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Jail Observer

Published on: 11/28/2017 11:27 AM
To contact the Jail Observer Program (JOP):  
Call:    (408) 993-4140 
Our Staff:
Kate Jones, JD
Inés Zapiola, MS
Jail Observer: 
The Jail Observer Program  (JOP) serves as a confidential, neutral, and independent office to informally address concerns about the county jail at the lowest possible level. We facilitate communication and understanding of jail policies and alert decision makers when systemic issues are identified by statistical trends. We welcome calls from everyone connected with the jail.
Our Services:
  • Receive confidential calls from everyone connected with the Santa Clara County jail. Our calls are not recorded or monitored
  • Listen to caller concerns
  • Facilitate communication between concerned parties
  • Explain Department of Corrections (DOC) policies or ask to find out what policies apply
  • Alert DOC and CHS officials of relevant caller complaints when the caller wants us to do so
  • Alert DOC and CHS of complaint patterns or trends in order to address systemic issues out of synch with procedure


If a question for a specific inmate is requested, we need the inmate’s first and last name and date of birth, booking number (7 or 8 digit number), or PFN (3 letters, 3 numbers).


The JOP welcomes calls from families and friends of inmates and from jail staff. The JOP may be reached directly at (408) 993-4140.

All calls are confidential unless the caller gives the JOP permission to raise an issue with the DOC or CHS administration using the caller's name. The JOP takes a caller's phone number only if the caller wants it taken. We do not record our phone calls.

What We May Not Do:

  • Overrule DOC decisions
  • Overrule CHS decisions
  • Conduct investigations
  • Give legal advice
  • Disclose information provided in confidence except to address an imminent risk of serious harm where there is no other responsible option
  • Advocate for an individual
  • Act in Juvenile Justice cases