California Penal Code Section 831.5
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California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 831.5
831.5. (a) As used in this section, a custodial officer is a public
officer, not a peace officer, employed by a law enforcement agency
of San Diego County, Fresno County, Kern County, Stanislaus County,
Riverside County, Santa Clara County, or a county having a population
of 425,000 or less who has the authority and responsibility for
maintaining custody of prisoners and performs tasks related to the
operation of a local detention facility used for the detention of
persons usually pending arraignment or upon court order either for
their own safekeeping or for the specific purpose of serving a
sentence therein. Custodial officers of a county shall be employees
of, and under the authority of, the sheriff, except in counties in
which the sheriff, as of July 1, 1993, is not in charge of and the
sole and exclusive authority to keep the county jail and the
prisoners in it. A custodial officer includes a person designated as
a correctional officer, jailer, or other similar title. The duties of
a custodial officer may include the serving of warrants, court
orders, writs, and subpoenas in the detention facility or under
circumstances arising directly out of maintaining custody of
prisoners and related tasks.
(b) A custodial officer has no right to carry or possess firearms
in the performance of his or her prescribed duties, except, under the
direction of the sheriff or chief of police, while engaged in
transporting prisoners; guarding hospitalized prisoners; or
suppressing jail riots, lynchings, escapes, or rescues in or about a
detention facility falling under the care and custody of the sheriff
or chief of police.
(c) Each person described in this section as a custodial officer
shall, within 90 days following the date of the initial assignment to
that position, satisfactorily complete the training course specified
in Section 832. In addition, each person designated as a custodial
officer shall, within one year following the date of the initial
assignment as a custodial officer, have satisfactorily met the
minimum selection and training standards prescribed by the
Corrections Standards Authority pursuant to Section 6035. Persons
designated as custodial officers, before the expiration of the 90-day
and one-year periods described in this subdivision, who have not yet
completed the required training, shall not carry or possess firearms
in the performance of their prescribed duties, but may perform the
duties of a custodial officer only while under the direct supervision
of a peace officer, as described in Section 830.1, who has completed
the training prescribed by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards
and Training, or a custodial officer who has completed the training
required in this section.
(d) At any time 20 or more custodial officers are on duty, there
shall be at least one peace officer, as described in Section 830.1,
on duty at the same time to supervise the performance of the
(e) This section shall not be construed to confer any authority
upon any custodial officer except while on duty.
(f) A custodial officer may use reasonable force in establishing
and maintaining custody of persons delivered to him or her by a law
enforcement officer; may make arrests for misdemeanors and felonies
within the local detention facility pursuant to a duly issued
warrant; may make warrantless arrests pursuant to Section 836.5 only
during the duration of his or her job; may release without further
criminal process persons arrested for intoxication; and may release
misdemeanants on citation to appear in lieu of or after booking.
(g) Custodial officers employed by the Santa Clara County
Department of Correction are authorized to perform the following
additional duties in the facility:
(1) Arrest a person without a warrant whenever the custodial
officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be
arrested has committed a misdemeanor or felony in the presence of the
officer that is a violation of a statute or ordinance that the
officer has the duty to enforce.
(2) Search property, cells, prisoners or visitors.
(3) Conduct strip or body cavity searches of prisoners pursuant to
(4) Conduct searches and seizures pursuant to a duly issued
(5) Segregate prisoners.
(6) Classify prisoners for the purpose of housing or participation
in supervised activities.
These duties may be performed at the Santa Clara Valley Medical
Center, or at other health care facilities in the County of Santa
Clara, as needed and only as they directly relate to guarding
in-custody inmates. This subdivision shall not be construed to
authorize the performance of any law enforcement activity involving
any person other than the inmate or his or her visitors.
(h) Nothing in this section shall authorize a custodial officer to
carry or possess a firearm when the officer is not on duty.
(i) It is the intent of the Legislature that this section, as it
relates to Santa Clara County, enumerate specific duties of custodial
officers (known as "correctional officers" in Santa Clara County)
and to clarify the relationships of the correctional officers and
deputy sheriffs in Santa Clara County. These duties are the same
duties of the custodial officers prior to the date of enactment of
Chapter 635 of the Statutes of 1999 pursuant to local rules and
judicial decisions. It is further the intent of the Legislature that
all issues regarding compensation for custodial officers remain
subject to the collective bargaining process between the County of
Santa Clara and the authorized bargaining representative for the
custodial officers. However, nothing in this section shall be
construed to assert that the duties of custodial officers are
equivalent to the duties of deputy sheriffs nor to affect the ability
of the county to negotiate pay that reflects the different duties of
custodial officers and deputy sheriffs.
(j) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2003.
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Last modified: March 17, 2014