Dane County Jail System

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.

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Cash, money orders, and cashiers checks can be placed on an inmate’s account 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at the Bail & Release Window inside the Public Safety Building located at 115 West Doty St. Money orders, or cashier’s checks may be sent to an inmate via U.S. Mail.  No personal checks will be accepted.

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Any mail, letters, or correspondence must be sent to the inmate via the U.S. Mail.  We do not allow any mail to be dropped off for an inmate.  No boxes are allowed.  No packages larger than 10” x 13” are allowed.  No hard-covered books allowed.

Inmates may have only the following items mailed in:

  • Soft Covered Books (2 maximum)
  • Magazines  (2 maximum)
  • Photographs (Non-Polaroid Only. Cannot Contain Nudity or Gang Signs)
  • Legal paperwork
  • Cards/letters (no musical cards)

Address mail to the inmate at:

Dane County Jail
115 West Doty Street
Madison, WI 53703


If you know the inmate’s location or booking number please include that after the inmate’s name.

For inmates at the William H. Ferris Center direct their mail to:

Ferris Center
2120 Rimrock Road
Madison, WI 53713


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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.

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

What time and where do I report for my jail sentence?

A. You should report to the Bail/Release window of the Public Safety Building, ground floor by 7:00 a.m. on the day the judge ordered you to start serving your sentence. If you have set up your work release ahead of time, you will be processed through fairly quickly. If you have not set up your work release, you will get the opportunity to talk to a Huber counselor once you are assigned to a housing unit.

How can I set up my work release or Huber?

A. Upon sentencing by the court you should have received a brochure "Huber Law and You" or the Spanish version "La Ley Huber & Usted". This form has a registration blank you must fill out and mail in. Our Huber counselors will contact you some time before your scheduled booking date to make work release arrangements. If you did not receive the "Huber Law and You" brochure, you can download one from the links above or go to the Bail/Release window of the Public Safety Building, ground floor and ask for one. Please allow at least ten (10) working days for the Huber counselor to process your work release.

What happens if I do not show up for my report date?

If you do not show up on your report date, a warrant may be issued the same day, for a Failure to Appear. If you are late reporting for your sentence, you will be released late on the last day of your sentence. You must report to the jail by 7:00 am.

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