The Orange County jail has a reasonable medication policy.  They will typically allow inmates to continue taking legal prescribed medications throughout their sentence, even those typically prescribed by a psychiatrist – such as anti-anxiety medications and sleeping pills.  Jails uphold basic human rights, and will not knowingly make inmates suffer without prescribed medications.

During booking, inmates will be evaluated and treated by medical and mental health staff.  Even if an inmate is prescribed certain medications on the outside, it's up to the jail's medical staff to determine whether it will also be administered inside.  Inmates can also fill out a medical request form to gain access to medications they've been prescribed.  It can sometimes take up to several weeks between booking or filling out a request form and beginning to receive medication.  Medication is administered by a nurse 3 times per day, once after each meal.

If a friend or family member in Orange County jail has a mental illness, contact the Watch Commander and mental health staff immediately.  Prepare a fax requesting that the inmate be examined for placement in the jail's mental health unit.  Include the following information at the top of your fax:

•    Inmate's full legal name and date of birth
•    Inmate's booking number and jail location

In the body of the fax, include the following information:

•    Inmate's diagnosis (or diagnoses)
•    Name, telephone number and address for treating physician or psychiatrist
•    Current medications, including dosage amounts and treatment instructions (time of day, times per day)
•    Information on medications that have been proven ineffective, or that have caused side effects or allergic reactions
•    Other urgent medical conditions that may require care or interfere with treatment, and physician and medication information about those conditions
•    History of suicide threats or attempts

Stick to just providing medical information in your fax.  The mental health staff do not require information about the inmate's offenses, sentence, etc..  On the cover page, notify staff whether the inmate has provided you with a written confidentiality waiver.  Without a waiver, mental health staff will be unable to provide you with information about an inmate's status and treatment.  If a confidentiality waiver has not been signed, request that the inmate be asked to sign one.

Once prepared, fax your document to (714) 647-7496.  Faxes can be sent to this line 24 hours per day.  Keep a copy of this fax for your records, since you may need to send it to another facility if and when an inmate is moved.