Inmate Search

Search free public inmate records, including inmate search, roster, list, locator, lookup, inquiry, and active jail inmates.

What is an Inmate Search?

An inmate search helps you find information about a current or former inmate. Federal and state prison systems are required to document all prisoner intakes and releases. These public inmate records, including inmate name, registration number, age, race, sex, release date, location, and sometimes offenses, are accessible through online inmate search platforms.

There are separate federal and state-specific inmate search engines/registries. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) manages the largest inmate search database. Inmate search platforms return matches from prisoner databases. Prison releases do not always show up on inmate searches. And, these records often don't include prisoner release information before 1982.

Inmate Searches help with

  1. Public safety. An inmate search is a valuable resource for keeping communities safe. Employers can do background checks using inmate search technology. Families can identify potentially dangerous individuals living in their neighborhoods, with just a first and last name. Also, law enforcement can quickly check criminal records.
  2. Keeping families in touch. Inmate search allows family and friends to locate incarcerated loved ones. Search results include contact information for the institution in question. It may also provide other related links, detailing how to send money, or make visitations. However, you cannot directly contact prisoners through inmate searches.
  3. Keeping records organized. For several reasons, a prisoner may not serve the full sentence handed down by the courts. Prisoners may also be moved to different facilities during the period of incarceration. These changes in sentencing or location are reflected in the public records accessible through inmate searches.
  4. Collecting demographic information. Inmate searches can provide information that may be useful to sociologists or criminal researchers. Information gleaned from searches can be used to analyze trends in criminal behavior, and create predictive models that may assist law enforcement in targeting specific criminal problems facing society.
  5. Accountability. Prisons must be fully transparent and accountable for the fair treatment of inmates. Keeping these records ensures no one falls through the cracks. Although these records are non-binding, they provide peace of mind for victims of crimes and their families.

Are there different types of Inmate Searches?

Yes. Most states and the federal government keep track of their inmate lists on separate, publicly accessible forums.