Whatcom County Jail – Bellingham, WA

Whatcom County Jail is located in Whatcom County, Washington and is the primary jail for this county. Know someone locked up at Whatcom County Jail? This site gives you about everything you might want to know about Whatcom County Jail,like: How to locate an inmate. How to view Whatcom County Jail mugshots. The jail’s address and phone number. Posting bail. Booking and intake procedures. Court information and records. And lots more.

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The prospect of getting arrested and going to jail is a scary thought, not only for whoever gets arrested, but also their family and friends. The purpose of this guide is to give you information and tips that you’ll need to make going to jail easier. If you have questions, feel free to ask it, and any feedback or comments that would be a benefit to others is welcome.

General Information

Address

Whatcom County Jail
311 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225

Phone Number and Fax Number

Phone Number: (360) 676-6848
Fax Number:

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 locked up and don’t know how to find out where they are?

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

To search who’s in jail at Whatcom County Jail you will need to navigate to their link and use the inmate lookup.

Inmate Locator

The Whatcom County Jail Inmate Search has information on persons who are in jail, including status, how much their bail is, and visiting hours. Also, you can find info about anybody booked or discharged within the last 24 hours. Prisoners are shown in alphabetical order by their last name. You’ll be able to find the information fast if you enter the arrestee’s name, date of birth, or inmate ID Number.

If your friend or family member is in another county jail you should look here: Washington County Jails Directory


Mugshots

A mugshot, also called a intake picture, is a photo taken by the police when you get processed at jail intake. A mugshot is make of one face photo and one profile photo. Your full name and jail booking number will be on the pictures, and they will be stored.

View Mugshots

Mugshots of people who have been arrested are on the Whatcom County Jail website, or you can view them at the Whatcom County Jail. When viewing online you need to put in the name, and an arrest date, if you have it.

How To Get Your Mugshot Removed

Are you trying to get your mugshot removed from the Whatcom County Jail site? This can be tricky, as the mugshot is a matter of public record. To get your mugshot taken down you need to file a ‘Petition to Expunge’. What this means is that the record of your arrest will be sealed, so no one will be able to see them. Unfortunately, this happens very rarely.

To learn more about removing your mugshot, the different websites with mugshots, and the mugshot removal websites: Mugshot Removal


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Bail & Bail Bondsmen – How To Get Out of Jail

Of course, once you are incarcerated, your primary thought is about getting out. After you’ve been booked, your bail will be set using the bail schedule or the magistrate will decide it. In cases where no bail is set this may mean that you will either get released, pending trial, or you are kept in jail until your court date.

If you do bail out of jail you must promise to be there for your court date, and you will not be permitted to travel out of the county.

In most cases, prisoners in the Whatcom County Jail will be given early release in exchange for good behavior if they follow the rules and conduct themselves properly while incarcerated.

If you prove to be trustworthy, you may be granted work release. You will have to go back to the jail each day when you’re finished with work, or you may get to sleep in a halfway house when you are not working.

Bail

Bail is how much money that you have to pay to the courts to get out of jail pending trial. The amount you will have to pay is determined by the seriousness of your charges. You will need to pay to the courts 10 percent of the total that was set before you can be released. If you miss court, that person won’t get their money back.

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. If know the person’s information, such as name, address and date of birth, they’ll let you know how much their bail is. You can also check their bail amount and status online.

How To Bail Someone Out of Jail

Bailing out of jail is never a fun thing, but fortunately, it’s easy. First, figure out if their bail is a “Cash Bond Only”. If so, you won’t be able to get a bondsman. They only accept cash at the jail, so you have to take cash – they won’t take a personal check. Once you have paid the bond, the inmate will be released into your care. If they don’t violate the terms of their bail, you will get this money back.

Bail Bondsman

If the amount of bail set is large, or you just can’t afford to pay it, you will need to use a bail bondsman. Bondsmen will usually have a fee of 10 to 15 percent of the total amount of bail set, and sometimes have a minimum of $100. The money you pay to the bail bondsman will not be returned to you and has to be paid in cash. If bail is very large, the bail bondsman will in most cases require that they use your assets, such as home, property or cars, as collateral for the bond.

If you need a local bail bondsman visit our page about: Find a bail bondsman

Have you ever had to find a bondsman to bail someone out of jail? If you have, please leave a comment below and tell about your experience, and let us know how it worked out for you.

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Other Ways to Get Out of Jail

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


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Jail Policies and Procedures

Intake Procedures / Booking

The intake procedure includes each of these steps:

  • They’ll put you in a holding cell. If the jail is busy, it will take a while to get processed.
  • First, have to answer some questions, such as what is your full name, your address, birthdate and contact person.
  • They’ll also ask about your medical and psychological history.
  • You’ll be given an inmate number.
  • You will be fingerprinted.
  • You will get your mugshot taken.
  • All of your personal property will be taken away from you and stored until you get released.
  • You will get to make a phone call so you can talk to a family member, friend, or bail bondsman.
  • If you are expected to be released shortly, you might be able to skip the jumpsuit and keep wearing your own clothes, otherwise you will be issued a jail uniform.

Have you ever been booked into jail? If so, please tell us what happened. How long did you have to wait? What was you treatment like? Can you share any secrets that could help other people to get through the process?

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Discharge Procedures

Once you are able to post bail, you will be discharged from jail. Getting discharged from jail will take anywhere between 10 minutes to quite a few hours. So, the quicker bail is posted, the quicker you will get discharged. Also, how fast you get released depends on whether you’ve got a bond amount or if a magistrate must decide on how much your bail will be. For minor charges, you will be booked and get released without having to post bail. When you have completed your jail sentence and have a date of your release, expect to be discharged in the morning.

How To Turn Yourself In

for your arrest, or if you need to begin your sentence in jail, it is recommended that you follow the rules and turn yourself in willingly. If you have a warrant, go down to the jail, in the reception area, and let them know that you think there is a warrant out for your arrest. 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, they will take you into custody. When reporting to serve a sentence, go down to the jail on the date and time that the sentence order requires you to. Be sure that you are not late. Just bring things that are allowed when you go to jail, like your drivers license or your ID, any prescription medication you might take, and the copy of the sentencing order.

Visitation Procedures

In order to have visitors, inmates must provide each visitor’s name and date of birth to the jail before anyone can visit them. Your visitor’s information will go in a log of approved visitors as an Authorized visit. Each and every visitor will have to provide proof of identification. Any visitors arriving late or without a visiting order will not be allowed to visit the inmate.
Visitation procedures can change, so visit the official Whatcom County Jail jail site before you go.

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 much more expensive than regular phone calls. Inmates are able to make phone calls, with restrictions on when and how often you can use the phone, but inmates should keep in mind that you are just one of many people who want to talk to their loved ones. If you are under any sort of disciplinary procedure, your ability to use the phone may be limited or totally denied.

The Whatcom County Jail phone number is: (360) 676-6848

Sending Mail to Inmates

All mail is required to be mailed using US Postal Service. You shouldn’t use any other method of mail delivery. You have to print the prisoner’s name, inmate ID number, and jail address on the outside of the letter that you send. Do not send a box, envelope with padding or insulation, plastic bag, or an envelope with metal inside. Any mail is opened and inspected by the jail administration, and the mail will be sent back if the jail decides it is inappropriate.

Mailing Address

If you would like to send a letter to an inmate at Whatcom County Jail, use this address:

Whatcom County Jail
311 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225

Here is how you should address the letter:

[INMATE'S FULL NAME]
[INMATE ID]
Whatcom County Jail
311 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225


The inmate mail policy at Whatcom County Jail can change, so visit the the Whatcom County Jail website when you send a letter to an inmate.


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Court Information

Get A Lawyer

When you get arrested, you still have rights, the first of which is the right to request a lawyer. You won’t get many phone calls in jail, so you would be wise to have a friend or relative locate an attorney for you. You might be asking yourself ‘why do I need an attorney?’ You can represent yourself if you reall want to, but, a criminal defense lawyer can advise you of your rights, look after your best interests and help you navigate the complicated court system in Whatcom County. The faster you get a lawyer involved with your case, the better your chances.

For more detailed information on the benefits of and how to hire an attorney, click here: How to Find an Attorney

Public Defender

If you cannot afford an attorney, you will get a public defender. The Public Defender Office is staffed by independent investigators, experts in forensics and social case workers. Public Defenders are bona-fide attorneys that are admitted to the State Bar and are fully licensed to practice law as an agent of the court.

Have you or someone you know had to use the services of a Public Defender? Are you happy with how they handled your case?

Court Records

Whatcom County court records are a matter of public record. Court records are comprised of a case file with a docket sheet and every documents that have been filed in the case. You are able to access your court records with the online service, or by going to the Whatcom County Clerk of Court.

Clerk of Court

The Whatcom County Clerk of Court is an officer of the court that maintains the records. They also administer the oath for anyone testifying in court, and read the verdict when the jury makes their final decision. All records and documents associated with your court case are maintained at the office of the Clerk of Court.

Fees

Court fees and costs are the costs associated with your court case, such as filing fees, motion fees and various court charges. If you don’t have the money to pay these fees and have court appointed legal counsel or a Public Defender, you can get a waiver for these fees and won’t have to pay them.

Magistrate

The Whatcom County court magistrate is the person that rules on your court case. Magistrates are judges that do many different things, which include setting your bail amount, issuing warrants, and acting as the presiding judge over preliminary court hearings and detention proceedings.

Pre-Sentencing

A pre-sentencing report is completed to include the defendant’s background information and information about the arrestee’s life and public history, which the magistrate judge will review and take into consideration when decide your sentence. Information will be collected from the defendant, his or her family members, and, if applicable, the victim. Remember that you can request to have a copy of the report before your sentencing, and correct any mistakes that it contains.

Sentencing

If you get convicted of a crime during your trial, you will be given a sentence for your crime. There are several different options for sentencing, which include community service, house arrest, and probation, to even incarceration in either jail (short term) or prison (long term). Depending on the severity of the crime, you could be locked up immediately, or given a date that you are supposed to go to jail to do your time.


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Public Records

Inmate Inquiry

Do you want to find out if somebody you know is locked up, or has gone to jail in the past?

You can you will have to access the jail’s website, and do a search using:

  • Name.
  • Birth date.
  • Their booking date if you know it.
  • and their jail inmate ID.

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

Warrant Inquiry

If you think you might have an outstanding warrant, you can check the arrest warrants inquiry on the Whatcom County court website or you are able to call the court directly. This requires a first and last name. You can also go to the local jail and ask one of the officers. Bear in mind that if there is a warrant for your arrest, you should be prepared to get taken into custody immediately.

Arrest Inquiry

If you know a person’s name, and possibly an arrest date, contact the jail, either by phone, in person, or check online. Arrest records are in the public record and these records are available to anyone.

Civil Inquiry

A Civil Process is when when you are served with legal papers, such as warrants. You can find these civil process orders by going to the Sheriff’s office, online or by phone.

Sex Offender Search / Lookup

All convicted sex offenders have to be listed and registered on either a national or state sex offender database. Those listed on these databases have been convicted of a sex crime. You are able to see these listings on the internet, but remember that you will not find the actual address, rather the address block they live on.

Court Records

Court Records are public, and are accessible by anyone. Court Records include a court case file that includes a court docket and any filings and documents filed in the case. You can access court records on the internet, or at the clerk’s office of the court in the county where the case was filed.

Criminal Records

Each state keeps a record of their state citizen’s criminal past. These state databases are all linked and you can track criminal histories from other states. You can go to the Whatcom County Courthouse and check in person, or check the website. You must know which county the crime occured in, and in the event that the crime was in a different state entirely, you may have to pay for a more intensive search.

A criminal records search you are able to find out if someone has been arrested, charged, or convicted for any crimes, which can include:

  • DWI or DUI.
  • Drug Possession of Drug Trafficking.
  • Kidnapping.
  • Rape or other sexual assault.
  • Violent crimes.
  • Theft, breaking and entering.

If you do a criminal records check, usually will not learn if they has had any:

  • Speeding tickets.
  • Lost their drivers license or license revoked or suspended.
  • Accidents.
  • Other moving violations.
  • Parking Tickets.
  • To get driving histories, you will have to do a driving records search.

    Have you ever needed to find criminal records? How easy was it? Did you search online or did you make a phone call to the jail? Did you get information that was correct? There are lots of reasons that people look up criminal records and backgrounds, and your account could help other people.

    Click here to post a comment

    Most Wanted

    Everyone knows that the FBI keeps a list of the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. In Whatcom County,the Whatcom County Sheriff keeps their own list of most wanted criminals and fugitives.

    FBI Ten Most Wanted List: Link

    Whatcom County Top Ten Most Wanted List


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    Life In Jail / What Its Like

    Daily Life

    Just the thought of spending time in Whatcom County Jail is very scary, in time you will get accustomed to the daily routine there. Inmates get an alarm for wake-up at 6:00am, and then you’ll have roll call. Then you will eat breakfast. Following breakfast you will have 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 Whatcom 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 Whatcom 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 funds to Whatcom County Jail inmates changes, so you should double check the official Whatcom County Jail site when send funds to someone in jail 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 Whatcom County Jail

    The Deputy Sheriff is the second in command at the Whatcom 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 Whatcom County Jail

    Requirements:

    • You must be over the age of 21.
    • You must possess a High School Diploma or GED
    • You must be a US Citizen.
    • You must pass a Criminal, Credit and Driving History background check.
    • You must pass a drug test.
    • You must have a good level of fitness.
    • You must be in good health.
    • You must 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:

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

    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 been locked up in Whatcom County Jail? Do you have a friend or family member there? Have you ever been to visit an inmate at this jail?

    If yes, then we would like you to leave a comment below about it. Write down your experience because others will know what to expect.

    Things you could write in what you write:

    • Jail conditions.
    • Jail layout and facility
    • Guards and jail staff
    • Jail food and commissary
    • Visitation
    • The other inmates – what are they like?
    • Safety
    • Jail gangs
    • Inmate activities and programs


    Write a Review of Whatcom County Jail

    Tell Your Story

    Anyone who’s been in jail has some stories about their time ‘inside’. Why’d you get arrested? Did you get fair treatment? How was day to day life at Whatcom County Jail? Were the other inmates cool? How has this experience impacted your life?

    Tell your story about when you did time at Whatcom County Jail

    Throw A Shout Out to Your Cell Mate

    Did you make friends in jail? Need to talk to a person you met in jail? Write your message below.

    Post a message to people still locked up at Whatcom County Jail

    Links and Resources

    Main Whatcom County Jail Website
    Whatcom County Jail Inmate Search
    View Whatcom County Jail Mugshots
    Whatcom County Jail Bail Amount Link

    Whatcom County Jail Visitation Policy Link
    Whatcom County Jail Jail Mail Policy Link
    Locate an inmate at Whatcom County Jail
    Whatcom County Warrants
    Whatcom County Jail Arrest Inquiry
    Send Money to an Inmate at Whatcom County Jail
    Whatcom County Jail Jobs


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