The commissary is a sort of “general store” where inmates can offer certain items not issued by the jail itself.  These are primarily comfort items that are considered luxuries, such as snacks and stationery items.

Inmates use their personal accounts to order items from the commissary.  For inmates to receive funds in their accounts, visitors and loved ones must make deposits.  Cash deposits can be made at the Cashier's Office of any Orange County jail, though many visitors prefer to make deposits on visiting days.  Cash deposits may not exceed $500 at a time, and appear in an inmate's account immediately.  Cashier's checks, government checks and money orders can also be applied to an inmate's account, but must be mailed to the Cashier's Office and take some mailing and processing time.  These deposits must also total $500 or less each.

Commissary orders are taken 3 times per week.  Inmates at Central Man's Jail, Intake/Release Center and James Musick Facility (also known as The Farm) have commissary orders taken on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Inmates at Central Woman's Jail and Theo Lacy Facility have their orders taken on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Commissary orders are typically processed and delivered the day after they're ordered.  Inmates with a Monday-Wednesday-Friday ordering schedule will receive deliveries on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Inmates with a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday ordering schedule will receive their commissary items on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  No commissary activity takes place on Sundays, so any inmates who order items on a Saturday will not receive them until Monday.

For visitors who want to make a deposit into an inmate's account, make sure to deposit it before 4:00 AM on the inmate's commissary processing day.  If an inmate orders an item from the commissary on Friday, you must make your deposit before 4:00 AM Saturday to ensure they receive their delivery.

The commissary sells more than 300 items.  Personal hygiene supplies, greeting cards, writing implements, and playing cards are among the common items, though new and different products are added all the time.  By far the most popular commissary items at the Orange County jail are food and beverages.  Candy, nuts, snacks and drinks help many inmates stave off hunger between meals, and enjoying a favorite food can bring some comfort.