Jail & Prison

Find jails, prisons, detention centers, departments of corrections, and penitentaries. Jails and prisons provide information on inmate searches, rosters, lookups, lists, records, and mugshot photos.


What are Jails and Prisons?

Jails and prisons are detention and correctional facilities that serve a wide variety of functions within our country's criminal justice system. The primary function is to house people who have been charged with or convicted of crimes, as well as punishment and rehabilitation.

Jails and Prisons are responsible for

  1. Holding people who have been found guilty and sentenced for committing crimes.
  2. Holding those not convicted of a criminal offense, while awaiting trial or deportation. Prisons, on the other hand, fall under federal or state jurisdiction and are facilities where convicted criminals serve the entirety of their sentences.
  3. Maintaining order. As places of detention, they both employ correctional officers. The duty of the correctional officer is to maintain order within the jail or prison. He or she must understand that facility's specific rules, as well as the legal boundaries, and enforce these regulations to maintain order among inmates.
  4. Providing each inmate with the resources that they require such as food, clothing, and medication.
  5. Rehabilitating prisoners and ensuring that, upon release, they're ready to become responsible members of society.

Are there different types of Jails and Prisons?

There are many different types of jails and prisons. Individual counties run the majority of jails, but there's also a sizable number of municipally-operated jails. Private jails exist, too. They're owned and operated by third parties under contract with the state or federal government.

Juvenile detention centers house convicted criminals under the age of 18, psychiatric prisons are designated for prisoners with mental illnesses, and military prisons are for members of the military who have broken laws or have compromised national security. When the government convicts someone of committing a state crime, they are held in a state prison, and if they break a federal law, they are remanded to federal prison.