Chester County Prison – West Chester, PA

Chester County Prison is located in Chester County and is the main correctional facility for the area. Know someone locked up in Chester County Prison? This guide gives you all about everything you might need to know about Chester County Prison,like the following: Find an inmate at Chester County Prison. Find inmate mughsots. The jail’s address and phone number. Bailing out of jail. Chester County Prison intake procedures. Court information. And lots more.

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The chance of going to jail is a scary and stressfull situation, not only for the person who gets arrested, but also that person’s family, friends, and loved ones. The purpose of this guide is to give you info you need to make the process less stressfull. If you have specific questions, please feel free to ask them, and please leave any feedback or comments that could help others is much appreciated.

General Information

Address

Chester County Prison
501 South Wawaset Road
West Chester, PA 19382-6776

Phone Number and Fax Number

Phone Number: 610-793-1510
Fax:

Map and Directions


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Inmate Search – Find Out Who’s In Jail

Do you have a friend or family member in jail and don’t know how to contact them?

Do you know a family member or friend who’s been arrested and you need to find out what jail they’re in?

In order to see who is in jail at Chester County Prison you have to visit their website and do an inmate search.

Inmate Lookup

The Chester County Prison Inmate Search is an online list of persons who have been arrested and are in jail, including status, bail amount, and times you can visit. You can also find the same information about anybody arrested and booked or discharged in the past 24 hour period. Prisoners are shown in alphabetical order by last name. You will be able to find their inmate information fast if you have their first and last name, date of birth, or arrest number.

If the person you are looking for could possibly be in a different jail you will want to check our Pennsylvania county jail guide: Other County Jails in Pennsylvania


Mugshots

A mugshot, also known as a booking photo, is a photo that the police take during jail intake processing. They will take one frontal photo and a side-view photo. Your name and booking number will be on the mugshot, and they’re on file at the jail.

View Mugshots

Mugshotes of Chester County Prison prisoners can be viewed on the Chester County Prison website, or you can go in person to the Chester County Prison. When you search for mugshots online you have to put in the prisoner’s full name, and an arrest date.

How To Get Your Mugshot Removed

Are you trying to get your mugshot taken off of the Chester County Prison site? This may not be possible, because the mugshot is public record. To get your mugshot removed you will need to file a ‘Petition to Expunge’. This means that all of your arrest records will be sealed, so no one will be able to see them. It is difficult to do this, and you will most likely need the services of a lawyer.

Read our indepth tutorial about getting your mugshot removed, the many different mugshot websites, and the websites that offer to remove your mugshot for you: Mugshot Removal


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Bail & Bail Bondsmen – How To Get Out of Jail

Of course, once you’re incarcerated, your main thought is when and how to get out. After you’ve gone through the intake process, your bail amount will be determined by the magistrate. In cases where no bail is set this might mean that you will either get released, pending trial, or you don’t get released while you wait for your court date.

If you are released from jail you must agree to be in court on your court date, and until that date you are required not to leave the area.

In most cases, prisoners in the Chester County Prison will earn time off in exchange for good behavior when they don’t break the rules and don’t cause any problems 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. You will have to go back to the jail at the end of the day when you’re finished working, or you may get to move to a halfway house instead of jail.

Bail

Bail is how much money that you have to pay to the court system in order to be released from jail until your court date. Your bail amount is determined by the seriousness of your charges. You will have to pay 10% of the amount that was set so you are able to bail out of jail. If you don’t show up for court, that person will lose that money.

Find Out How Much Someone’s Bail Is

To find out how much bail money you will need to bail someone out of jail need to call the jail or the county courthouse. If you’ve got the person’s information, like name, address and date of birth, they will let you know the bail amount. You can also see the bail amount on the Chester County Prison site.

How To Bail Someone Out of Jail

Bailing out of jail is never fun, but most of the time, it is really easy if you have the money. First of all, you have to find out if it is a “Cash Bond Only”. If this is the case, you can’t use a bail bondsman. Bail can only be paid by cash – the jail will not take checks. Once the cash bond has been paid, the prisoner will be released into your care. If this person doesn’t violate any of the terms of their release, you will get this money back.

Bail Bondsman

If the amount of bail set is large, or you just can’t afford it, you should look into the services of a bail bondsman. Bondsmen will usually have a fee of 10 to 15 percent of the total amount of bail set, and usually with a minimum fee of $100. The money you pay to the bail bondsman is non-refundable and must be paid in cash. If the bail is extremely high, the bail bondsman will in most cases require that they use assets as collateral in addition to the fee they charge.

You can find a local bail bondsman go to: How to find a bail bondsman

Have you ever used the services of Bail Bondsman either for yourself, a family member or friend? If so, please share your experience in a comment below, and let us know how it worked out for you.

Click here to share your story

Other Ways to Get Out of Jail

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


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Jail Policies and Procedures

Intake Procedures / Booking

The jail intake procedure includes each of these steps:

  • You will get put in a holding cell. If the jail is really busy, you will have to wait a while to get processed.
  • First, have to answer a bunch of questions, like what is your legal name, home address, date of birth and a contact person.
  • You will also be asked about your medical and psychological history.
  • You will be given an inmate ID.
  • Your fingerprints will be taken.
  • They will take your mugshot.
  • Any personal property you have will get taken away from you and stored until you get released from jail.
  • You will then be allowed to make a telephone call so you can get in touch with a family member, friend, or bail bondsman.
  • If you are expected to be released shortly, you might be able to wear your street clothes, otherwise you you will have to change into a jail uniform.

Have you ever been booked into jail? If you have, you should tell your story so other people can learn from your experience. How long did it take to get through intake? What was you treatment like? Do you know any tips that might help other people that get arrested to get through the procedure?

Click here to tell your story

Discharge Procedures

When you post bail, you will get discharged from jail. Getting discharged will take anywhere between 30 minutes to many hours. So, the quicker you post bail, the quicker you will get discharged from jail. How quickly you get discharged will depend on if you’ve been given a cash bond amount or if the magistrate still needs to decide on how much to set your bail at. For lesser charges, you will be booked and get released without having to post bail. If you have served a sentence in jail and are given a discharge date, plan to be discharged in the morning.

How To Turn Yourself In

In the event there is a, or if you need to report to start a sentence, you should follow the law and turn yourself into the authorities. If it is for a warrant, go to the jail intake area, and let them know that you think there may be a warrant out for your arrest. They will do a check to find out if there is an arrest warrant for you, and if you do, you will be taken into jail custody. When reporting to serve a sentence, go down to the jail at the exact time and date that the sentence order or court paperwork states. Be sure that you are not late to report. Just bring necessary items with you, such as a driver’s license or photo ID, any prescription medication you might take, along with your doctor’s prescription, as well as a copy of the sentencing order.

Visitation Procedures

Inmates must list information about each visitor to the jail before anyone can visit them. Your visitors will be entered in the log for the requesting inmate. All visitors will be required to provide acceptable photo identification when visiting an inmate. Any visitors arriving late or any visitors that are not approved to visit will not be allowed to visit the inmate.
The Chester County Prison visitation procedures can change, so review the official jail site before you try to go to visitation.

Visiting Hours

Phone Calls & Phone Usage Policy

All phone calls from jail are with a pre-paid phone card or account, or are collect calls . Phone calls made in jail are a lot pricier than phone calls made at home. There are certain restrictions about when and how often you can use the phone, but bear in mind that you are just one of many people who want to talk to their loved ones. If you break the rules, your ability to use the phone could be reduced or forbidden completely.

Phone Number: 610-793-1510

Sending Mail to Inmates

All mall sent to inmates is required to be sent via the US Postal Service. You cannot use any other form of mail or package delivery. You should write or type the prisoner’s name, inmate ID number, and the address of the jail on the letter. Do not mail a box or package, envelope with padding or insulation, plastic bag, or an envelope with metal in it. Any mail sent to inmates is opened and read by the jail officers, and the mail will be sent back to the person who mailed it if deemed inappropriate.

Mailing Address

The address that you should use if you are sending a letter to an inmate at Chester County Prison is:

Chester County Prison
501 South Wawaset Road
West Chester, PA 19382-6776

Here is how you should address the letter:

[INMATE'S FULL NAME]
[INMATE ID]
Chester County Prison
501 South Wawaset Road
West Chester, PA 19382-6776


The mail policy is always changing, so we suggest that you visit the official Chester County Prison site before send a letter to someone in jail there.


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Court Information

Get A Lawyer

If you get arrested, you still have certain rights, and an important one is that you have the right to request a lawyer. You are only allowed to make so many phone calls in jail, so it is a good idea to get a friend or relative to find a lawyer when you call. You’re probably asking yourself ‘but do I really need a lawyer’ You are not required to have an attorney for some criminal charges, a criminal defense lawyer will make sure you know your rights, look after your best interests and guide you through the complicated court system. The sooner you get a lawyer involved with your case, the better.

For more detailed information on the benefits of hiring a lawyer, click here: Find a Lawyer

Public Defender

If you are in trouble, but can’t afford an attorney, a Public Defender will be assigned to you. In addition, the Public Defender’s Office has access to investigators, forensics experts as well as social workers. You should be reassured that Public Defenders are full-fledged lawyers, members of the State Bar and are completely licensed to represent you in court and practice law.

Have you or someone you know used a Public Defender or court appointed attorney? Are you satisfied with how they handled your case and represented you in court?

Court Records

All court records are a matter of public record. Court records contain a court case file with a sheet called a docket sheet and all motions, documents, and evidence that have been filed. You have the ability to access your court case records using the internet service, or by going to the Clerk of Court where the case was filed.

Clerk of Court

The Clerk of Court is a member of the court who manages access to court records. The Clerk of Court also administer the oath when court is in session, and also read the verdict when delivered by the jury. All court records associated with your case are kept and available to you at Clerk of Court.

Fees

Court costs and court fees are all costs associated with your court case, which include filing charges, motion and claim fees, and court appearance fees. If you are low income and have been assigned a Public Defender, you can get a waiver for these fees and won’t have to pay them.

Magistrate

The magistrate is the judge that rules on your court case. They do many different things, like setting your bail amount, issuing warrants, and presiding over initial court appearances and detention proceedings.

Pre-Sentencing

A pre-sentencing report is prepared to include information about the defendant’s background and details of the defendant’s life and public history, which the judge will take into consideration when decide your sentence. Information, details, and character witnesses will be solicited from the person on trial, his or her family, and in some cases the victim of the crime. Keep in mind that you should ask to get your own copy of your pre-sentencing report before your sentencing, so you have the opportunity to correct the mistakes.

Sentencing

When you are convicted of a crime, you will be sentenced. The presiding judge in your case will weigh several options when determining your sentence, including community service and probation, to even incarceration in either jail (short term) or prison (long term). Depending on the particulars of your trial, the severity of your crime, and any sentencing guidelines that they judge will use, you will either be immediately taken into custody, or you could receive a date that you are required to to surrender and report to jail to do your time.


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Public Records

Inmate Inquiry

Do you want to find out if someone is incarcerated in jail, or has been an inmate in the past?

To do this, just access the Chester County jail website, and search using:

  • The inmate’s name.
  • Birthdate.
  • Their approximate booking date.
  • or jail ID.

If you’re not sure if your friend or family member is in jail, you should call the jail to find out.

Warrant Inquiry

If you believe you have a warrant out for your arrest, you can find out by checking the arrest warrants online or call the court. This requires a first and last name. You can also go to the local jail and inquire at the information desk. Bear in mind that if there is an arrest warrant out for you, you should be prepared to get taken into custody immediately.

Arrest Inquiry

If you know the person’s first and last name, and their arrest date, contact the jail, by phone, in person, or you can check online. Arrest records are in the public record and the information is freely available.

Civil Inquiry

A Civil Process is when you get served with papers, like court orders. You can find these civil process orders by contacting the Chester County Sheriff’s office, on their website or by phone.

Sex Offender Search / Lookup

All registered sex offenders are required to be registered on a sex offender database. The people on these databases have been tried by jury and convicted in a court of law of a sex offense. You are able to view these offenders on the internet, but remember that you will not be able to find the precise address, just the neighborhood block they live on.

Court Records

Court Records are public records. Court Records include a case file that includes a docket sheet and all documents filed in your court case. You can access court records via the internet, or at the Chester County Clerk of Court in the jurisdiction where the case was filed.

Criminal Records

Each state keeps a record of a person’s criminal past. These databases are all linked so you are able to track criminal convictions from any other state. You are able to go to the Chester County Courthouse and make an inquiry, or check the website. It is helpful to know the county the crime was committed in, and if it was in a different state, you may have to pay a fee for a more intensive search.

A criminal records search you are able to find out if someone has been arrested, charged, or convicted for the following crimes:

  • DWI or DUI.
  • Drug offenses such as possession or trafficking.
  • Kidnapping.
  • Sex offenses which could include rape, and sexual assault.
  • Violent crimes.
  • Theft, breaking and entering.

If you do a criminal records check, usually won’t find out if someone has had any:

  • Speeding tickets.
  • Drivers license suspended or revoked.
  • Any accidents.
  • Other moving violations.
  • Parking Tickets.
  • To get driving histories, you must do a search for their driving record.

    Have you ever had to search for criminal records of someone you know? How easy was it? Did you search online or did you make a phone call to the jail? Was it correct? There are many reasons that people look up criminal records, and your feedback might help other people that are in the same situation.

    Click here to tell your story

    Most Wanted

    The FBI has their list of the Top Ten Most Wanted Criminals. In Chester County,The Sheriff’s Department has a list of most wanted criminals, too.

    FBI Ten Most Wanted List: Link


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    Life In Jail / What Its Like

    Daily Life

    While the prospect of getting locked up in Chester County Prison is quite unpleasant, soon you will get accustomed to the daily routine there. Inmates get an alarm for wake-up at 6:00am, and then roll call. Next, you will eat breakfast. After breakfast, you will be required to work in the work program that you’ve been assigned to. 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 Chester County Prison, 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 Chester County Prison 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 procedure to send funds to someone in jail can change, so be sure to double check the the Chester County Prison website before you send funds to an inmate there.

    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 Chester County Prison

    The Deputy Sheriff is the second in command at the Chester County Prison, 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 Chester County Prison

    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.

    Speak Your Mind


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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:

    • You have the right to protection from the accused.
    • You have the right to notification.
    • You have the right to attend proceedings.
    • You have the right to speak at criminal justice proceedings.
    • You have the right to consult with the prosecuting attorney.
    • You have the right to restitution.
    • You have the right to a speedy trial.
    • You have 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.

    Click here to tell about all about it

    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 Chester County Prison? Do you have a family member or friend there? Have you ever been to visit someone at Chester County Prison?

    If so, then please write your review about it. Write down your experience so others can find out what to expect.

    What to put in your review:

    • Jail conditions.
    • Jail, yard and pod layout and facility
    • Guards and staff
    • Jail food and commissary
    • Visitors
    • The other inmates.
    • Prisoner safety
    • Gangs
    • Prisoner activities and programs


    Click here to write your review of Chester County Prison

    Tell Your Story

    Anyone who’s been in jail has some stories to tell about the whole experience. Why’d you get arrested? Did you experience fair treatment? What was your daily routine in jail? Tell us about the other inmates. How did going to jail affect your life?

    Post A Comment

    Throw A Shout Out to Your Cell Mate

    Did you make friends in jail? Are you trying to reconnect with somebody you met in jail? Leave a message for them here.

    Say Hello to people still locked up at Chester County Prison


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