Inmate search defined

What is an inmate search?

If you have a relative or a friend in prison, but don’t know which prison the person may be in, then you need to do an inmate search. Inmate information is available both offline and online. Over the internet, it is available on the website of the State Department of Corrections. Offline, inmate records can be checked at the PIO- Public Information Office at the state or county prison.


Information is updated on the websites daily or weekly, but you may find errors in the personal details of the inmates, like the name and age. Sometimes, there may be errors in the facility details as well, such as the location, date of admission or date of parole eligibility.


Fortunately, the errors are not frequent, and most people manage to find details of the inmates they are looking for. Those who cannot trace the inmate by the first or the last name have to visit the prison in the county or state where they think the person may be held. Another way is to visit the court of clerk’s office at the court where the sentence was awarded or where the proceedings are active.



What is the difference between a jail roster and the jail inmate list?

The jail roster is just a list of the inmates in custody with details of their name, age, race, gender, date confined on and the department of corrections number. The jail roster is useful only for a quick check, to ascertain if the person is still at the same detention center.


On the other hand, the jail inmates list, also known as the jail docket, is a jail roster with mugshots and more details like the charges the person is held for, jail booking information like the vital statistics and identification details, release date, bond amount and details on who paid the bond.


Both the jail roster and the jail docket are available on Department of Correction’s websites or on the county sheriff’s website or at the PIO. The information available on the county sheriff’s website is updated daily to reduce the number of calls received by the jail booking office.



How can an inmate locator help in a jail inmates search?

The inmate locator is a tool linked to a database. The Department of Correction’s websites of most states have such a facility. It is updated daily in most states. The inmate locator is a useful inmate finder because it gives all the relevant details required to anyone looking for current inmates. Information available has the location, transferred facility location, general information, facility visiting guidelines and driving directions. It also provides helpful information on how to send daily use items, cash and the phone calls rule.


If you do not find the information on the inmate you are looking for, then try looking on the Vinelink, which stands for “Victims Notification System”. This site covers the whole country and allows you to choose a notification system such as inform by message, email or phone when the status of the convict changes to “moved” or “released”.



Who is allowed to do a jail inmate look up?

Anyone can do a prison inmate search as jail and inmate records maintained by the Department of Corrections are public records. Only in cases of confidential files, it is not possible for anyone to do an inmate search, except for government agencies.



Can the sheriff’s inmate search be done offline?

In many counties, the sheriff’s department has a website where the jail roster is updated daily or weekly and is made available for the general public. However, there are still many counties where the sheriff’s department either doesn’t have a website or it’s not updated regularly. In such cases, a physical visit to the sheriff’s office is the only option, particularly if there is no information available on the state’s website either.



How do I find if someone is currently an inmate or was an inmate?

As stated above, the current inmates list is available online. To find out if a person was an inmate at a specific prison, one might need to check the court records of the state, county, circuit, felony or district court or any other applicable court.


You must practice caution with the use of information taken from the jail records. If it is found that the information is being misused, you may end up with a criminal/civil charge against you. It is recommended that you search by the last name of the person or a correctional department name. Also, if you feel the information given is not accurate, you can inform the Department of Corrections about it.



Where do I report misbehavior of jail staff towards a special needs inmate?

If you fear or have confirmed information about your friend or relative who is a special need inmate being ill- treated by the contractual or tenured jail staff, you can give a written complaint, providing details of the incident, to the Justice Center of the state.


It is the duty of the Justice Center to ensure that no person with special needs is ill=treated or deprived of the services they need. Once the complaint is received, the matter is investigated and action is taken accordingly.

DISCLAIMER: is a privately owned website. The data received from this website is in no way or sense endorsed by any government body. is also not a consumer reporting agency. As such, the data received should not be used for any purpose that calls for FCRA compliance. You also cannot use the information from this website for unlawful activities. The data available may be inaccurate/incomplete/outdated. Please make your own investigation and do not rely on the information. We make no representation/warranty regarding the accuracy of any info found on this website. The owners of the website may receive payment if you register with our partner/external websites for subscription only services/data. cannot be held responsible for the conduct of external providers nor for the quality of the data/service provided by them. Please read our Terms and Conditions.