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Etowah County Alabama Sheriff’s Office
Etowah County - County Jail - Alabama
Etowah County Jail


About Jail

The Etowah County Detention Center, run by the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office, is the local jail facility for Etowah County, Alabama.  The Etowah County Detention Center is accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA) and maintains compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency standards.  The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office is run by Jonathon W. Horton, the Etowah County Sheriff.  In addition to running the detention center, the sheriff’s office is responsible for handling all of the county’s law enforcement services, including patrol, criminal investigations, school resource officers, warrants, civil papers, special operations division, and drug enforcement.

The Etowah County Detention Center has a comprehensive medical unit.  This medical unit consists of an examination/treatment room, x-ray capabilities, dental facilities, medication areas, a mini-lab, and cells for housing patients who need additional observation and/or treatment.  The medical unit is staffed 24/7 with RNs, LPNs, medical assistants, and other medical personnel, including a mental health professional.  They offer medical care including physical health care, mental healthcare, dental care, and preventative care.  All incoming inmates receive a healthcare screening as part of the booking process, and, once they are moved to housing units, they receive a more thorough medical examination.  Inmates can get medications and treatments and while they are incarcerated, including treatment for chronic medical conditions.

The Department of Detention has several divisions, including the Operations Division, which is the largest division in the whole Sheriff’s Office.  The Operations Division is divided into three sub-sections: Compliance, Custody, and Programs.  They are all supported by the Logistics Division, which is responsible for the jail’s daily operations.  The Operations Division is headed by Captain Gregory Harwood.  The Custody Section is responsible for the actual care of inmates when they are detained, from their initial intake until they are released.  In addition, the Custody Section is responsible for coordinating court appearances as well as transportation to and from the courts.  Intake and release is headed by Lt. David Weaver.  There are also day and night time teams.  They are led by Lt. Brittany Hamilton, Lt. Jessica Murray, Lt. Andy Reed, and Lt. Heath Yates.

When inmates are admitted to the Etowah County Detention Center, they are processed through booking.  All inmates are searched upon booking, and their belongings are inventoried and secured.  In addition, inmates are interviewed about their personal information and emergency contact information.  They have booking photos/ mugshots taken.  In addition, they verify an inmate’s identity by checking several different identification points and fingerprinting. They will also search to see if any inmates are wanted by other agencies.  Inmates who are not eligible to be released will have additional checks, including their medical and mental health needs, housing unit assignment, and initial security classification.  Inmates can shower upon intake.  Inmates who have cash on them at the time that they are booked are allowed to put money on their inmate accounts using the jail kiosk.

After an inmate is booked, the inmate is led to a housing unit.  Both the minimum and medium security housing units have direct supervision style units.  This means that there are no barriers between the deputies and the inmates.  In the maximum security and special management units, the detainees are separated from the detention deputies, who monitor the unit through security glass and the video surveillance system.

Etowah County Jail Addresses

Physical Address

The Etowah County Detention Center’s address is:

Etowah County Detention Center
827 Forrest Ave.
Gadsden, Alabama 35901

Mailing Address

The mailing address for non-inmate mail is:

Etowah County Detention Center
827 Forrest Ave.
Gadsden, Alabama 35901

This is not the mailing address for inmate mail, and any inmate mail sent to this address will be returned to sender.

Inmate Mailing Address

The mailing addresses for inmate mail at the main jail is not the same as the jail’s physical address.  Instead, it is:

Smart Communications – Etowah County Detention Center
c/o Inmate Name- ID Number
209 20th Street North Unit 91
Birmingham, Alabama 35203

You must include the inmate’s name and ID number on the outside of the envelope or postcard to ensure that the mail is delivered to the correct account.  If your mail does not include the ID number and inmate name, it may be returned.

Most inmate mail is no longer delivered directly to the inmate.  Instead, it is scanned in at the processing center, and then inmates have the opportunity to read the mail on kiosks or tablets provided for inmate use in the jail.  When inmates are released, they can log onto a public website,, enter their inmate number and password, and download the material that they received.

You can send photos to inmates using the same website.  Like letters, inmates will be able to view the photos online.  Photos sent are subject to approval by the jail staff.  Generally prohibited images include nude or sexually explicit photographs, photographs that show gang activity, violent photographs, and images that could be used to plan an escape or in the planning of a crime.

You can send emails to inmates at the Etowah County Detention Center.  There is a charge for inmate emails.  The email system is a two-way system, which means that inmates can send emails to people outside of the jail system.

Phone Number

The main phone number for the Etowah County Detention Center is 256-546-2825.

The jail’s main phone number is for information about the jail; inmates cannot receive incoming phone calls.  However, if you have an emergency and need to contact an inmate, you can call the jail’s main number.  You may be put into contact with the jailer-in-charge, who can determine whether or not the emergency merits them having the inmate contact you.  You may be required to provide verification of the emergency.

Inmate Roster

The Etowah County Detention Center has an inmate database, which you can locate by looking at its mugshot database.  It also provides a booking database, which shows inmates who were booked within a 24-hour period.  You can search for inmates by last name, first name, middle name, begin booking date, end booking date, whether inmates are currently incarcerated.  If you want to see a list of all inmates currently incarcerated, you can simply run a search without filling in any of the other details for inmate database search.  When you pull up inmate’s records you find the following information in their records: last name, first name, middle name, custodial status, booking number, booking date, inmate number, age on booking date, and the bond amount (if the inmate has received a bond).

Bookings / Recent Arrests

You can find booking arrests by going directly to the Etowah County Detention Center’s inmate database, which you can find by selecting mugshots on the county jail’s website.  The default is for inmates that were booked within the last 24 hours to be shown on this website, which means that it serves as a recent arrest record.  On the inmate records, you can find a mugshot, as well as the inmate’s full name, booking number, booking date, age on booking date, custodial status, and bond amount.

Etowah County Mugshots

You can find inmate mugshots/ booking photos for the Etowah County Detention Center by clicking on the mugshot button on the county jail’s website, which takes you to the inmate database.  In addition to mugshots/ booking photos, you will find detailed information about the inmates.  This includes the inmate’s name, age, booking number, booking date, whether the inmate is still in custody, and the bond amount.


The Etowah County Detention Center’s Visitation hours are: Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Monday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Tuesday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; and Wednesday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  There is no visitation Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

All visits are by appointment.  The inmates are responsible for scheduling their own appointments and then notifying visitors of the scheduled visitation time. Inmates cannot schedule visits during their court appearances.

While visitors may be on multiple inmate visitation lists, visitors may only visit one inmate per day.

Visitation at the Etowah County Detention Center is non-contact.  It is conducted by a video visitation system.  Video visitation means that visitors and inmates do not have to be in the same location, reducing inmate movement throughout the facility and increasing safety for inmates, staff, and visitors.

All inmates must show a valid ID at the time of their visit.  This identification should be a photo identification for any visitor age 14 or over.  Children under the age of 13 do not need a photo id that shows proof of age.  School identification is not acceptable, but military identification is.  Visitors who are under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult and must be with the adult at all times during the visitation.

Inmates are entitled to one visit per day up to two visits per week.  Two adults and two juveniles are permitted at each visitation.

In addition to on-site video visitation, the Etowah County Detention Center also offers remote visitation through  The charge for remote visits is $7.60 for a 20-minute visitation.  Video visitation increases visitation opportunities because it has expanded visitation hours.  In addition, it does not require friends and family to travel to the jail facility.  Furthermore, while there is a charge for jail visitation, it often turns out to be more cost effective for families because it reduces costs that are related to visitation, such as costs for gas and time missed from work.  Visitors may use computers, smart phones, and tablets to conduct visitation, as long as the smart device has a working camera.  Visitors can schedule remote visits.

Whether visiting the Detention Center in person or remotely, visitors must follow all posted rules and any instructions given to visitors by the Detention Deputies.  Failure to do so can result in termination of the visit, revocation of visitation privileges, and even the filing of criminal charges.  Visitors cannot bring the following items into the visitation area: weapons, cell phones, smart phones or wireless communication devices, tablets, handbags, hand-held wallets, clipboards, magazines, notebooks, briefcases, any electronic recording or playing devices, cameras, food or drink.

Visitors must comply with a dress code.  Visitors must wear undergarments, shorts must be knee length, dresses and skirts can be no higher than just above the knee, shirts and dresses must have sleeves, clothing cannot be see-through, clothing cannot be low-cut, shirts must be at least as long as the belt-line, and clothing should not be skin-tight.

Inmate Phone Privileges

Inmates and detainees at the Etowah County Detention Center are able to make outgoing phone calls, but they cannot receive incoming phone calls.  If you have an emergency and need to contact an inmate, you can email the inmate.  You can also call the jail and explain to the on-duty jailer what the emergency is and request that they have the inmate contact you.  Be prepared to verify your emergency and be aware that whether or not to contact you is up to the discretion of the jail staff.

Once an inmate has been booked, they will get access to a telephone.  In addition, telephones are located in the inmate housing areas.  ICE detainees are able to make pro bono or free phone calls from the phones located in the housing units.  There are procedural rules for making these pro bono phone calls, and the rules, as well as a list of numbers that can be called during these calls, is available in each unit.

Inmate phone calls are limited to 20 minutes per call.  In addition, they cannot make multiple calls if there are other inmates or detainees waiting to use the phone.

Calls are not free.  All calls, whether local, long-distance, or international, are billed by the minute.  There are no connection fees.

Inmate calls cannot be three way calls.  Using any phone features, such as call-waiting, may result in the call being disconnected.

Etowah County Detention Center uses NCIC Inmate Communication for its phone services.  To add funds to an inmate’s phone account, you can call NCIC Inmate Communication at 1-800-943-2189 or visit them online at

Inmate Trust Accounts / Commissary

The Etowah County Detention Center uses Jail Funds to handle its inmate trust accounts.  Inmates can use funds in their trust accounts to make purchases from commissary, which is also known as canteen.  This is an in-jail store service, which allows inmates to purchase items that are not provided by the jail.  Items that inmates can purchase from the jail include things like food, writing materials, recreation materials, health and beauty items, and even some types of clothing.

You may deposit funds into an inmate’s commissary account by visiting the kiosk in the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office.  There are kiosks located inside jail visitation and near dispatch at the front door.  You can use cash or credit cards to make those deposits.  You can also deposit funds online by visiting

You can mail deposits for inmates to:

Secure Deposits
Etowah AL
PO Box 12486
St. Louis, MO 63132

In addition to commissary, inmates can receive certain items from drop-offs.  These items may be brought to visitation.  The items that can be dropped off include: 3 pairs of white socks, three wireless bras (for women), 3 pairs of white underwear, 1 pair of white canvas shoes, and 1 soft black Bible.  Immigration detainees may also receive 3 white t-shirts.  All materials must be in their original, unopened packaging.

Bail Information

You may bond an inmate out of the Etowah County Detention Center in one of three ways: cash for the entire amount of the bond; a property bond with two signees; or by paying a surety bond through a bonding company.


The Etowah County Detention Center is the local jail facility for Etowah County, Alabama.   IT is run by the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office.  As a local jail facility, the Etowah County Detention Center holds a wide variety of different inmates and detainees, including pre-trial detainees, post-conviction detainees, detainees being held for ICE, defendants who have been convicted but are awaiting sentencing, defendants who have been sentenced, and inmates being transferred between facilities.


Year Built or Opened: 1994 Total Capacity: 852 Security Level(s): minimum - medium

Smart Communications – Etowah County Detention Center
c/o Inmate Name- ID Number
209 20th Street North Unit 91
Birmingham, Alabama 35203

Phone Number(s): 256-549-5410 256-549-1444
Fax Number: 256-549-5332
Email Address: [email protected]

827 Forrest Avenue
Gadsden, AL 35901

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