Is it possible to do an inmate search in Alabama?

Looking for an old friend who may have landed in jail?

It is difficult to keep track of friends in our busy lives. This becomes even more difficult if your friend goes to prison. For a regular person, it may seem very difficult to track down someone in a federal penitentiary or a state/county prison. Let me help you find that friend through this article. The easiest way to find a person who is in jail is through an “Inmate Search” in Alabama.


Do you know how to do an inmate search?

To do Inmate search, we need to first understand that there are two kinds of prisons i.e. federal prisons and state prisons. There are 50 state prisons. In all possibility, you may not know the prison your friend is in. So, you need to start by searching through the inmate locator on the website of the Department of Corrections for the state where your friend lived or might have been arrested in. If you aren’t successful in your State Wide jail inmate search here, then you need to do an inmate look up through the inmate locator of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.


What is a jail booking?

A jail booking is similar to an arrest booking. Simply put, this is a compilation of the details of a person’s physical appearance and identification markers, which are recorded as soon as the prisoner arrives.


What are the challenges faced in a AL inmate search?

It is difficult to do an inmate search on the state or Federal Bureau of Prisons’ site if you don’t know the full name, race, age and gender of the person you are looking for. One thing you must know is that most states do not give information about individuals or inmates who have been released. If you have reason to believe that the prisoner may have been released, then you need to visit the public records office or the Department of Corrections office of the state.


Not all states update their data every day; some update it every week. Errors are a possibility as these records are, after all, maintained and updated by people. Also, some immigrants don’t give their real names leading to unsuccessful inmates’ searches. If you cannot find information you need, you can always call the office of the Department of Corrections of the state.


Another problem is that most locators do not have access to information about those lodged in city jails, county prisons or regional jails. Hence, it is difficult to find details of jail detainees or county prisoners. Some counties have an online inmate locator on their websites.


Are jail staff allowed to misbehave with special needs inmates?

Jail staff, by law, is required to provide the right kind of care to special needs inmates, and they are in no way allowed to misbehave with such inmates. Anyone noticing such behavior can report the incident to the Justice Center of the state in which the correctional facility is located. The Justice Center is very particular about maintaining discipline amongst jail officials, and do not accept such treatment being given to prisoners. You will be expected to give a written complain with details of the incident that prove your allegations. On receiving the complaint, the Justice Center investigates the matter and replies on the complaint in the stipulated time period.


How is a jail roster different from a jail inmate list?

The jail roster, as the name states, is a list of all the prisoners with basic details like their full name, origin, gender, arrival date at the jail and the number given by the Department of Corrections. Since there aren’t adequate details available in the jail roster, it can only be used to check attendance and current status of an inmate.


The jail docket, referred to as the jail list by some people, is a more detailed document and has all the needed information like the physical appearance, charges levied, release conditions and date, paid or outstanding bond amount, previous arrests and parole of other states. In some states, these jail documents are available on the Departments of Corrections’ websites. In states, where the county sheriff’s office has a website, it would have a jail docket. Some states are particular enough to update this information daily.


Visitation and phone call rules to be followed by visitors and family or friends of the inmates

Earlier, the court would allow face to face visits. Now, some courts have stopped this facility citing security reasons. However, face to face meeting facility is available via video calling. The facility comes at a steep cost of around $12 – $13 for 20 minutes. Three hundred minutes of phone conversation per week is permissible for all prisoners.


The prisoners are given access to monitored telephones to call people who have been pre-approved by the jail authorities. If the prisoner has exhausted the allowed minutes, the warden can allow additional minutes on request for family emergencies. Most prisons allow more calling minutes in the months of November and December to promote family interactions.


The inmates are allowed to make debit or credit calls. The amount used for the debit calls is deducted from the trust fund account. Debit calls are cheaper than a collect call and the call can last for 15 minutes. The prisoners have to wait for one hour after the previous call to make the next call.

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