Where are in-custody defendants kept before court?

Courthouses in which criminal matters are handled also have jails. Visitors won’t usually see them, because they are typically located behind courtrooms, in the basement, or on a separate floor. These jails (some­times called holding cells, bullpens, or “pens”) provide a temporary place to keep in-custody defendants while they wait for their cases to be heard. Most often, they are for day use only. But many county jails—where defendants await trial or serve non-prison sentences—are nearly as close to the courtroom as these holding cells; they’re often located immediately adjacent to the courthouse.

For all kinds of information about going into and getting out of jail, see Jailhouse BookingBailing Out of Jail, and Release on Your Own Recognizance, or "OR."

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