Jail Division

The Pottawattamie County Jail, located at 1400 Big Lake Rd, Council Bluffs, Iowa, opened in 1999 with a bed design capacity of 288. 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 of that cost was provided through an agreement with the United States Marshal's Service. The jail and sheriff's office is an approximately 105,000 square foot facility.

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 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 Sheriff Jefferey Danker. The Jail Administrator is Stu De La Castro. He is supported by two Detention Managers, detention supervisors, a business manager, detention officers, clerical staff, maintenance personnel and medical professionals. Registered nurses are on duty twelve hours per day, seven days per 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. 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.

Inmates can request to purchase phone cards through the jail for $10.70 or $21.40.  They would come through as a regular phone call.

Inmate telephone services are provided through a contract with Securus. Any question regarding collect call charges that appear on your telephone bill should be referred to Correctional Billing Services at 800.844.6591.

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.

Regular Visitation

Visitation will be daily, with registration commencing at 8:50 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. and 12:50 p.m. to 3:50 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and Friday 8:50 a.m. to 11:20 p.m. (NO AFTERNOON VISITS ON FRIDAY). Visitation will be on a first come, first served basis and each visit is thirty minutes in length. Visitation will not be allowed after 11:30 a.m. to allow visit completion no later that 12:00 p.m. for the noon meal. Likewise, visitation will not be allowed after 4:00 p.m. to allow visit completion no later than 4:30 p.m. Each inmate receives a least one 30 minute visit per week however, inmates on certain types of disciplinary restriction may not be permitted visitors. Visitors may only visit one inmate in a housing unit. Visitors my not switch their designated visitation booth with another visitor so that they may communicate with multiple inmates during one visitation session. Each visitor must present a valid picture driver's license or a valid picture state identification card. The only exception will be a minor child (under the age of 18) who is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Said child must be accompanied each time by birth certificate and guardianship papers.  If more than 1 child, you will need another adult with you.

We also offer Home Visitation through Securus for the cost of $20.00 plus taxes for 30 minutes, which requires families to have a Web Cam.

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 Annually Staff* Inmate Total Complaints Unfounded Unsubstantiated Substantiated Criminal Case
04/01/2014 03/31/2015 1 8 9 2 3* 3 0



  • In Person
  • Phone Call
  • Letter
  • Anonymously


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

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

Phoenix House
Sexual Assault line
300 W. Broadway
Council Bluffs, IA  51501
1-888-612-0266 (toll free)

Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office
1400 Big Lake Road
Council Bluffs, IA  51501
712-890-2221 Crime Tip Line


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