Jail Division

The Pottawattamie County Jail, located at 1400 Big Lake Road, Council Bluffs, Iowa, opened in 1999 with a design capacity of 288 beds. These beds range from maximum security single cells to minimum security dormitory housing units. The total cost of the facility was approximately $17 million. Two million dollars was provided through an agreement with the United States Marshal's Service. The jail and adjacent offices cover approximately 105,000 square feet.

The facility, a direct supervision jail, was developed by utilizing the knowledge and experience of our jail employees, other criminal justice agencies, other users of the jail, and professional consultants. Sheriff Jefferey Danker formed a jail committee, comprised of criminal justice practitioners and community volunteers to guide the process of public education and revenue acquisition.

The jail houses inmates of all security levels, from maximum to minimum including work release inmates. The work release dormitory is connected to, but separate from the main jail. It shares the main jail support systems while preventing minimum security offenders from mixing with a population requiring greater security. The result is a jail that can provide more efficient treatment and control for all inmates. This, and the development of a jail management computer system, allows the Jail Division to operate a facility safely and effectively. The operational scenarios and architectural design resulted in a lower staff-to-inmate ratio while maintaining the safety and security of the facility. This is a cost effective jail in terms of staffing and inmate management.

The Jail Division's mission contains the objective that the institutional environment minimizes any detrimental effects of confinement and maximizes an inmate's potential to return to the community as a law abiding citizen. There are a wide range of educational and spiritual programs and services available to inmates. This provides inmates with the opportunity for corrective personal growth. These programs also assist jail staff with the management of the inmate population by keeping the inmates occupied in a positive manner.

A video courtroom for arraignments and hearings is located on the premises. This saves taxpayer's money since it reduces the manpower needed to transport inmates, and it maintains a secure environment for the public, the court, the inmates, and employees.

The jail design provides the opportunity for friends, family, and others to visit inmates. A video visitation system allows for efficient operation while eliminating a source of contraband. This allows the inmates to stay in touch with the outside world, a constitutional guarantee.

The facility is staffed under the direction of the Sheriff. Jail personnel include detention supervisors, a business manager, detention officers, clerical staff, maintenance personnel, and medical professionals. Registered nurses are on duty seventeen (17) hours per day, seven days a week. The jail contracts with an outside vendor to provide food, laundry, and commissary services.

The facility was designed to be expandable. The kitchen, laundry, and control areas are sized to allow for additional cells. County-owned land lies adjacent to the jail for this purpose. The criminal justice system utilizes alternative sentence options when they are applicable so that the secure jail beds can be used by those inmates who need them.

Jail Information

Inmate List

A list of current inmates can be found on our website here or under the Public Awareness menu above.


Letters mailed to inmates must contain the inmate's full name as part of the address. The jail will not accept certain items through the mail. Restricted items include packages, obscene or pornographic materials, personal checks, cashier’s check, postage stamps or stamped envelopes, any type of food, or periodicals not directly sent from the publisher. Inmates will receive photo copies of the mail. The original will be placed on their property. Mail should be addressed in the following manner:

Pottawattamie County Jail
1400 Big Lake Rd.
Council Bluffs, IA 51501

Telephone Calls

Most inmates have daily access to telephones in their housing units. Inmates cannot receive incoming telephone calls and no messages for inmates will be taken by Detention staff unless it is a verifiable emergency. After the booking process, all telephone calls by inmates are collect and the financial responsibility of the receiver.

Inmate telephone and visitation services are provided through Cidnet. Go to https://cidnet.net to setup a communication account. To add additional funds to an inmate's account, please visit https://secure.inmatecanteen.com.

Inmate Visitation

The Pottawattamie County Jail encourages inmates to maintain ties with their families and friends through regular visits. These visits are conducted in the least restrictive manner possible to remain consistent with safety and security concerns, classification requirements, and space availability. The Pottawattamie County Jail utilizes a video visitation system for regular visits.

Professional Visitation

Professional visitation is recognized as a visitor from a legal or medical entity, such as the courts, mental health, or law enforcement. Inmates have the right to confidential visits with the following persons acting in their official capacity during any time of day, 7 days a week; attorneys or authorized members of their staff, clergy who are cleared by the jail, mental health professionals who are cleared by jail, personal physicians or psychiatrists, law enforcement officers, probation and parole officers, or social workers. It is encouraged to set professional visits up in advance by contacting the Jail Administration.

Regular Visitation

Regular visitation is available Monday through Friday according to the following schedule:

  • 9:00 A.M. to 11:40 A.M. —   All Housing Areas
  • 3:00 P.M. to  3:40 P.M. —   All Housing Areas
  • 8:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. —   All Housing Areas (dependent on housing location)

Visitation will be granted on a first come, first served basis, and each visit is 20 minutes in length. Each inmate can receive a maxmium of two (2), 20-minute visits per week. Inmates on certain types of disciplinary restriction may not be permitted visitors. Visitors may only visit one (1) inmate per day.

Any visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and have their birth certificate or guardian papers present.

Inmate home visitation services are provided through a contract with TurnKey Corrections. Visitors need to register an account with Turnkey which can be done online or at a lobby kiosk. Allow up to 24 hours for approval. Go to https://team3.inmatecanteen.com/ to set up an account or put money on an inmate's canteen account.

Dress Code

All dress must be conservative in nature. NO see through clothing (lace, sheer etc.), NO low cut shirts, blouses or T-shirts. NO short or cut off shirts, NO short splits (skirts, slacks or shirts), NO belly or midriff shirts, NO clothing with vulgarity, profanity or racial slurs.

Visitation Rules

ALL persons entering the premises are subject to search. All children must have adult supervision at all times. ALL intoxicated individuals or those appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be permitted to remain on the premises. NO food or drinks. NO disruptive behavior.

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office has zero-tolerance of sexual misconduct of inmates (by inmates, staff, volunteers, contractors).

Sexual Misconduct Data

Date Range Staff Inmate Total Complaints Unfounded Unsubstantiated Substantiated Criminal Case
01/01/21 12/31/21 1 0 1 0 1 0 0
01/01/20 12/31/20 1 0 1 1 0 0 0
01/01/19 12/31/19 3 3 6 1 5 0 0
01/01/18 12/31/18 1 2 3 2 1 0 0
01/01/17 12/31/17 1 5 6 1 1 4 0
01/01/16 12/31/16 3 3 6 2 3 1 0



  • In Person
  • Phone Call
  • Letter
  • Anonymously


  • Sheriff
  • Jail Administration
  • County Attorney
  • Public Defender
  • Phoenix House


Pottawattamie County Jail
1400 Big Lake Road                                    
Council Bluffs, IA  51501

Phoenix House
Sexual Assault line
300 W. Broadway
Council Bluffs, IA  51501
888-612-0266 (toll free)

Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office
1400 Big Lake Road
Council Bluffs, IA  51501
712-890-2222 Crime Tip Line

Pottawattamie County Jail (PREA Compliance)
Attn: PREA Coordinator                     
1400 Big Lake Road                                    
Council Bluffs, IA  51501


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