Security Services

The Dane County Sheriff's Office operates three jail facilities:

The City-County Building Jail, located at 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Madison, Wisconsin, houses maximum security prisoners who are awaiting trial or who do not have work release privileges on their sentences.

The Public Safety Building Jail, located at 115 West Doty Street, Madison, Wisconsin houses medium security prisoners and prisoners sentenced to jail with work release. It also contains our Booking facility for processing new prisoners into the jail, and is the centralized location for releases from the jail facilities. All property, financial, and administrative offices are located at this facility.

The William H. Ferris Center, located at 2120 Rimrock Road, Madison, Wisconsin, near the Coliseum and Exposition Center, houses minimum security prisoners who are sentenced with work release privileges, and houses the administrative office for electronic release programs.


Medical/Mental Health

The Dane County Jail offers medical and mental health care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, the Dane County Jail does not have an Infirmary. Emergency medical and mental health requests are handled immediately. Non-emergent medical and mental health requests may be addressed through a sick call slip. Slips are collected daily. Request slips for medical and mental health care are triaged within 24 hours and addressed within 48 hours Mon-Fri. Requests will be addressed within 72 hours on Saturdays and Sundays.


Messages For Inmates

The Dane County Jail staff will relay an emergency message only. Emergencies are verified before the message is relayed. One example is if an immediate family member of an inmate is in critical condition, or had an emergency surgery. The staff will need to verify all such emergencies. If there is a death of an immediate family member, the death will be verified via the hospital, morgue or funeral home. The Dane County Jail staff will notify the jail chaplain to assist in relaying the message to the inmate if requested.


Child Support/Purge Amount

"How can I pay a person's purge amount and how much is owed?"  The Dane County Sheriff's Office does not accept purge amounts.  Please contact the Child Support agency at 608-266-4031 to determine the amount owed.  The purge payments need to be made at the Dane County Child Support Office at 210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Room 365.  Please see their website for more information

Dane County Circuit Court Info

To contact the Clerk of Courts please call 608-266-4311 or go to

Initial appearance court is held each weekday.  Monday is at 2pm and Tuesday thru Friday is at 1:30pm.  For additional court date information please contact the Clerk of Courts at 608-266-4311.

Returning Bail Money


If you are about to post bond for an individual arrested on a felony or misdemeanor, be advised of the following:

An appearance in court does not guarantee the return of the bond money.

By law the court MUST apply bond money deposited, first towards the payment of any restitution ordered, and then to payment of the judgment.

Disbursement of the bond money posted may not occur until the case has been disposed of and may be held up to 120 days after disposition upon a pending Order for Restitution.

If the money deposited by an individual other than the defendant is applied towards restitution, and/or judgment, the recovery of the money by the surety is a matter between the parties and not the court.

Failure of the defendant to comply with the terms of bond will result in the court initiating a forfeiture action of the bond deposited.

Misdemeanor: §969.02(6)  Wis. Stats. When a judgment of conviction is entered in a prosecution in which a deposit had been made in accordance with sub. (2), the balance of such deposit, after deduction of the bond costs, shall be applied first to the payment of any restitution ordered under §973.20 and then, if ordered restitution is satisfied in full, to the payment of the judgment.

Felony: §969.03(4)  Wis. Stats. If a judgment of conviction is entered in a prosecution in which a deposit had been made in accordance with sub. (1) (d), the balance of the deposit, after deduction of the bond costs, shall be applied first to the payment of any restitution ordered under §973.20 and then, if ordered restitution is satisfied in full, to the payment of the judgment.


A condition of this bond includes, without limitation, the requirement that the defendant appear in person, on the date and at the time set, in the court having jurisdiction, at each court proceeding for which he/she receives notice. This condition applies until the defendant is discharged on final order of the court. (See §969.09 Wis. Stats.)


Defendant will submit to the orders and process of the court (See §969.09 Wis. Stats.)

Written notice shall be given to the Clerk of Courts of any defendant change of address within 48 hours after such change. Said notice shall be sent to the Clerk of Courts at Dane County Courthouse, 215 South Hamilton Street, Room 1000, Madison, WI 53703-3285 or Fax to (608) 267-8859. (See §969.10 Wis. Stats.)


The defendant will neither do, nor cause to be done, nor permit to be done on his/her behalf, any act proscribed as § 940.42 to §940.45 Wis. Stats., and any willful violation of the condition is subject to punishment as prescribed in s. 940.48(3) Wis. Stats. whether or not the defendant was the subject of an order under §940.47 Wis. Stats. (See § 940.49, 969.02, and 969.03(2m) Wis. Stats.)

  1. §940.42 Wis. Stats. Intimidation of witnesses; misdemeanor.

  2. §940.44 Wis. Stats. Intimidation of victims; misdemeanor.

  3. §940.43 Wis. Stats. Intimidation of witnesses; felony.

  4. §940.45 Wis. Stats. Intimidation of victims; felony.


Marriage In Jail

Weddings are not performed at the Dane County Jail, or while an inmate is incarcerated in our facilities.


Blocking Phone Calls From Inmates

The Dane County Jail will block your phone number if you are receiving harassing/annoying phone calls from an inmate at the jail. You may contact a Jail Sergeant at 608-284-6100 to have your number blocked.


Donations To The Jail Library

Donations of books and magazines may be made at:

SLIS Lab Library
4191 Helen C. White Hall
600 N. Park Street
Madison, WI 53706

Books and magazines cannot be dropped off at the Sheriff’s Office.



Money can be placed on inmate accounts 24 hours a day/7 days a week or may be sent via U.S. Mail.

Acceptable forms of deposits are cash, money orders and/or cashiers checks at the Bail & Release Window located inside the Public Safety Building at 115 West Doty Street. Personal checks are not accepted.

You are also able to deposit money on inmate accounts using the website.

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office reserves the right to refuse any method of payment presented for deposit into an inmate’s account.


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Locating An Inmate

How do I find out if someone is in jail?

To find out if someone is in jail, you can call (608) 284-6100. Our voice tree will route your inquiry to the proper location.

How do I bail someone out of jail?

You can bail a prisoner out of jail by appearing in person at the Bail/Release window in the Public Safety Building, 115 W. Doty St., Madison, ground floor. The jail accepts cash, money orders or cashier’s checks for all bail. Out-of-county money orders and cashier’s checks will be verified for authenticity. Any prisoner going through the Dane County Court system can be bailed out by using a Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card, Diner's Club or American Express credit card, if credit is approved. If a credit card is used for bail, the person whose name is imprinted on the card must appear in person to sign the charge slip. A transaction fee is automatically added to the cash advance amount.  There will be a 5% non refundable fee added to the bail amount.  That fee goes to GovPayNet.

You may also pay bail at another county in Wisconsin. Just go to the local County Sheriff’s Office and let them know you would like to bail someone out in Dane County. Make sure you pay the bail in cash. The Dane County Jail will only accept charge cards on bail paid in person at our jail. The Courts (not the Sheriff's Office) process any returns of bail money. Typically, the courts will return bail after the subject has completed all court directives, and has appeared for all court hearings. It is up to the Courts whether or not they return all of the bail, or a portion of the bail. Bail returns are processed by the Courts within approximately 21 days of the last mandatory court hearing the subject appears for.

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Reporting To The Jail

Huber Law & You                       Huber Law & You - Spanish

What is Huber?

If you are sentenced to the Jail, the Court may grant you Huber release privileges.  The Jail may allow Huber release for employment, child/family care, school, treatment, etc.  Your criminal history and jail behavior may impact your ability to exercise Huber.  The Huber program has a strict set of rules.  All activities on Huber release must be verified and approved by Jail staff. You will be allowed out of the Jail only for the approved activity, including travel time.  You may be allowed out of the jail for a maximum of 6 days per week.  This applies to your employment or any combination of employment and other approved Huber release activities.   Failure to follow the pre-reporting steps listed below  may affect your ability to exercise Huber privileges immediately.  For more information, please contact a Huber Counselor at (608) 284-6091. 


Where do I go to start my sentence?

On the date and time set up by the Court, go to the Public Safety Building located at 115 W. Doty Street, Madison, WI.  Report to the Bail window on the 1st Floor.  DO NOT BE LATE!  If you fail to report as required, you may be referred to the District Attorney’s Office for an additional crime under Wisconsin Statute 946.425, which is considered a misdemeanor if your sentence is less than 10 days or a felony if your sentence is 10 days or more.


Where will I be housed?

Depending on your Classification, behavior, medical/mental health needs and the space needs of the Jail, you may be housed at any one of the two Dane County Jail facilities:


                Public Safety Building
                115 W. Doty Street
                Madison, WI

                William H. Ferris Center
                2120 Rimrock Road
                Madison, WI


Drug Testing

You will be required to submit a urine sample prior to being eligible for Huber release.  If you test positive for alcohol or illegal drugs, you will not be released for Huber until a re-test indicates you are drug-free.  You are subject to random drug and alcohol tests at any time during your incarceration.


Jail Rules

Upon reporting to the jail to serve your sentence, you will have access to the Jail Inmate Handbook.  The Handbook contains the Jail rules, including specific rules while out on Huber Release.  You will be expected to comply with all of the jail rules.  Failure to do so may result in discipline and affect your ability to exercise Huber release privileges.


How will I get to work and/or approved appointments?

All modes of transportation while on Huber release must be approved by Jail staff.  Public transportation is the primary means of transportation, however, walking or bicycling may also be approved. Your bicycle must be registered to be approved for use.  You are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle while on Huber release without prior approval from the Jail.  If an outside party is transporting you in a personal vehicle, the authorized driver must have a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration on file with Jail staff before the ride will be approved.


When can I start going out on Huber release?

Prior to going out on Huber release, you will be classified and assigned housing in the Jail. This process may take up to 48 hours to be completed.  All activities on Huber release must be approved by Jail staff and could take up to 5 business days upon reporting to jail before you are allowed out of the Jail.   You can begin the process of setting up the following Huber release activities prior to reporting to jail by contacting the Huber Counselor and/or submitting required information 10 days prior to your report date or your sentencing hearing for OWI-3rd offense or greater.


Complete and submit the  “Huber Employment Worksheet”.  Pre-approved work sites must be in Dane County.  Under special circumstances consideration may be given to work sites in counties adjacent to Dane County. If you are self-employed you must also provide a copy of your income tax returns for the last 2 years as verification.

Child/Family Care-


Educational classes-

Contact the Huber Counselor. You must show proof of registration and a valid class schedule from the Registrar’s Office.  

Counseling Services-

Contact the Huber Counselor. You must provide a letter from the counseling service detailing times, date and places of all counseling sessions.  

Job Search-

If you are unemployed and want to seek employment, the Dane County Jail Job center may be available to you after you report to jail to serve your sentence.  You are required to have a valid state issued identification card and social security card in order to obtain employment while incarcerated.


Wages and Huber Board Fees

Wisconsin law states all your wages earned while on Huber release must be turned over to the Sheriff.  Authorized payments for debts and expenses may be requested from Jail staff during your incarceration.   If you are earning an income while on Huber release you will be required to pay a Huber Board fee based on the number of hours worked.  If your sentence is 30 days or less, you will be required to pay your Huber Board fees in advance by money order or in cash prior to being allowed out for work.


Interlock Ignition Device

If you are serving a sentence for Operating A Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated, you may have been ordered by the Court to install an Interlock Ignition Device (IID).  Unless the order was effective upon licensure, you are required to show proof of an IID being installed in all vehicle(s) registered in your name within 14 days of sentencing.  Failure to do so, may result in loss of Huber privileges until documentation is received that the IID install has been completed or you were granted an IID exemption by the Court.


OWI Assessment

If you are serving a sentence for an OWI conviction, you are required to have an OWI assessment.  Ideally, this assessment would be completed prior to serving your sentence.  If the assessment has been completed, you must provide documentation.  If you have not completed the assessment, you are required to schedule an appointment in your county of residence and provide documentation.  You may be allowed to attend the assessment in Dane County and any adjacent County while on Huber release.  An assessment must be completed or scheduled prior to your report date in order to utilize your Huber privileges. 


What can I bring to jail?

The storage space in the jail is very limited. Duffle bags, luggage or electronic devices such as cell phones, lap tops, tablets etc. will not be allowed into the jail.  You will be required to dispose of any unallowable property prior to entering the jail.  The jail will issue you limited items upon your arrival to jail, such as a jail uniform, jail sandals, hygiene items, brassieres, underwear briefs/boxers, thermal underwear shirts, socks and t-shirts.  You may bring the following additional personal items listed below in a disposable bag when you report to jail.  You do not need to bring the clothing items if you don’t intend to go out on Huber release.  All items are subject to final approval by medical staff and/or jail administration.

Once you have been classified and assigned to a housing unit, you will have the ability to purchase additional items from commissary, such as hygiene items. If you are indigent, hygiene items will be made available to you. You may also request permission from jail staff to have additional personal property dropped off at the jail during designated times.  Hygiene items will be not be allowed to be dropped off unless approved by jail medical staff.  


Jail Diversion

If you are interested in participating in a Jail Diversion Program, please contact (608) 266-9089 for more information.


The Dane County Sheriff’s Office has zero-tolerance for all forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment in the facilities it operates. Sexual abuse of an inmate, to include voyeurism, by an inmate, staff member, contractor, or volunteer will not be tolerated.

Sexual Harassment by an inmate, staff member, contractor, or volunteer, including demeaning references to gender, sexually suggestive or derogatory comments about body or clothing, or obscene language or gestures will not be tolerated.

Inmates have been educated on the many ways to report these incidents and you may be made aware of an incident. You must report the information you receive to a Sheriff’s Office Staff member immediately.

The PREA hotline that is available to report is 608-284-6966.

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