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My Family Member Has Been Arrested, What Do I Do?


Tulare County, California

This information is designed to help families cope with the criminal justice

system in Tulare County when a family member who suffers from

mental illness is arrested.


Support Your Relative

If your relative/friend has been arrested, help them stay calm and let them know you’ll help. Remind them that they have a right to have an attorney present if being questioned by police officers or detectives. Tell them they can expect to be interviewed by Jail medical and mental health staff. Let

Let them know it's OK for them to discuss their physical and mental condition, diagnosis, medications, etc. It is important that they feel safe to speak openly on these topics.


Contact The Main Jail

Call: (559) 733-6823 and ask for the court arraignment date and address, booking number, location of your relative, and the dates and times when visits are permitted. IMPORTANT: If you know or suspect that your relative has had recent suicide attempts or thoughts, call the Jail and ask to speak with the Watch Commander; give him/her all the information you have.


Contact The Jail Medical Department

Call: 559-731-3285 x159 and ask to speak with the Mental Health Manager. After business hours, ask to speak with the booking or Special Housing Nurse. Due to patient confidentiality laws, the staff will not be able to give you information about your family member's medical or mental condition without a signed consent, but they are able to obtain information from you.


Send A Fax

Prepare a fax requesting that your relative be screened for placement in the mental health unit. Call (559)-713-3285 and ask for the corresponding fax numbers. On the cover page, indicate whether your relative has provided you with a written confidentiality waiver. If your relative has not done so,ask that he/she be asked to sign one while in jail.


Head this fax with:

• Your relative’s full legal name

• Date of birth

• Booking number

• Location


In the body of the fax include:

• His/her diagnosis

• Their psychiatrist’s name, phone number, and address

• The medications prescribed for your family member

(name, dosage, and time of day to be administered)

• Note if a particular medication has proven to be ineffective, dangerous and/or has

uncomfortable side effects

• Note if a suicide attempt is a possibility or if there are any other serious concerns

• Describe any other urgent medical conditions, apart from mental illness, that might require

immediate attention such as diabetes, high blood pressure, seizures, heart problems, etc. and the

necessary medications to be given

• Include their medical doctor’s name, address, and phone number


DO NOT address any impending charges against your relative in this fax.

Keep a copy of this fax for future reference. If your relative is transferred to a

different facility you will need to fax this information again.


Office Of Patiens’ Rights

Call 800-905-5597


This office provides assistance for the following reasons:

• To educate family members on the requirements of detention facilities regarding mentally

ill inmates

• To ensure that county jails make mental health treatment services available to all inmates who

need these services

Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency


Related Files

My Family Member Has Been Arrested (PDF File)
Inmate Medication Form (PDF File)
Family_Handbook (PDF File)

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