Shelby County Jail – Harlan, IA

Shelby County Jail is located in Shelby County, Iowa and is the main correctional facility for the region. Looking for someone incarcerated at Shelby County Jail? This page tells you info about anything you might want to know about Shelby County Jail,like: How to locate an inmate at Shelby County Jail. Find mugshots and inmate photos. The jail’s phone number and address. Posting bail. Booking and intake procedures. Shelby County court information. And much, much more.

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The prospect of getting arrested and going to jail is a scary and stressfull situation, not only for the person who gets arrested, but also their family, friends, and loved ones. This guide is designed to give you all the information and tips that you need to make the process less stressfull. If you have questions, feel free to ask it, and also any feedback or comments that could be a benefit to others will be much appreciated.

General Information

Address

Shelby County Jail
1104 9Th Street
Harlan, IA 51537

Phone Number and Fax Number

Phone Number: 712.755.2501
Fax:

Map and Directions


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Inmate Search – Find Out Who’s In Jail

Do you have a friend or family member that is in jail and need to find them?

Has a friend or family member who’s been arrested and you don’t know how to find out what jail they’re in?

To look up who’s in jail at Shelby County Jail you will need to click on their website and do an inmate lookup.

Inmate Lookup

The Shelby County Jail Inmate List is an online list of people who have been arrested and are in custody, including status, how much their bail is, and visiting schedule. Also, you can get info on anybody arrested and booked or released within the past 24 hour period. Prisoners are shown in alphabetical order by last name. You can locate their arrest information faster if you have their full name, birth date, or inmate ID.

If your friend or loved one might be in another county jail you can check our guide to other Iowa jails: Iowa County Jails Directory


Mugshots

A mugshot, or jail processing picture, is the photo that the jail takes when you are booked into jail. A mugshot is actually one frontal photo and a side photo. Your name and intake number will be in the mugshot, and they’re kept on file at the jail.

View Mugshots

Mugshots of people who have been arrested can be viewed on the website, or you can view them at the Shelby County Jail. When you search for mugshots on the website you will need to input the name, and the arrest date, if you have one.

How To Get Your Mugshot Removed

Are you trying to get your mugshot taken off of the Shelby County Jail site? This can be tricky, since the mugshot is public record. To get your mugshot removed you must file a ‘Petition to Expunge’. What this means is that all of your arrest records will be sealed, and unavailable to the public. Unfortunately, this happens very rarely.

For a more indepth article about getting your mugshot taken down, the various mugshot sites, and the websites that offer to remove your mugshot for you: How To Get Your Mugshot Taken Down


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Bail & Bail Bondsmen – How To Get Out of Jail

Of course, if you are locked up, your only thought is about when you get out. After you’ve gone through the intake process, a bail amount is set either by bail schedule or magistrate. If there is no bail set this may mean that you will either be released, or you must remain in jail until your trial.

If you do bail out of jail you are required to promise to go to your court date, and you must not go out of town.

Typically, a prisoner are given early release in exchange for good behavior if they don’t break the rules and area a good inmate while in jail.

If you do exhibit good behavior and the jail believes you can be trusted, you might be allowed to participate in work release. Either you will have to stay the jail every day when you’re finished with work, or you might be allowed to live in a halfway house instead of jail.

Bail

Your bail is how much money that you have to pay to the courts to be released from jail pending trial. The amount you will have to pay all depends on the crime you’ve been charged with. Someone will have to put up 10% of the amount set in order to get discharged from jail. If you miss your scheduled court date, that person won’t get the bail money back.

Find Out How Much Someone’s Bail Is

To find out someone’s bail amount you need to call the Shelby County Jail. If you have all the pertinent information, including name, address and date of birth, they’ll let you know the bail amount. You can also find out how much their bail is online.

How To Bail Someone Out of Jail

Posting bail to get out of jail is never fun, but in some cases, it’s easy. To start with, you have to find out if their bail is a Cash Only Bond. If so, you won’t be able to get a bail bondsman. Take cash only to the jail – the jail won’t accept checks. Once the cash bond has been paid, the inmate will get released. If they don’t violate the terms of their bail, you will get this money back.

Bail Bondsman

If their bail has been set too high, or you just don’t have the money, you you should try to hire a bail bondsman. Bondsmen generally charge you a fee of 10 to 15 percent of total bail, and sometimes with a minimum fee of $100. The money you pay to the bail bondsman will not be returned to you and has to be paid in cash. If the bail is exceptionally high, the bondsman may use your personal assets as collateral.

To contact a bail bondsman go to: How to find a bail bondsman

Have you ever used a bail bondsman either for yourself, a family member or friend? If so, post a comment below and tell about it, and let us know how it worked out.

Click here to tell your story

Other Ways to Get Out of Jail

  • Get Time Off For Good Behavior
  • Get Out on Work Release
  • Time Served
  • Be Released on a Pre-Trial Release Program
  • Get Released on House Arrest
  • Get Released on Your Own Recognizance


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Jail Policies and Procedures

Intake Procedures / Booking

The intake process includes each of the following steps:

  • They’ll put you in a holding cell. When the jail is busy, you may not be processed immediately.
  • The first thing you will have to to is you have to answer a bunch of questions, like what is your full name, your address, birth date and contact person.
  • They’ll also ask about your medical and mental history.
  • You will be given an inmate ID number.
  • You will get fingerprinted.
  • You will have your mugshot taken.
  • Any property you have will be taken from you and stored until you get released from jail.
  • You will then be allowed to make a telephone call in order to contact family, friends, or bail bondsman.
  • If they expect that you will make bail and be released quickly, you will be allowed to keep wearing street clothes, if not you you will have to wear a jumpsuit.

Have you ever been arrested and gone through the jail intake procedure? If you have, please tell us how it happened. How long did it take to get processed? Were you treated fairly? Do you have any things that could help other people get through jail processing?

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Discharge Procedures

When you post bail, you will get discharged from jail. Getting discharged may take from 10 minutes to hours or even all day long. Or, simply, the faster bail is posted, the quicker you will get discharged. It also depends on whether or not you have a cash bond amount or if the magistrate still needs to decide on how much your bail will be. For a minor charge, you will get booked and get released without having to post bail. When you get to the end of your sentence and have a date of your release, you should expect to be released at any time that day – but usually in the morning.

How To Turn Yourself In

In the event there is a, or if you must start your sentence, you should follow the rules and go down to the jail and turn yourself in. If it is for a warrant, go down to the jail, in the reception area, and tell the intake officer that believe that there could be an outstanding arrest warrant out for you. They will check their system to see if there are any outstanding local, state or federal arrest warrants out for you, and if you do, you will be taken into the sheriff’s custody. If you have a jail sentence to serve, report to the jail on the date and time that the sentence order states. Make sure that you aren’t late. Only bring allowed items when you go, such as a driver’s license or even state issued ID, any prescription medication you might take, along with your doctor’s prescription, and a sentencing order from court.

Visitation Procedures

In order to have visitors, inmates must provide the name and date of birth of each visitor to the jail. This information will go into a log of visitors as an Authorized visit. All visitors will be required to provide acceptable photo identification. Visitors that arrives for visitation late or any visitors that are not approved to visit will be turned away.
Visitation procedures at Shelby County Jail change often, so make sure that you check the official site before you go to visitation.

Visiting Hours

Phone Calls & Phone Usage Policy

Phone calls that inmates are allowed to make from jail are collect calls or through a pre-paid phone account . Jail phone calls are a lot more expensive than phone calls made outside of jail. Phone calls are restricted on when you can make phone calls, how long you can talk, and how often you can make calls, but inmates must keep in mind that every inmate wants to use the phone too, so they can call their family. If you break the rules, your ability to use the phone may be limited or eliminated completely.

Phone Number: 712.755.2501

Sending Mail to Inmates

All mall sent to inmates is required to be mailed using the actual US Postal Service, and not courier or delivery, or hand delivered. You must not use any other type of mail or package delivery. You have to write the prisoner’s name, inmate number, and the address of the jail on the letter that you send. Do not mail a package, envelope with padding or insulation, plastic or paper bag, or an envelope with metal inside. All mail received by the jail is opened and read by the jail administration, and will get returned to the sender if it can’t be delivered.

Mailing Address

The mailing address for Shelby County Jail is:

Shelby County Jail
1104 9Th Street
Harlan, IA 51537

Here is how you should address the letter:

[INMATE'S FULL NAME]
[INMATE ID]
Shelby County Jail
1104 9Th Street
Harlan, IA 51537


The mail policy at Shelby County Jail can change, so we suggest that you double check the the Shelby County Jail website before send a letter to someone in jail there.


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Court Information

Get A Lawyer

If you get arrested, you should know you still have rights, the most important of which is your right to request an attorney. You won’t get many phone calls in jail, so you would be wise to ask a friend or family member to find an attorney when you call them. You might be asking yourself ‘I don’t have to get a lawyer – I can just represent myself’ You can represent yourself if you reall want to, but, a criminal defense lawyer will make sure you know your rights, help protect your best interests and help you understand the complicated legal system. The faster you get a lawyer involved with your charges, the better your chances.

To read more about how to find an attorney, read our guide: Find an Attorney

Public Defender

If you cannot afford a lawyer, you will be given a public defender for a lawyer. Also, the Public Defender’s Office has access to private investigators, forensics experts and case workers. All Public Defenders are licensed lawyers, members of the State Bar and are licensed to represent you in court and practice law.

Have you or someone you know used a Public Defender or court appointed attorney? Do you think they properly handled your case?

Court Records

Court records are public records. They are comprised of a case file containing a docket and each of the documents and motions in the case. You can access your court case records using the online service, or at the Clerk of Court’s office where the case was filed.

Clerk of Court

The Shelby County Clerk of Court is an official part of the court that manages the records. The Clerk of Court also administer the oath when court is in session, and read the verdict when decided by the jury. All records, documents, and evidence from your court case are held at the office of the Clerk of Court.

Fees

Court fees and costs are the charges associated with your case, for example filing fees, motion and claim fees, and court charges. If you don’t have the money to pay these fees and have been assigned a Public Defender, you can get a waiver for these fees and won’t have to pay them.

Magistrate

The Shelby County magistrate is the person that presides over your case. Magistrate judges do many different things, which include determing how much your bail will be, writing arrest warrants, and acting as the presiding judge over preliminary court hearings and detention hearings.

Pre-Sentencing

Your pre-sentencing report is completed with information about the defendant’s background and details of the defendant’s life and public history, which the judge will review when deciding on the sentence. Information, details, and character witnesses will be collected from the person on trial, his or her family, and in some circumstances the victim in the crime. Keep in mind that you can request to see a copy of the report before sentencing, so you get the chance to correct any inaccurate information.

Sentencing

If you get convicted of a crime, you will be sentenced. There are several different options for sentencing, including community service, house arrest, and probation, to even prison or jail time. Depending on the particulars of your trial, the severity of your crime, and any sentencing guidelines that they judge will use, you may be taken into custody immediately, or you could receive a date that you are supposed to report to jail to serve your jail time according to your sentence.


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Public Records

Inmate Inquiry

Are you trying to find out if a family member of friend is in jail, or has ever been in jail?

To do so, just go to the Shelby County jail website, and search using:

  • Name.
  • Birthdate.
  • Their booking date if you know it.
  • or jail ID.

If you think this person is in jail, you can also call the jail find out if they’ve been arrested.

Warrant Inquiry

If you think you have a warrant out for your arrest, you can check the court records on the Shelby County court website or call the court directly. You have to have their first and last name. Or, you can just go the jail in person and ask one of the officers. You should know that if there is an arrest warrant out for you, they will take you into custody immediately.

Arrest Inquiry

If you know the person’s first and last name, and their arrest date, contact the jail, by phone, go there in person, or check online. Records of arrests are a matter of public record and this is freely available.

Civil Inquiry

Civil processes are when when you get served with legal papers, such as warrants. You can access civil process orders by going to the Shelby County Sheriff’s office, on their website or by phone.

Sex Offender Search / Lookup

All registered sex offenders must be registered on a sex offender database. The people listed on these databases have been convicted in a court of law of a sex offense. You can access these offenders on the internet, but bear in mind that you will not see the actual address, just the block they live on.

Court Records

Court Records are public records. These records include a case file containing a docket and any documents filed in your court case. You can access your court records via the internet, or at the clerk’s office of the court in the county where the case was filed.

Criminal Records

Every state keeps a record of their state citizen’s criminal history. These online databases are linked together so you are able to track criminal backgrounds from other states. Go to the Shelby County Courthouse and check in person, or you can check online. It is helpful to know the county the crime was committed in, and if the crime was in a totally different state, you might have to pay for a more complete search.

A criminal records search you will find out if a person has ever been arrested, charged or convicted for these crimes:

  • DUI or DWI.
  • Drug crimes like possession or trafficking.
  • Kidnapping.
  • Sex offenses which could include rape, and sexual assault.
  • Violent crimes like assault or murder.
  • Breaking and entering, theft, larceny.

When you do a criminal history search, you generally won’t find out if they had:

  • Speeding tickets.
  • Drivers license suspended or revoked.
  • Any accidents.
  • Minor infractions or moving violations.
  • Parking Tickets.
  • To find driving histories, you have to do a search for their driving history.

    Have you ever tried to search for someone’s criminal records? Was it easy? Did you search online or did you have to call the courthouse? was the information you recieved correct? There are lots of reasons that folks search for criminal records, and your story might help other people that are in the same situation.

    Click here to tell your story

    Most Wanted

    For Federal crimes, the FBI keeps a list of the Top Ten Most Wanted Criminals. In Shelby County,The Sheriff’s Department maintains their own list of the top most wanted criminals in the county.

    FBI Ten Most Wanted List

    Shelby County Sheriff’s Department’s Ten Most Wanted List


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    Life In Jail / What Its Like

    Daily Life

    While the prospect of getting locked up in the Shelby County jail is something you wish you could avoid, eventually you will settle into the routine that is set for you in jail. Inmates get a wake-up alarm every morning at 6:00AM, and then roll call. You will then eat breakfast. When you finish breakfast you will be required to work in the work program or other activity that you are assigned. This could be working in the kitchen, laundry, or some sort of manufacturing job. While this may seem tedious, it may help you when you leave jail, as you are gaining experience in a certain field of work. Other inmates go to school, while some take part in mandated treatment programs. After lunch, there will be another roll call, then back to work. Your evening will be spent either in your cell or a common room. During this time dinner is served and you will be expected to take a shower. After another roll call, it’s lights out. Even though you will be confined to your cell, there may be enough light to read or write letters. Then again, most inmates welcome lights out, and try to get as much sleep as they can.

    Most people are frightened at the idea of jail because they don’t know what to expect. If you have spent any time in Shelby County Jail, your experiences would be welcomed, if it can help another person to deal with it.

    Dress Code

    When incarcerated, all inmates are expected to wear the Shelby County Jail uniform. This is normally a jumpsuit or scrubs. Of note to anyone visiting an inmate – you must be properly dressed. Any clothing considered inappropriate will not be permitted.

    How To Send Money to an Inmate

    You will have your own ‘bank account’ while in jail. This money is used to purchase items from the Commissary. Family and friends can deposit money into this account for you, and any money you earn while in prison will also be deposited into your account. Outside money can be paid in to your account via a money order, cash or check. If someone sends a check or money order, make sure that they write your inmate ID on it. The maximum amount you are allowed in your account is $290 per month.

    The process for sending money to jail inmates could change, so we suggest that you check the official website when you send money to an inmate.

    Commissary

    The commissary is the jail store. You can purchase a number of things here, such as toiletries, snacks and writing supplies. Bear in mind that you will probably want to use the commissary daily, and any infractions will get that privilege taken away from you.

    Inmate Medications

    If you are on any type of prescription medication, you will be allowed to continue taking it while in jail. When you are first processed, you will be asked what medication you take. You will then be referred to the jail nurse or doctor who will be in charge of monitoring your health and prescribing your medication.

    Meals

    You will get three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. As expected, they are very basic, but healthy. A typical breakfast might be cereal, toast, coffee and fruit. Lunch might be spaghetti, salad, bread and milk. Dinner could be chicken casserole, rice, vegetables, dessert and milk. Contrary to popular belief, prison food has greatly improved over the years, and you might find that it’s not much different from what you would eat at home.

    Pods / The Yard

    The jail is designed in a ‘pod’ layout, with self contained housing arranged around an outdoor yard. Each pod has a central control station and a common room, and the inmates take turns in using the yard. The jail is designed this way to keep certain inmates together, and others away from the general population.

    Gangs

    As with life in general, gangs are a part of prison life. Obviously it is best to avoid becoming a part of this environment as it will only lead to trouble. When you first enter prison, you might find yourself being ‘primed’ to join a gang, or worse, you might get their attention in a negative way. The best thing to do is keep your head down and don’t get involved.


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    News and Media

    News

    Photos / Pictures

    Videos


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    Jobs

    Types of Jobs at Shelby County Jail

    The Deputy Sheriff is the second in command at the Shelby County Jail, overseeing the day to day operations and administration of the jail. An inmate is unlikely to have much interaction with the Deputy Sheriff, unless they have committed an infraction. Detention Officers are responsible for the custody and care of the inmates. They maintain order in the jail, and handle security. A Detention Officer is assigned to a certain pod, and therefore is responsible for the same inmates each day. They get to know the inmates on a certain level, and are well equipped to handle any problems that may occur.

    Apply for a Job at Shelby County Jail

    Requirements:

    • You have to be over the age of 21.
    • You have to possess a High School Diploma or GED
    • You have to be a US Citizen.
    • You have to pass a Criminal, Credit and Driving History background check.
    • You have to pass a drug test.
    • You have to have a good level of fitness.
    • You have to be in good health.
    • You have to have a valid Drivers License
    • An applicant for Deputy Sheriff must possess a Law Enforcement Certification.


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    Family Resources

    There are resources for families of both the perpetrator of the crime and the victim. The social and emotional impact of crime is far reaching, affecting many. Families can receive professional counseling, court related assistance, social services assistance and help in navigating the criminal justice system.

    If you are a family member, which resources did you find to be particularly helpful? Please let us know, as this will be helpful to other families in the same situation.

    Post A Comment


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    Victim Resources

    Important Note: If you, or someone you know, are in immediate danger, call 911.

    Victim’s Rights

    The Victim Rights Act grants victims the following rights:

    • The right to protection from the accused.
    • The right to notification.
    • The right to attend proceedings.
    • The right to speak at criminal justice proceedings.
    • The right to consult with the prosecuting attorney.
    • The right to restitution.
    • The right to a speedy trial.
    • The right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect.

    The definition of victim includes:

    • Spouses and children of all victims.
    • Parents and guardians of minor victims.
    • Parents, guardians and siblings of mentally or physically incapacitated victims or victims of homicide.
    • Foster parents or other caregivers, under certain circumstances.

    There are a number of services and programs designed to help victims and their families. You can find out about these services by contacting the courthouse, or local law enforcement agency.

    Victim Notification

    The Department of Justice Victim Notification System (VNS) is a system that provides victims with information pertaining to their case and/or any defendants in the case. You will receive a Victim Identification Number (VIN) and a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that will allow you to access VNS via the internet or by phone. Here, you will find information about future court hearings, historical court events, and detailed information about the defendant. This will include criminal charges filed, the outcome of charges, sentence imposed, custody location, projected release date and any other release information. The VNS website is updated daily. You will also receive any ongoing information by mail or email.

    Have you, a family member or friend ever used the Victim Notification System? If so, was it effective? Did you get the information in a timely manner? Was the system difficult to use? We would like to hear from you, so please post any comments here.

    Tell Your Story

    Sex Offender Information and Search

    All people registered as sex offenders are registered on either a national or state sex offender database. The people on these databases have been convicted of a sex or kidnapping crime. You can access this information online, but bear in mind that you will not get the exact address, rather the block that they live on.

    Domestic Violence

    If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, there are services to help you. Your county will have a Domestic Violence Services office. They provide free and confidential services, such as emergency shelter information, legal advocacy, support groups and domestic violence education. They will work to help you create a safe and violence-free life, and heal from the trauma of abuse.

    Important Note: If you, or someone you know, are in immediate danger, call 911.


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    Reviews

    Reviews of this Jail

    Have you ever spent any time at Shelby County Jail? Do you have a family member or friend there? Have you ever visited a prisoner at this jail?

    If you have, then please write a review about it. Tell us about what you experienced so others will know what to expect.

    Things you can put in your review:

    • Jail conditions.
    • Jail, yard and pod layout and facility
    • Guards and jail staff
    • Food and commissary
    • Having Visitors
    • The other inmates – what are they like?
    • Safety
    • Gangs
    • Programs and activities


    Click here to write a review

    Tell Your Story

    Anybody that’s ever been locked up has at least one story to tell about it. Why’d you end up in jail? Did you experience fair treatment? How was day to day life at Shelby County Jail? What about the other inmates? How did it affect you to go to jail?

    Speak Your Mind

    Throw A Shout Out to Your Cell Mate

    Did you make friends in jail? Do you need to reconnect with a person you met in jail? Write your message below.

    Say Wassup

    Links and Resources

    Main Shelby County Jail Website
    Shelby County Jail Inmate Search
    Shelby County Jail Mugshots
    Shelby County Jail Bail Link

    Shelby County Jail Visitation
    Shelby County Jail Jail Mail Policy Link
    Locate an inmate at Shelby County Jail
    Shelby County Warrant Lookup
    Shelby County Jail Arrests
    Send Funds to an Inmate at Shelby County Jail
    Shelby County Jail Jobs


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