What to do when your family member has been arrested.
SUPPORTING YOUR RELATIVE
Jail Behavioral Health Services are provided only at the Main Jail on Water Street, which is a maximum-security facility.
Santa Cruz County Jail Behavioral Health Services
Phone: (831) 454-2865, Fax: (831) 454-5145, Email: CIT@co.santa-cruz.ca.us
The Jail Behavioral Health Team’s focus of services is on those individuals who present with a stated or suspected risk to themselves, a persistent mental health disability and/or individuals who present with psychiatric symptoms. Jail Behavioral Health staff is available 7 days a week. Staff includes licensed mental health clinicians, Jail Discharge Planner, Psychiatrist, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, a licensed Supervisor and graduate level interns who provide brief counseling.
To request psychiatric services for your loved one or provide medicine information:
The form can be found on the Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health website under Adult Mental Health Services -> Coordinated Teams. It can also be found on the Crisis page of namiscc.org.
COUNTY JAIL INFORMATION
How can I visit my loved one?
Call (800) 952-2335 24 hours a day. Urgent care can also be requested 24 hours per day by calling this number for existing consumers of County Mental Health.
Most people charged with crimes are assigned a public defender. Here is what you should do:
Bail: Think carefully about posting bail for your family member. No one wants a loved one to remain incarcerated for any length of time. It is an unpleasant experience for them as well as the family. However, you must ask yourself the following question: Will your family member be able to comply with the terms of the bail and appear in court when required? Also, as hard as it may seem, jail may be a safer place for a person with severe mental illness who is in crisis rather then wandering the streets. At least in jail they will be fed, will have shelter, and be given access to medication treatments.
Supporting and coping with a loved one who suffers from a mental illness can be extremely challenging and stressful. Knowledge, as well as your love and fortitude, will be key in helping you to become a strong and effective support system for your family member. For information about support groups and educational programs provided free of charge in Santa Cruz County see namiscc.org or call NAMI of Santa Cruz County at (831) 427-8020. If you live outside of Santa Cruz County contact NAMI California in Sacramento at (916) 567-0163 or on the internet at namica.org.
Outside of Santa Cruz County- NAMI National has a Help Line that can help you connect to advice and resources in your area (800) 950-6264.
This informational guide was written by NAMI volunteers based on their own personal experience to help families navigate the system. We are not attorneys, and this is not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice. Please assist your family member in obtaining proper legal representation.
Requesting Mental Health Services
Keep updated on Release date/time.
VINE Website registration
You can search for and register to receive notification about the custody status of an offender via VINELink at
You can use the telephone to search for and register to receive notification about the custody status of an offender -- each state/county has their own toll-free VINE phone number.
VINE Service Number :
TTY: (866) 847-1298
Our goal is to help reduce the trauma of incarceration for inmates and their families, to provide information that can lead to positive changes, and to assist post-release clients with their re-entry into the community. Friends Outside acts as a liaison with concerned individuals, agencies, and the criminal justice system.
Friends Outside is a Volunteer Center program. They can connect you to the appropriate services.