Cerro Gordo County Jail Inmate Lookup / Search

The Cerro Gordo County Jail, IA, is a secure detention facility located in Mason City, Iowa. This facility serves Cerro Gordo County and surrounding areas, holding individuals awaiting trial, sentencing, or other legal proceedings. It offers a structured environment, adhering to legal standards of safety, respect, and fairness.

To locate an inmate within the correction facility, you can make use of the Inmate Search tool provided on the Cerro Gordo County Jail’s official website. Following are the steps to use this service and the information that can be retrieved.

Offender Search

  1. Visit the Cerro Gordo County Jail Inmate Search page.
  2. Enter the inmate’s first and last name in the respective search boxes. If you have the inmate’s booking number, you can enter that instead. Both fields are not required, but entering more specific information will help narrow down the results.
  3. Click on the ‘Search’ button.

Inmates List

The following information about the inmate is available on the detention center’s roster:

  • Booking Number: This is the unique identifier assigned to the inmate at the time of booking into the detention facility.
  • Last Name: The surname of the inmate.
  • First Name: The given name of the inmate.
  • Date of Birth: The inmate’s date of birth.
  • Release Date: If applicable, the date the inmate is scheduled to be released from the detention center.
  • Criminal Charges: The criminal offenses the inmate has been charged with.

Please note that while every effort is made to keep this information up to date, the data provided might have a short delay.

Tips for Inmate Search

  1. Spelling Matters: Ensure that you’ve correctly spelled the inmate’s name. Double-check spelling, especially for uncommon names.
  2. Use Full Names: If possible, use the full first and last name of the inmate to ensure accuracy.
  3. Broaden Your Search: If you’re having trouble finding an inmate, consider broadening your search. Sometimes, less specific information can return more results.
  4. Booking Number: If you know the inmate’s booking number, this can be the quickest and most accurate way to find specific information.

Remember, the goal of the Inmate Search tool is to provide transparency and facilitate communication with incarcerated individuals. Therefore, it’s important to use this service responsibly and respect the privacy of the inmates.

Understanding the Prison Roster

Apart from the inmate-specific information like Booking Number, Last Name, First Name, Date of Birth, Release Date, and Criminal Charges, the prison roster also provides additional details:

  • Custody Status: This indicates whether the inmate is in custody at the detention facility or released to another authority.
  • Bail/Bond Amount: This is the amount of money set by the court that the inmate or someone on their behalf must pay for their release. It is a guarantee that the inmate will appear at future court dates.
  • Court Appearance Date and Time: It is the schedule of when the inmate is due to appear before the court.
  • Housing Location: This is the specific location where the inmate is housed within the detention center.

Enhanced Inmate Search Tips

When using the Inmate Search tool, consider the following strategies to optimize your search results:

  1. Partial Name Search: If you’re unsure about the exact spelling of an inmate’s name, you can use a partial name in your search. This will yield broader results, giving you the opportunity to locate the correct individual.
  2. Date of Birth: Including the inmate’s date of birth in your search can help filter results, particularly if the person you’re searching for has a common name.
  3. Booking Date: If you know when the individual was arrested, this can help narrow down the search results.
  4. Charge/Case Number: If you have access to this information, it can lead directly to the inmate’s record.
  5. Regular Updates: Check the Inmate Search tool regularly as the roster updates frequently throughout the day. This ensures you have the most current information.

It’s crucial to remember that the information listed is for informational purposes only and should not be used to harm, harass, or criminally target listed individuals or their families. The data is dependent on the inputs and updates by the Cerro Gordo County Jail’s staff and can be subject to change. In case of any inaccuracies or doubts, contact the detention center directly.

Visitation Guidelines and Hours

Visitation is a critical way to maintain connections between inmates and their loved ones. However, there are important guidelines that need to be followed to ensure safety and order within the detention facility.

Procedure for Arranging a Visit

  1. Before you can visit an inmate, you need to be on their approved visitation list. The inmate themselves should provide your details to the jail administration for approval.
  2. Once approved, you can schedule a visit through the Cerro Gordo County Jail’s Visitation Scheduling webpage. You’ll need to provide your name, the inmate’s name, and select a suitable date and time for the visit.
  3. All visitation appointments must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.

Rules and Regulations for Visits

  1. All visitors must present a valid government-issued photo ID.
  2. Visitors should arrive 15 minutes prior to their scheduled visitation time.
  3. Inappropriate behavior, including the use of foul language or any form of disorderly conduct, can lead to immediate termination of the visit and potential banning from future visitation.
  4. Visitors are not allowed to bring any items to the inmates. Any gifts or items for inmates must be mailed according to the facility’s mail policy.
  5. All visitors and their belongings are subject to search. Refusal of a search can lead to denial of visitation.

Visitation Hours

Visitation hours can vary depending on the housing location of the inmate within the detention center. Typically, visitation is available seven days a week during the following hours:

  • Morning: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • Afternoon: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Evening: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

It’s recommended to verify visitation hours directly with the jail through their official website or by phone.

Inmate Communications

The Cerro Gordo County Jail provides inmates with access to telephones to maintain ties with family and legal representatives.

Inmate Call System and Regulations

Inmates can make outgoing calls only, and the detention facility uses a third-party service for this purpose. Calls may be recorded and monitored, except for legally privileged calls with attorneys.

Here are some key regulations:

  1. Inmates cannot receive incoming calls.
  2. All calls are collect, which means the recipient will be charged for the call.
  3. Inmates have access to telephones during their free time, typically daily from 7 AM to 10 PM.
  4. Any form of call harassment or threats can lead to an inmate’s phone privileges being revoked.

Jail Phone Number and Guidelines for Use

The main phone number for the Cerro Gordo County Jail is 641-421-3004. However, this number should not be used to try to communicate with inmates. This line is for jail administration, not for inmate contact.

If you wish to set up a prepaid phone account for an inmate to call you, you’ll need to use the services of the jail’s approved telephone provider. Information about the approved provider and their contact details can be found on the Jail’s website.

Remember, communication with inmates should be conducted respectfully and in accordance with all facility rules and regulations. Misuse of communication privileges can result in disciplinary actions against the inmate, including loss of phone and visitation privileges.

Inmate Mail

Regular correspondence with friends and family members is beneficial for inmates. However, all mail sent to inmates in the detention center must follow specific rules and guidelines.

Process of Sending Mail to an Inmate

  1. Address your envelope with the inmate’s full name and booking number, along with the detention facility’s full address. An example of the correct format is:
[Inmate's Full Name]
[Inmate's Booking Number]
Cerro Gordo County Jail
17262 Lark Ave,
Mason City, IA 50401
  1. You may include letters, photos (according to regulations), and legal documents in your mail. Ensure you include your return address on the envelope.
  2. Drop the letter in the mail. It will be delivered to the jail and inspected for contraband before being given to the inmate.

Guidelines for Sending Mail to Inmates

  1. Do not include any materials considered contraband, such as weapons, drugs, explicit content, or coded messages.
  2. Photos should not be larger than 4″x6″ and should not depict nudity, violence, or gang-related activities.
  3. Do not send items like money, checks, stamps, or envelopes. Any such items will be confiscated.
  4. Mail must not contain glitter, stickers, glue, or any other substances that could potentially conceal contraband.
  5. Mail should not contain polaroid photos as they can be used to conceal contraband.

Please note that all mail will be opened and inspected, and mail that violates these guidelines will be returned to sender or disposed of.

Sending Money to Inmates

Inmates may need funds for various reasons, such as to purchase commissary items or to pay for phone calls. Here’s how you can send money to an inmate at the Cerro Gordo County Jail:

Approved Methods for Sending Money

  1. Money Order: You can mail a money order to the detention center with the inmate’s name and booking number written clearly.
  2. Online Transfer: You can transfer money to an inmate’s account online through the jail’s approved money transfer service. More information about this service is available on the jail’s official website.

Regulations and Limitations for Sending Money

  1. There may be a limit to how much money an inmate can have in their account at any one time. Be sure to check the jail’s guidelines on this.
  2. Ensure the inmate’s name and booking number are clearly written on any money order to prevent any delay or loss of funds.
  3. Online transfers often come with a service fee, which varies based on the amount you’re sending.
  4. Remember, money sent to an inmate becomes their property. If they owe fines or restitution, the funds sent may be used to pay those debts.

For specific information about sending mail or money to an inmate at the Cerro Gordo County Jail, it’s recommended to visit their official website or contact them directly.

Inmate Commissary

The inmate commissary is a store within the correction facility where inmates can purchase products like food, personal hygiene items, writing materials, and other approved items.

Definition and Purpose of the Commissary

The commissary serves as an internal store for inmates, which they can access to purchase various items not provided by the jail, but allowed within the facility. The purpose of the commissary is to provide inmates with access to goods that can improve their comfort and quality of life during their incarceration.

How Inmates Can Use the Commissary

Inmates can make commissary purchases using their jail account. Friends and family can deposit funds into this account, either via mail with a money order or through the approved online money transfer service. Once the funds are available, inmates can use them to buy items from the commissary during their designated shopping days.

Restrictions on the Commissary Use

While the commissary offers a variety of items, there are restrictions:

  1. There may be a spending limit per shopping period, preventing excessive purchases.
  2. Some items may be limited in quantity to prevent hoarding or misuse.
  3. Inmates can only purchase items for their use. They are prohibited from buying items for other inmates.
  4. Misuse of commissary items can lead to disciplinary actions, including suspension of commissary privileges.

Incarceration Records and Mugshots

Incarceration records and mugshots provide a historical overview of an individual’s interactions with the correctional system.

Process of Obtaining Incarceration Records

Incarceration records, including booking details, charges, and sentence information, can typically be obtained through the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office. Requests can often be made in person, over the phone, or via mail, and some jurisdictions may offer online requests.

  1. To start the process, prepare as much information about the inmate as possible, such as their full name, date of birth, and approximate dates of incarceration.
  2. Contact the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office to inquire about their specific process for requesting these records.
  3. You may be required to fill out a records request form and pay a nominal fee for the service.

Note that not all incarceration records may be available due to privacy laws or other restrictions.

Explanation of Mugshots and Their Availability

A mugshot is a photograph taken of an individual when they are booked into the jail following their arrest. It typically includes a front-view and side-view of the individual. Mugshots serve as a record-keeping tool to track inmates and are typically part of the public record.

The availability of mugshots varies based on local and state laws. In some cases, mugshots can be obtained along with incarceration records. For the Cerro Gordo County Jail, mugshots may be available on the online inmate search tool, depending on privacy and policy considerations.

Always remember to respect the privacy and dignity of individuals when accessing and using this information. Misuse of this information can have legal repercussions.

Inmate Population

The population of inmates at the Cerro Gordo County Jail varies due to factors like arrests, releases, transfers, and sentences served.

Current Population Statistics

As of the most recent available data, the jail has a capacity for approximately 96 inmates. This includes cells for both male and female inmates and is designed to house minimum, medium, and maximum security inmates.

Average Inmate Stay Duration

The average stay duration for an inmate can vary widely depending on their charges, the progress of their legal case, and other factors. On average, inmates in county jails like the Cerro Gordo County Jail typically stay for a few weeks to several months. However, inmates facing more serious charges or those serving a sentence may stay for a longer period.

Racial, Age, and Gender Demographics

Exact racial, age, and gender demographics can vary over time. To get the most current and accurate demographic information for inmates at the Cerro Gordo County Jail, it is recommended to contact the facility directly or check the relevant data on the official county website.

Security Level

The Cerro Gordo County Jail employs a variety of security measures to ensure the safety of staff, inmates, and the community.

General Description of Security Measures

  1. Physical Security: The facility is designed with secure cells and common areas, surveillance cameras, controlled access points, and secured perimeters.
  2. Procedural Security: There are strict procedures for inmate movement, visitation, mail screening, and commissary handling to prevent contraband and maintain order.
  3. Staffing: Trained correctional officers are on duty 24/7, and there are additional security personnel like transport officers, intake officers, and others.

Categories of Offenders Housed

The Cerro Gordo County Jail houses adult males and females who are:

  1. Awaiting trial or sentencing.
  2. Serving short-term sentences for minor offenses.
  3. Being held for transfer to another facility.

Role of Correctional Officers

Correctional officers play a crucial role in maintaining security and order within the jail. Their responsibilities include:

  1. Supervising inmate activities and maintaining order.
  2. Conducting regular security checks and headcounts.
  3. Responding to incidents within the jail.
  4. Overseeing inmate transport and movement within the facility.
  5. Enforcing rules and regulations of the facility.

It’s important to note that while the jail maintains a high level of security, it also strives to uphold the dignity and rights of inmates, offering services and programs to aid in their rehabilitation.

Location and Contact Details

For direct communication with the Cerro Gordo County Jail, here are the official contact details:

Mailing Address:

Cerro Gordo County Jail
17262 Lark Ave,
Mason City, IA 50401

Phone Number: 641-421-3004

Please note, this phone number is for administrative purposes and should not be used to contact inmates directly.

Official Website: Cerro Gordo County Jail


Frequently Asked Questions

Inmate Search & Arrests Lookup

1. How can I find an inmate in a specific jail or prison?

You can typically find an inmate in a specific jail or prison by using inmate locator tools available online. Many states, counties, and cities have these tools on their Department of Corrections websites. These tools usually require either the inmate’s full name or inmate ID number. Some examples include:

2. Are arrest records available to the public?

Yes, in many jurisdictions arrest records are considered public information and can be accessed by anyone. This is often possible through local sheriff’s office or police department websites. Some states also have a central repository for public criminal records.

3. Can I find the arrest date and charges of an inmate online?

Yes, you can often find the arrest date and charges of an inmate online. This information is usually included as part of an inmate’s record on online inmate locator tools or within arrest records available to the public.

4. Is it possible to find out an inmate’s scheduled release date?

Yes, you can often find an inmate’s scheduled release date online. This is typically included as part of an inmate’s record in online inmate locator tools. However, some jurisdictions may limit the amount of information available to the public for privacy and security reasons.

Jail Bookings

5. How can I get information about recent jail bookings?

Information about recent jail bookings is typically available through local sheriff’s office or police department websites. Many of these agencies have online tools that provide a list of recent bookings, often including the name of the individual, their charges, and their mugshot.

6. Are booking photographs (mugshots) available for viewing online?

Yes, mugshots are often available for viewing online. These can typically be found as part of an inmate’s record in online inmate locator tools, or in listings of recent jail bookings.

7. What information is provided in a jail booking record?

Jail booking records typically include:

  • The inmate’s full name
  • Booking number
  • Date and time of booking
  • Charges
  • Mugshot
  • Bond information

Inmate Calls

8. How can an inmate make phone calls from jail or prison?

Inmates can make phone calls from jail or prison through a service provider contracted by the facility. These calls are typically collect calls, prepaid, or funded by an account set up by the inmate or their loved ones.

9. Are there restrictions on when an inmate can make a call?

Yes, there are often restrictions on when an inmate can make a call. These restrictions depend on the rules of the specific facility, but they generally limit the hours during which calls can be made and the duration of the calls.

10. Can I initiate a call to an inmate?

Generally, you cannot initiate a call to an inmate. Inmates are the ones who must initiate calls. However, you can set up an account or deposit money to allow for prepaid calls.

11. Are inmate phone calls monitored or recorded?

Yes, inmate phone calls are generally monitored and recorded, with the exception of calls to legal counsel. The facility will typically inform both parties that the call may be recorded.

Inmate Mail

12. Can I send mail to an inmate?

Yes, you can send mail to an inmate. However, there may be restrictions on what can be included in the mail, and all mail is typically inspected before it is given to the inmate.

13.Are there restrictions on what can be sent to an inmate in the mail?

Yes, there are typically restrictions on what can be sent to an inmate in the mail. These restrictions can vary by facility, but generally prohibit items such as:

  • Drugs or alcohol
  • Weapons or sharp objects
  • Cash
  • Pornographic material
  • Any items that could potentially compromise the safety and security of the facility

You should check the specific mail policies of the institution to ensure you comply with their guidelines.

14. Is incoming mail for inmates inspected or screened?

Yes, all incoming mail for inmates is typically inspected or screened. This is to ensure the safety and security of the facility and to prevent contraband from entering the prison.

15. How can an inmate send mail to someone outside of the correctional facility?

Inmates can send mail to someone outside of the correctional facility by writing a letter and giving it to the prison staff, who will then mail it for them. Inmates typically need to buy stamps and envelopes from the prison commissary.


16. How can I visit an inmate in jail or prison?

To visit an inmate in jail or prison, you typically need to follow these steps:

  1. Check the visitation rules for the specific facility.
  2. Fill out a visitation application if required.
  3. Schedule a visit once your application is approved.

Remember, each facility may have different rules and processes for visitation.

17. What are the visitation rules and regulations?

Visitation rules and regulations vary by facility but typically include:

  • Specific visiting hours
  • Dress code requirements
  • Rules against bringing certain items into the facility
  • Requirements for visitor behavior

You should check the specific rules for the facility you plan to visit.

18. Are there special requirements for children visiting an inmate?

The requirements for children visiting an inmate vary by facility, but often include:

  • A parent or guardian must accompany children.
  • Children must be kept under control at all times.
  • Some facilities may require proof of guardianship.

19. Can I schedule a virtual visitation with an inmate?

Some facilities offer virtual visitation or video visitation options, which allow you to schedule a video call with an inmate. You should check with the specific facility to see if this option is available.

Sending Money & Posting Bond

20. How can I send money to an inmate?

You can typically send money to an inmate through a variety of methods, including:

  • Online services
  • Money orders
  • Checks

The specific methods available will depend on the rules of the specific facility.

21. Can an inmate use the money I send for any purchase?

Inmates can typically use the money you send to purchase items from the prison commissary, such as food, personal hygiene items, and stationery. However, they may not be able to use the money for other purposes, depending on the rules of the specific facility.

22. What is the process for posting bond for an inmate?

The process for posting bond for an inmate typically involves:

  1. Finding out the bond amount, which is usually set by a judge.
  2. Paying the bond amount directly to the court or through a bail bondsman.
  3. Providing the inmate’s information and your own information to the court or bail bondsman.

23. What happens to the bond money if the inmate appears at all court dates?

If the inmate appears at all court dates, the bond money is typically returned to the person who posted it, minus any fees or charges. However, if the inmate fails to appear at any court dates, the bond money may be forfeited.

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