Bet You Didn’t Know Jail And Prison Are Totally Different

Santa Ana Bail Bond Store

We don’t blame you for thinking jail and prison are two words for the same place. A lot of people use the two terms interchangeably when really, they are separate institutions. Let’s take a look:


Sheriffs and local governments run jail. Jail holds those who are waiting for their trial or serving short sentences. Inmates are allowed to enroll in various programs in jail, such as work programs, educational programs, and rehab programs, for example. These foster behavioral improvement.


The state operates prison, holding convicts serving long-term and life sentences. Prison does not offer the variety of programs like jail does. However, as an inmate reaches the end of his or her sentence, he or she can be introduced to halfway houses and community restitution centers, for example, to begin reintegrating into society again.

Santa Ana Bail Bond Store can help bail people out of jail who are waiting their trial. Bail is not available for those who have already been sentenced to serve time in prison.

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If You Feel Your Rights Have Been Violated

Remember: police misconduct cannot be challenged on the street. Don’t physically resist officers or threaten to file a complaint.

Write down everything you remember, including officers’ badge and patrol car numbers, which agency the officers were from, and any other details.
Get contact information for witnesses. If you are injured, take photographs of your injuries (but seek medical attention first).

File a written complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. In most cases, you can file a complaint anonymously if you wish.

Call your local ACLU or visit

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Bail Burden Keeps U.S. Jails Stuffed With Inmates

Leslie Chew spent his childhood working long days next to his father on the oil rigs of southern Texas. No school meant he never learned to read or write. Now in his early 40s, he’s a handyman, often finding aBut he got by — until one night in December 2008 when the station wagon got cold, and he changed the course of his life.

“Well, I stole some blankets to try to stay warm,” he says quietly. “I walked in and got them and turned around and walked right back out of the store. [The security guard] said, ‘Excuse me, sir, come here. Are you planning to pay for these?’ I said, ‘No, sir. I don’t have no money.’ That’s when he arrested me right then.”

When I first spoke to Chew last summer, he’d been inside the Lubbock County jail since the night he was arrested: 185 days, more than six months.

Chew is like one of more than a half-million inmates sitting in America’s jails — not because they’re dangerous or a threat to society or because a judge thinks they will run. It’s not even because they are guilty; they haven’t been tried yet.

More Stories In This Series

PART 2: Inmates Who Can’t Make Bail Face Stark Options Jan. 22, 2010
PART 3: Bondsman Lobby Targets Pretrial Release Programs Jan. 22, 2010
They are here because they can’t make bail — sometimes as little as $50. Some will wait behind bars for as long as a year before their cases make it to court. And it will cost taxpayers $9 billion this year to house them.

On this day that I met him, Chew’s bail is $3,500. He would need to leave that much as a cash deposit with the court to leave jail. Or he could pay a bail bondsman a $350 nonrefundable fee to do it for him. If he had either amount, he could stand up and walk out the door right now. But he doesn’t.

The money, says Chew, “is like a million dollars to me.”

When Chew headed down the grocery aisle and put four $30 blankets under his arm, he set in motion a process almost unique to the United States that rewards the wealthy and punishes the poor. And, NPR has found, it exists almost solely to protect the interests of a powerful bail bonding industry.

Leslie ChewEnlarge image
Leslie Chew, in Lubbock County Jail for theft, said his $3,500 bail was “like a million dollars to me.”

Laura Sullivan/NPR
The result is that people with money get out. They go back to their jobs and their families, pay their bills and fight their cases. And according to the Justice Department and national studies, those with money face far fewer consequences for their crimes.

People without money stay in jail and are left to take whatever offer prosecutors feel like giving them. place to sleep in the back of his old station wagon.

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What to do when someone gets arrested

To say that having a loved one or friend get arrested is a “stressful situation” seems like such an understatement. It can feel like your whole world just turned upside down.

Legal issues can be very scary and intimidating,  that’s where we can help you.  Call us as soon as someone is arrested and we will help you find out where the person is being held, what they are being charged with and the bail amount.

When you call us, we immediately call the arresting agency to see what is happening with the booking process. Once someone is arrested it will take time for the officers to book the person and list the charges against them. The bail amount will not be known until this process is complete. As soon as we get all of that information, we’ll call you back.

At that time you can decide whether or not to bail the person out.

You can choose to pay to the court the full bail amount with cash. So if the bail is $20,000, you would pay the entire $20,000 to the Court. When you do this, the court will return the money to you after the defendant attends all of their court dates. The Court may deduct any fines or Court related costs from this bail money you have posted.

If you don’t have the full bail amount, in our example $20,000, that’s where a bail bondsman helps out. You pay us a premium, which is a percentage of the bail amount, and we post the bond for the entire bail amount with the courts. Premiums are not refundable. So in our example instead of needing $20,000 to bail someone out, you would need $2,000. Santa Ana Bail Bond Store can help save you money in this situation, we offer different rates such as 8%. We are confident that we can beat ANY deal offered by another bail company.

Premiums can be paid by arranging payment plans with 0% interest. This option can be discussed with a bail agent once the bail amount is determined. Santa Ana Bail Bond Store accepts all major credit cards to make securing bail easy for you.

Remember, call us as soon as the person is arrested. Don’t make the situation more stressful by trying to get information from the arresting agency. That’s part of our service, whether or not you decide to post bail. Our help in getting bail information for your loved one or friend is absolutely FREE.

Santa Ana Bail Bond Store never closes to aid you in your time of need.  Call us at 1-714-973-2245 so we can help you.

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