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Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

A view of the Pre Trial Administration entrance at the Kern County Sheriff's Lerdo facility is shown in this file photo.

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Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

The yard is mostly empty as inmates at the minimum-security facility at Lerdo try to avoid the mid-day heat.

The Kern County Sheriff's Office has installed payment kiosks in the lobby of the Central Receiving Facility and Lerdo Jail to add money to the accounts of people housed in those facilities.

The Sheriff's Office has contracted with a company called "TouchPay" to take over the management of the accounts, a sheriff's department news release said. The kiosks operate much like bank ATM machines and allow family and friends to use VISA and MasterCard as well as cash in depositing money to an inmate's account.

Deposits can be made via telephone, a secure website portal, at selected walk-in retail locations, or by mail with a money order or cashier's check. To make a deposit via telephone, call toll free at 1-866-232-1899.

To make an online deposit, visit the TouchPay website, http://touchpaydirect.com, or go to the Kern County Sheriff's Office website, , click on the Inmate Search tab on the main page and follow the link to make a deposit. To make a deposit through the mail, download and print the Kern County Money Order Deposit Slip.

When making a deposit, TouchPay will need to know the facility "locator number" and the booking number for the inmate whose account you wish to apply money, the news release said. That information can be found using the lobby kiosks or on the Sheriff's Office website, http://www.kernsheriff.com under the Inmate Search tab on the main page.

Beginning Oct. 1, Kern County Sheriff's Office staff will no longer accept money, either in person or by mail, to fund an inmate's account.

-- The Californian