Shelby County Jail & Prison

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


Shelby County Jail 1104 9th Street Harlan IA 51537 712-755-2501


About Shelby County Jails & Prisons

A Shelby County Jail or Prison is a secure facility located in Shelby County, IA where individuals, referred to as inmates, are involuntarily confined and their freedoms and movement are restricted as a consequence of criminal behavior. Shelby County Jails are short-term facilities where inmates either await trial or sentencing for a crime, or serve relatively short sentences. Shelby County Prisons are longer-term facilities where inmates serve out a prison sentence, usually of a year or more, for their crimes.

You may contact Jails & Prisons for questions about:
  • Locating Shelby County inmates
  • Finding out who is in Jail or Prison
  • Searching for criminal records
  • Performing Shelby County background checks
  • Contacting, visiting and sending money to inmates
Shelby County Inmate Searches

All levels of Shelby County Jails and Prisons provide information about inmates upon request. You may contact correctional facilities to search for inmates. Detention facilities in Shelby County, IA provide details of Jail and Prison rosters, inmate contact information, visitation policies and procedures, and how send money to loved ones who may be incarcerated. Shelby County inmate searches and lookups are available by contacting Shelby County Jails, Shelby County, Iowa State, and Federal Prisons.

Shelby County Jails

Jails are Shelby County government facilities in the county criminal justice system. A Lockup is a particular type of Jail that serves as a temporary holding facility, attached to the Shelby County Police Department or Shelby County Sheriff's Department, which houses suspects while they await bail or transport to another Jail.

Prisons in Shelby County, Iowa

Shelby County Prisons can be categorized by level of security: minimum, medium, or maximum. Minimum Security Prisons allow inmates considerable daily movement and are intended for non-violent criminals and inmates who pose little risk of escape or threat to prison staff or other inmates. Medium Security Prisons are somewhat more restrictive facilities, but still allow for daily movement and house inmates in housing units instead of cells. Maximum Security Prisons are reserved for the most violent offenders and those who pose the highest escape threat, and these facilities place the greatest restrictions on inmates.

In Iowa, State Prisons are run by a Department of Corrections (DOC) or the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Federal Prisons are the responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP). While most prisons are owned and operated by government agencies, many prisons have been privatized. Private prisons are owned and operated by for-profit companies under contract with government agencies, though oversight of private prisons remains the responsibility of Shelby County, Iowa State, and Federal Government.