FAQS

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Once an inmate goes to Court or First Appearance, how long does it take before they are released?
A: Usually the court paperwork arrives at the Jail Facility between 3:30-5:00 pm depending on the size of the court docket for the day.

Q: What if a person who is released does not have a ride from the Jail Facility to home?
A: The Jail Facility will allow the person to call a taxi or provide them with transportation to the Bay County Sheriff's Office.

Q: What if the released person does not have anything to wear home?

A: The Jail Facility will provide clothing for release

Q: Will the inmate have his/her money returned to them at release?

A: If the release occurs Monday through Friday 8a-5p, every effort is made to have a debit card ready at release. For inmates released after-hours, a debit card will be available the next business day (Monday through Friday) at the front lobby of the Bay County Jail Facility. If an inmate is sent to another county jail, a check will be given at the time of transport.

Q: How is the amount of the bond determined?
A: Establishing the amount of a bond is a function of the court. However, a bond schedule for certain offenses has been pre-established by the court. Any bond may be subject to change by the presiding judge.  Please use the following schedule as a guide only.
 
(CASH BOND – GUIDE ONLY)

 ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER #2021-01-03, ATTACHMENT ONE, MISDEMEANOR PRESET BOND SCHEDULE - $250.00

DWLSR (1st and 2nd Offense), Expired Tag, Registration/Insurance

Hunting/Game Offenses, Passing Worthless Checks

No Valid Driver’s License, No Motorcycle Endorsement

Permit Unauthorized Driver, Racing on Highway (1st and 2nd Offense)

Reckless Driving, Misrepresent Age to Obtain School Access

Possession of Marijuana Less Than 20 Grams

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Animals on the Beach, Diving from Pier, Surfing near Pier

Camping on Beach, Evasion of Park Fees

Fishing/Seafood Offenses, Open House Party

Consumption on Right of Way, Noise Ordinance

Disorderly Intoxication, Disorderly Conduct

Deliver, Give, Sell Alcohol to minor, or Loitering and Prowling

Littering greater than 15 lbs., Unlawful Possession of Alcohol by Minor

Reckless Operation of a Vessel, Petit Theft

Retail Theft, Resisting Officer Without Violence                                

Trespassing, Criminal Traffic Offenses (Excluding DUI/Refusal)


Q: What is the Bond for Battery, Domestic Violence?
A: All Domestic Violence Battery cases must attend First Appearance.

Q: What if the charge is a Felony?
A: All Felony cases must attend 1st Appearance.

Q: When is First Appearance normally scheduled?
A: First Appearance is generally at 2:00 pm Monday through Friday and is varied on weekends and holidays.

Q: May family and/or friends attend First Appearance?
A: Yes, First Appearance may be observed and even testimony received through video from the Bay County Court House.

Q: Is there a delay from the time money is deposited for an inmate until the inmate can order and receive items from the Jail Facility commissary?
A: Monies are posted to accounts within 24 hours.  Inmates have access to a kiosk to order commissary at any time. Once an inmate is placed in permanent housing, depending upon their dorm assignment, it may be up to 72 hours before they can receive their commissary items. Orders will be delivered on assigned commissary delivery days.

Q: What types of items can an inmate purchase from the commissary?
A: Inmates can purchase any one of the following items. The items include the numbers and categories listed below:

23 Health items

  2   Postal items

18 Beverage items

11 General Merchandise items

20 Food items

10 Cookies & Pastry items 

15 Chips & Snack items

14 Candy items 

43 Clothing items

Q: How will an inmate know if money is in their account?
A: The inmate can look on a kiosk at any time to see his/her balance.

Q: What are the general procedures after a person is arrested?
A: Persons arrested in Bay County, or persons arrested in other locations and transported to Bay County to answer charges are taken to the Bay County Jail Facility at 5700 Star Avenue for booking. The booking process includes search of person, documentation and storage of personal property, fingerprinting, photographing, medical screening, a shower, issuance of jail clothing and sanitary supplies, telephone calls, classification assessment and a temporary housing assignment. Personal property, valuables and money are collected and inventoried. Property goes into the property room (with the exception of firearms, weapons and flammables) and are securely stored. The arrest is permanently recorded, and national and state crime information centers are checked for outstanding warrants in other jurisdictions. If the charges are serious and bail cannot be determined from a pre-set bond schedule, then the person is scheduled for a First Appearance Hearing that will occur within 24 hours of booking.

Q: Is an inmate required to pay medical fees?
A: Yes, all inmates will be assessed minimum medical and dental fees to offset a portion of the cost for these services.

Q: What if the inmate cannot afford to pay fees, will he/she be denied treatment?
A: No. However, the inmate's account will be charged for the services. If he/she later received money into their account, the fee will be subtracted from their balance.

Q: Is smoking allowed in the Jail Facility?
A: No. Smoking is prohibited in the Jail Facility. All tobacco products, matches and cigarette lighters are considered contraband and are confiscated and destroyed. Inmates found in possession of smoking materials are subject to disciplinary action. Introduction of contraband articles into a county jail facility is a third-degree felony.

Q: Can I bring prescription medications to the jail for an inmate?
A: Any medications that come into the facility must have the approval of the Health Services Administrator of the Facility. The medical department must have prior knowledge of the need for the medication and inspect it when it arrives. Medication that is not readily identifiable and in the original prescription container will not be accepted. Approvals remain on a case-by-case basis determined by medical staff.

Q: Can I bring soap, shampoo, underwear, and shoes for an inmate?
A: No. For security reasons, any item coming into the facility must be checked by a staff member. If an item is opened, it is suspect; if an item is sealed, it is also suspect. By ordering items directly from the commissary, staff can be reasonably assured that they have not been altered or used to conceal a contraband item.

Q: I understand that there are self-improvement programs available for inmates while at the Bay County Jail Facility. How can someone get enrolled into one or more of the programs?
A: The following is a summary of the programs that are currently available.

Lifeline Program

The Lifeline Program concentrates in those areas that personally affect the individual inmate. On a physical level, the Lifeline Program addresses addictions, substance abuses, and physical limitations. On a personal level, the Lifeline Program addresses such topics as coping skills, conflict resolution, family relationships and the recognition of self-worth.

Today most inmates enrolled in the Lifeline Program are mandated by the Court as part of their sentencing requirements prior to release. Therefore, the program can only accept volunteers on a limited basis. However, options are being explored to expand this resource.

Life-skills Pre-Release Program

The Life skills Pre-Release Program concentrates in the more physical areas that affect an inmate's ability to successfully re-enter the job market. Areas of focus include general job skills, vocational training in the construction trades and specific strategies for re-entering the job market. This is a new program and is a requirement for sentenced inmates who are within 75 days of release.

NOTE: VISITS ARE SCHEDULED BY VIDEO ONLY.

Due to budgetary constraints for the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year and safety regulations regarding the pandemic, it is necessary to reduce the days and hours of visitation at the Bay County Jail. Please see below the changes effective October 2021.

Scheduled off-site visits are offered 7 days per week, 9am – 9pm.

The time of each visit will be thirty (30) minutes.

Each inmate will be allowed a minimum of 4 visits per week. 

Each visitor will be allotted a minimum of 4 visits per week.

All other current rules of visitation still apply.

Q: What items can an inmate receive as mail coming into the facility?
A: Routine letters and family pictures are generally accepted. Mail containing any material that is deemed a threat to the facility, staff or other inmates will be rejected. Mail that is of a sexual nature, or encouraging violence, or instructions about how to make any item of contraband will be rejected. All other items including paperback religious materials shipped directly from the manufacturer will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
***Note** All correspondence including photos will be scanned in digitally for inmate access and the original copy shall be discarded.

Q: How do I address mail to an inmate?

A: Mail must be addressed as follows:

Inmate's Name and Housing Assignment as well as the booking number, control, or commissary number.

5700 Star Lane

Panama City, Florida 32405

 Rev 02/28/2022