Jail Records

Search free public jail records, including jail search, lookup, bookings, list, roster, docket, registry, and log.

What are Jail Records?

State and local law enforcement authorities create jail records whenever a person is arrested and taken into custody. Basic jail records consist of arrest logs and booking records, as well as mugshots, previous criminal records and sometimes other court documents too. Jail records may overlap with arrest records and police records. You can find this information through inmate searches online, or by contacting the particular jail or prison where an inmate is held.

An arrest record grows larger if the individual is arrested again in the future for other crimes, and all jail records become part of that person's permanent criminal record. These records often help law enforcement officers identify, locate and capture repeat offenders. Information about current and former inmates, daily arrest logs, and jail booking records are available through county jails, sheriff's departments, court registries, and online searches. Many local departments display this information on their websites, and others provide links to download the information in PDF format.

Jail Records help by

  1. Providing the public with information when a previously convicted sex offender or other dangerous criminal moves into a neighborhood after release from prison. Jail records help people become aware of ex-offenders in their neighborhoods so that citizens can take the proper safety precautions.
  2. Supplying criminal records to the police. When police are in the process of researching or arresting suspects, they need to know that person's previous criminal history. Well-kept jail records make this possible.
  3. Publicizing arrest records. Many police departments keep the community informed by publicizing new arrest records daily or monthly.
  4. Keeping a tally of jail and prison populations. These lists are especially important for budgeting and security purposes.
  5. Storing vital information for the courts. The court's sentencing of each person depends on the contents of his or her criminal history, so it's important that judges and prosecutors have this information.

Are there different types of Jail Records?

Yes, there are. The types of records depend on the law enforcement agency which made the initial arrest as well as the jail where the detainee was held. Some facilities keep highly detailed records, while others only record necessary data.