SHERIFF DEPARTMENT-DETENTION DIVISION
COCHISE COUNTY JAIL
203 N. Judd Drive
Bisbee, Arizona 85603
(520) 432-7540 General Information
(520) 432-7554 Booking
The Detention Division is under the direction of a Jail Commander. The role of the Division is to maintain custody of pre-trial prisoners and carry out the judgments of the courts. Four objectives were established so the goals of the Division could be obtained. These objectives include:
- Providing a level of supervision that is consistent with human dignity and ensures maximum protection to the community, staff, and inmates.
- Providing an environment that minimizes any detrimental effects of confinement.
- Improving management resources, technology, and skills necessary to meet the demands of development and future expansion.
- No escapes
Cochise County Jail
Cochise County has a main jail in Bisbee, two substations (temporary holding facilities), one in Sierra Vista, the other in Willcox. The main jail was built in 1985 with 160 cells. Each cell contains a bed, light, window, and a combination toilet sink. The design utilizes two-tier housing -- one cell over another sharing a common day room. Some single cells have subsequently been double bunked to accommodate overcrowding.
The Cochise County Board of Supervisors continues to provide funds in order to maintain and upgrade jail operations with the goal of meeting legal mandates and the recommended standards outlined by the American Correctional Association (ACA). ACA standards are designed to provide administrators of detention facilities the opportunity to develop a plan for upgrading programs in their facilities and operating procedures in accordance with nationally recognized and respected benchmarks. The incorporation of standards in the Cochise County Jail’s programs provide a safe and secure working environment for staff, and ultimately provides the programs and services necessary to assist inmates.
Staff for the Division
The Division is managed by a Commander, Detention Lieutenant, six Sergeants, and seven Corporals. In addition, the staff consists of 48 full-time Detention Officers, one Mental Health Counselor, five Detention Aides, and two maintenance professionals.
Become a Detention Officer
To become a Detention Officer, an applicant must pass a psychological examination, a polygraph exam, a background investigation and a physical examination. Once an applicant satisfies these requirements, he or she must undergo three distinct phases of training. The first is to graduate from an approved, 6-8 week detention academy. Second, the new employee must successfully complete a firearms familiarization course, and finally inmate transportation training.
The Transportation Section is responsible for the transportation needs of all inmates remanded to the custody of the Sheriff. Each year, more than 3500 inmates are transported locally and statewide, approximately 250,000 miles. These transports included medical appointments, transportation between detention facilities, court appearances, service of temporary mental health detention orders, and travel between mental hospitals and other psychiatric facilities.
This section is responsible for developing and maintaining records on inmates incarcerated in the Cochise County Jail. All prisoners are fingerprinted and photographed. The section also is responsible for processing all incoming inmates, examining court documents, preparing sentence computation, and for correspondence with others in the criminal justice system.
The goal of the food services is to provide nutritionally adequate, palatable and attractive meals for all inmates, produced under sanitary conditions at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer. The food service program is currently contracted to ARAMARK Correctional Food Service. Approximately 600 meals are prepared each day. Since 1999, the Cochise County Jail has been the only county jail in Arizona to receive certification from the American Correctional Association, indicating 100% compliance with national standards relating to a jail food service operation.
The jail operates a clinic and provides medical care to all inmates. Full-time medical and mental health professionals are provided by the Cochise County Health Department. Inmates are required to make a co-payment for medical services and medication.
Full-time Chaplain Doug Packer, working with the community, provides for the religious needs of the inmates. The Chaplain continues to increase the scope of religious programs with the addition of many new community volunteers.
Volunteers are used to enhance and expand services and programs available to inmates. The use of volunteers permits increased community resources for the Division and increases public awareness of the responsibilities of the Sheriff. Volunteers offering a skill or education background for tutorial, pastoral, vocational, or psychological benefits must provide staff with specific evidence or proper credentials of their qualifications to perform these services prior to entering the Cochise County Jail.
Classification is an objective means of identifying and categorizing various prisoner traits, characteristics, and potential risks. Proper classification and secure jail operations, ensure a safe detention environment. It also allows offenders to be assigned to programs and services that constructively occupy their time in custody, which helps in the orderly management of the facility. Inmates are not classified or housed by race, color, creed, or national origin.
The commissary, or "canteen" gives inmates the opportunity to purchase various items or amenities which are not required to be provided to them by the taxpayers. Some of the items available through the commissary include personal hygiene products, over-the-counter medications, stationary, playing cards and snacks. An inmate’s money is inventoried upon incarceration, and an account is established for him or her. Deposits are made as money arrives for the inmate and canteen purchases are deducted from their accounts. Inmates are not permitted to keep money in their possession. In accordance with law, commissary profits are used to purchase educational and other lawful items.
The United States Justice Department’s State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) is an attempt to help local and state governments cope with the costs of incarcerating undocumented aliens who have been convicted of a crime. Awards are only a percentage (less than 15%) of the actual amount taxpayers spend to incarcerate undocumented aliens.
For additional information, or a tour of the Cochise County Jail, please contact the Commander, at 432-7540.