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The Lerdo Detention Center is an immigration detention facility located in Bakersfield, California. The detention center is located about 283 miles from San Francisco, but falls within the jurisdiction of the San Francisco ERO Field Office. The Lerdo facility is owned by Kern County and operated by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. While the Lerdo Detention Center has capacity for 1,232 persons, a maximum of 150 are allocated for federal immigration detainees. (Kern County holds ICE inmates pursuant to an intergovernmental services agreement.) The Lerdo Detention Center is also referred to as Kern County Jail or Lerdo Pretrial Facility.
Contacting the Facility
Lerdo Detention Center
17695 Industrial Farm Road
Bakersfield, California 93308
(661)391-7900 (press “1 for English and “2″ for the Maximum-Medium Facility)
Contacting A Detainee
To speak to a detainee by phone, you must have the detainee call you. The Lerdo Detention Facility staff will not connect you directly to a detainee, and will not pass on messages for detainees. To give a detainee instructions on when to call you, the best you can do is write him or her a letter.
To deposit money in the person’s account, you can either mail a money order to the facility, or you may bring cash to the facility.
To visit the a person at the Lerdo Detention Center, the hours will depend on the first letter of the detainee’s last name:
- for persons with last names beginning A-F, visiting hours are between 12-2:30pm and 6-8:30pm on Tuesday and Friday
- for persons with last names beginning G-M, visiting hours are between 12-2:30pm and 6-8:30pm on Wednesday and Saturday
- for persons with last names beginning N-Z, visiting hours are between 12-2:30pm and 6-8:30pm on Thursday and Sunday
To send mail to the person, use the following address:
Inmate Name, Alien Number, and Booking Number
Lerdo Detention Center (Maximum-Medium)
17695 Industrial Farm Road
Bakersfield, California 93308
Contacting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
To contact the Bakersfield ICE office, call (661)328-4500 and ask to speak to the deportation officer assigned to the person’s case. (Note: deportation officers are assigned to cases based on the last 3 digits of the person’s alien number, so have this number ready before you call.) The Assistant Field Office Director in charge of immigration detainees at Lerdo is Monte Lafave. He is supervised by the Field Office Director Timothy S. Aitken, who works from the San Francisco Field Office. To contact the SF ERO Field Office, call (415)844-5512.
The majority of immigration inmates at the Lerdo Detention Center are not eligible for release on bond. According to a 2008 audit, all ICE detainees at Lerdo had been issued final orders of removals. When a person is detained under a removal order, it is difficult to obtain release, but not impossible. You should contact an immigration attorney about the possibility of obtaining a release on an order of supervision. To find out ICE’s stance on whether a person is eligible for release, call the ICE officers in Bakersfield, California at (661)328-4500.
If a person is in fact eligible for release on bond, you can post bond at any ICE ERO Field Office in the country. However, for the most hassle-free release in the shortest amount of time, go to the San Franciso Field Office:
630 Sansome Street, Suite 590
San Francisco, California 94111
After posting bond, inmates released from the Lerdo Detention Center are typically not transported to a local bus station or airport. However, to make special arrangements, you can try contacting the San Francisco ERO Field Office or Bakersfield ICE deportation officers.
The Removal Process
In the past, most immigration detainees at Lerdo have already been issued final orders of removal and will not see an immigration judge. In rare cases, a ICE detainee at Lerdo may have a hearing before an immigration judge.
The inmates at Lerdo who have hearings before an immigration judge will appear via televideo at the San Francisco Immigration Court. The San Francisco Immigration Court has two locations, one for detained cases, and one for non-detained cases. Detainees’ cases are heard out of Appraisers Building, located at 630 Sansome Street, 4th Floor, Room 475, San Francisco, California 94111. The Court can be reached at (415)705-1033. There are currently three immigration judges at this location:
- Judge Michael Yamaguchi
- Judge Lawrence N. DiCostanzo
- Judge Anthony S. Murry
Most Lerdo inmates do not appear before immigration judges, because they have already received final orders of removals. However, persons eligible for hearings before an immigration judge may have to wait several weeks before seeing one.
The Lerdo Detention Facility is operated by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. Immigration detainees at Lerdo have usually been issued orders or removal, and are awaiting decisions on appeals or motions to reopen, or the issuance of travel documents needed for deportation. As a result, ICE detainees are sometimes held at the facility for several months to years. A 2008 audit by Latham & Watkins revealed numerous deficiencies in conditions at the facility.
- Immigration handbooks were not provided in foreign languages.
- Detainees were not allowed private calls with their attorneys.
- Detainees were not given adequate time for outdoor recreation.
- Some detainees were denied access to visitors on weekends.
- Detainees were not given free calls to pro bono legal service providers.
- Phone messages were not given to detainees.
- The facility did not show or make available any “Know Your Rights Videos.”
A government document titled, “Detainee Deaths 2004-November 2007″ revealed that during these years, the Lerdo Detention Center had 3 immigrant deaths.
If you are having difficulty locating someone at the Lerdo Detention Facility, you may want to try contacting any the following immigration detention centers:
- San Diego Correctional Facility
- El Centro Service Processing Center
- West County Detention Center
- Adelanto Detention Center
- Mira Loma Detention Center
- Sacramento County Jail
- Santa Ana City Jail
- Yuba County Jail