Prisons should keep meticulous records of everything that happens inside, especially when prisoners are involved. They had to know who was in the facility and how many prisoners were in the camp. But that’s not all – they have to know where every prisoner is at all times.
Every U.S. prison and jail takes head counts multiple times a day to make sure everyone is where they should be and that everyone is counted. If the count fails, the jail will be locked until they figure out what’s wrong.
The same goes for each state’s Department of Corrections, as well as the federal Bureau of Prisons. Each of these departments and bureaus should know at all times the location of every prison inmate they hold.
Just because prisons are supposed to keep good records doesn’t necessarily mean that those records are readily accessible to those on the outside. Do prisons have to share their prisoner databases with the public, or do they keep those details private? Can you search jail prisoners?
In today’s blog post, I will cover the following topics:
- How to Find an Inmate in Federal Custody
- How to Find a Prisoner in State Custody
- How to Find a Prisoner Detained by ICE
- What about the county jail?
How to Find an Inmate in Federal Custody
When a person is convicted of a federal crime, they are placed in federal custody. The vast majority of crimes that people are prosecuted for fall under state penal code, meaning they are in state correctional custody for committing a state crime.
However, there are some common federal crimes — such as drug trafficking, illegal immigration, sex crimes, and fraud/embezzlement — that people spend time in federal agencies. This means they are in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Of the 2.3 million Americans imprisoned, approximately 226,000 are in federal prisons.If you have an inmate in federal custody and you need to find out where they are being held, you can Search on the BOP website. You can search by inmate name or their BOP number.
For example, murderer Dylann Roof was convicted in 2015 on federal hate crime charges. To find out where he is being held, just click on the BOP search page and enter his first and last name. You can also enter race, gender and age if you know this information.
When you click search, the BOP website will tell you the following:
Name: Dylan Storm Roof
Registration number: 28509-171
Release Date: DEATH SENT
lie in: USP Terre Haute
You can even find information on released federal prisoners. real housewives of new jersey Star Teresa Giudice spent nearly a year in prison in 2015 on bankruptcy fraud charges.when you enter her first and last name enter search engineyou’ll get this:
Name: Judge Teresa
Registration number: 65703-050
Release date: 02/05/2016
the winner of survivor In season 1, Richard Hatch went to jail for not paying income taxes on his $1 million winnings.this is what you get when you put his name Enter BOP Search.
Name: Richard Hatch
Registration number: 05559-070
Release date: 12/12/2011
How to Find a Prisoner in State Custody
When someone is convicted of a state crime — which is more common than a federal crime — they are held under the custody of the state Department of Corrections. In 2020, approximately 1.3 million inmates in the United States were held in state prisons.
To search for an inmate being held in a state prison, you must know the state in which they were convicted. The state DOC database includes only current inmates and inmates on parole. Prisoners who have completed their sentences and are no longer on parole cannot be found in the database.
For example, I am no longer in Missouri DOC Database Because I have finished my dissertation and am no longer on parole.
You can find notorious prisoners in the DOC database like Jody Arias in Arizona. If you go into Arizona DOC inmate search, enter Arias, J, and select “female” you get this result:
if you visit California DOC websiteand search for convicted killer Scott Peterson, here’s what you’ll get:
The information shown below is subject to change and may be updated daily
|prisoner name||Peterson, Scott Lee|
|current location||San Quentin State Prison|
|Parole Eligibility Date (Month/Year)||condemn|
|Parole Eligibility Date Information||The inmates shown above are serving the death penalty and are therefore not eligible for parole consideration.|
|Additional Information||Victim Notification: Victims wishing to request services must register with the CDCR’s Office of Victim and Survivors Rights and Services.For more information, or to inquire about court-ordered restitution, visit CDCR’s Office of Victim and Survivors’ Rights and Services website or call toll free 1-877-256-6877|
If you know the state in which your prisoner was convicted, just type that state’s name into Google and do a prisoner search. So if you’re looking for someone in Colorado, just type “Colorado Inmate Search” into Google.The first result is Colorado DOC Prisoner Locator.
As long as you know the prisoner’s first and last name, you should be able to find them. Every state has a DOC database that you should be able to search any time you’re looking for information.
Now, I’ve heard of cases where prisoners can get “lost” in the database. Maybe they were moved from one facility to another and the information didn’t turn up in the search. If you cannot find where your inmate is being held, call your state DOC office for assistance.
How to Find a Prisoner Detained by ICE
If you’re looking for someone in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, the first place to look for them is ICE Online Detainee Locator. The more information you have, the better. The service is available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, and several other languages I don’t recognize.
When you’re looking for someone in ICE custody, you can search by their “A Number” (similar to a DOC number) and their country of birth.
“If you know the A-Number of the detainee, ICE recommends that you search using the A-Number. The A-Number must be exactly nine digits long. If the A-Number is less than nine digits, add leading zeros. You also need to select The correct country of birth of the detainee,” the note reads.
You can also search by biographical information. You need the person’s first and last name, country of birth, and date of birth (if possible) to use the biometric method.
Please note that the Online Detainee Locator System does not keep records for anyone under the age of 18.
What about the county jail?
Inmate locators are popular when it comes to county jails. Some of the larger counties will have online databases that can be searched. However, most county jails do not keep up-to-date inmate rosters online for people to search.
If you think someone you know is being held in the county jail, you can prison insight See if the facility has an online inmate search facility. Otherwise, you can call the facility directly to find out if your loved one is being held.
Do you have questions about prison inmate searches that I didn’t answer in this blog post? Let us know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to find out what you need.
Sources: THE 5 MOST COMMON FEDERAL CRIMES FOR EVERYDAY CITIZENS Prison Policy Initiative: Mass Incarceration The Whole Pie 2020 Find an Inmate Online Detainee Locator System Missouri Offender Search