure
- Mutilating or altering issued clothing
- Unexcused absence from any work assignment (inmate workers)
- Malingering or feigning an illness
- Failure to perform work as instructed by any officer or supervisor/deputy
- Being in an unauthorized area
- Using abusive or obscene language
- Unauthorized use of mail or telephone
- Unauthorized contacts with the public
- Correspondence or conduct with a visitor in violation of set regulations
- Refusing to work
- Creating a disturbance
CATEGORY THREE OFFENSES
- Destroying altering or damaging government property or the property of another
- Stealing (theft)
- Misuse of authorized medications
- Loaning of property or anything of value for profit or increased return
- Possession of anything not authorized for retention or receipt by the inmate and not issued to him or her through regular institutional channels
- Encouraging others to refuse to work or participating in a work stoppage
- Refusing to obey an order of any staff member
- Insolence toward a staff member
- Lying or providing a false statement to a staff member
- Counterfeiting, forging or unauthorized reproduction of any documents, articles, identification, money, security, or official paper
- Participating in an unauthorized meeting or gathering
- Failure to stand count
- Interfering with the taking of count
- Making intoxicants or being intoxicated
- Tattooing or self-mutilation
- Refusing to provide a urine or breath sample
- Removal of Inmate Wrist Band
CATEGORY FOUR OFFENSES
- Assaulting any person
- Fighting with another person
- Threatening another with bodily harm, or any offense against his or her person or property
- Acting in a way that disrupts or interferes with security or orderly running of the jail
- Extortion, blackmail protection, demanding or receiving money or anything of value in return for protection against others to avoid bodily harm or under threat of informing
- Violating a condition of furlough, pass, or any other conditional or temporary release
- Engaging in sexual acts with others and or anything considered as sexual misconduct
- Making sexual proposals or threats to another
- Leaving the jail without authorization
- Escape, attempted, planning or conspiracy
- Setting fire
- Tampering with or blocking any alarm, safety, electrical or locking device
- Adulteration of any food or drink
- Possession or introduction of an explosive or any ammunition
- Possession of contraband
- Smoking anywhere within the facility, which is prohibited.
- Rioting or encouraging others to riot
- Engaging in or encouraging a group demonstration
- Giving or offering any official or staff member a bribe, or anything of value
- Giving money or anything of value to, or accepting money or anything of value from an inmate, a member of his or her family or his or her friends
INMATE SEXUAL ASSAULT
This facility has a zero policy regarding sexual abuse and or sexual assault. Any sexual conduct between staff, inmates, volunteers, contract personnel, etc. regardless of consensual status is prohibited and subject to criminal and disciplinary action.
PREA COMPLIANCE (Prison Rape Elimination Act):
It is the policy of the Tuscaloosa County Jail to prevent, detect and respond to any allegation of inmate sexual abuse. Report any act of inmate sexual abuse IMMEDIATELY to a jail deputy as this is the preferred method. Other ways to report inmate sexual abuse are:
- Use any inmate phone and immediately report any inmate sexual abuse by following the instructions below to make a PREA Call.
- Submit an Inmate Request or Medical Request form on the dorm tablet or kiosk immediately.
Any inmate who alleges any abuse or harassment may submit a grievance without submitting it to a staff member who is the subject of the complaint, and such grievance will not be referred to a staff member who is the subject of the complaint. Grievances of an emergency nature will be dealt with on a more expedient time frame according to the nature of the situation and the shift supervisor will be notified. These grievances can be initiated and turned in by any inmate, at any time, for any type of mistreatment or abuse by jail personnel or other inmates without fear of retribution.
- Report inmate sexual abuse or harassment to medical staff, volunteer jail minister, or any contracted employee of the Tuscaloosa County Jail.
Sexual Harassment is:
- Repeated and unwanted sexual advancements
- Requests for sexual Favors
- Verbal comments, gestures, or actions that are sexual or insulting
- Degrading or disrespectful remarks about someone’s body parts or size
Sexual Abuse is:
- Any sexual activity that is not wanted or agreed to
Ways to stay safe:
- Avoid Gambling Drugs and Alcohol
- Contraband Items and Illegal Activities
- Do not lend or borrow items from others
You should take such steps that are necessary in the prevention of sexual abuse, assault, or conduct. If you are sexually abused or assaulted, it is very important that you report it as quickly as possible for the collection and preservation of evidence. Do not be afraid to report sexual abuse or assault. There are several ways of making a report. You may make the report to line staff, supervisory staff, Inmate Welfare Officer, Medical Staff or if you do not wish to make the report via these avenues you may have a family member make the report for you. You may also report by using the grievance form on your tablet.
If you are sexually abused, or assaulted counseling services are provided for you.
There are several methods in which you can be released from the Tuscaloosa County Jail. They are as follows:
- Post Bond or Bail
- EOS (End of Sentence)
- Release by Judge or Magistrate / Court Order
- Qualify for Pre-Trial Release Program
If you are able to post bond, then you must do it through one of the approved bondsmen approved through Circuit Court. These bondsmen are posted both in booking and in the lobby of the facility.
The different types of bonds accepted by the Tuscaloosa County Jail are as follows:
- Cash Bonds: A cash bond in the amount of the bond can be posted with the courts. During weekday business hours, these bonds are acquired at the District Court or Circuit Court Clerk’s Offices, or Municipal Court Clerk’s Office in cases involving municipal violations. After business hours, on holidays and on weekends, these bonds may be acquired at the Jail Facility or Municipal Police Department Headquarters. Cash Bonds must be posted with the Court of Jurisdiction.
- Bonding Company Bonds: Professional bonding companies are available to post bonds for inmates in Tuscaloosa County. Only those companies approved by the Circuit Clerk can post such bonds. Listings of the approved companies are as follows:
- AAA Star Bail Bonds:
- A-Advance Bail Bonds:
- ABS Best Bail Bonding:
- Alabama Bail Bonds:
- Alabama Best Bail Bonds:
- A.S.A.P. Bail Bond Agency:
- Bail Bonds Express Agency:
- B.A.M.N. Bail Bonding Agency:
- Break Every Chain Bail Bonding Inc.:
- Five Star Bail Bonds:
- Green Bail Bonding:
- One Call Away Bail Bonds:
- Property Bonds: An inmate can have a friend or family member post a bond, using their real property as surety. Should the property being posted be outside Tuscaloosa County, the friend or family member will have to obtain an out of county bond from the Sheriff of the county in which the property is located.
- Conditional Release Bonds: Under certain circumstances, an inmate can post a bond by having a friend or family member sign a Conditional Release Bond. The inmate must meet certain requirements set forth by the Conditional Release Program. An inmate may request consultation with a conditional release representative as the conditions of his/her bond change. An inmate request form should be given to the inmate for this process and returned to the inmate welfare officer. All inmates charged with a sex crime or any crime involving domestic violence will be ineligible for this program.
Once released from the Tuscaloosa County Jail you may pick up the remaining amount of money on your books on Monday thru Friday between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm. You will need a copy of the receipt given to you at booking and a valid state I.D. or Driver’s License.
Public transportation services are available based on set schedules. Fixed bus routes run Monday through Friday from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. *Note* the 4:00 p.m. run is the last route that you can catch to transfer from one bus to another at the main terminal.
The closest bus route East of the Jail (Greensboro Blvd. Route) stops at 15th Street and Greensboro Avenue at the Wells Fargo Bank, and at Greensboro Avenue at Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store.
The closest bus route West of the Jail (McKenzie Court Route) stops at TY Rogers and 20th Street, and at Elizabeth Baptist Church.
Fixed Route Bus Fares (www.tuscaloosatransit.com)
Children 3 and under Free
University Shuttle is free with valid UA ID
Students K-12 $.50
School days only 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Elderly and handicapped $.50
Age 60 & over with card.
Medicare Card accepted for half fare
ASSISTANCE, SHELTERS, AND COUNSELING SERVICES
If needed, the following services are available upon release:
Love INC (Love In the Name of Christ)
American Red Cross
1622 Lurleen B. Wallace Blvd
Northport, Alabama 35476
2902 Greensboro Avenue
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401
Counseling and Shelter
Phoenix House Drug Treatment Facility
Community Drug Treatment Services
Indian Rivers Mental Health Center
2209 9th Street
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401