Inmate Jail Records

Search For Inmates

Simply put, inmate jail records are official documents that are issued whenever an offender is convicted and sentenced to a correctional facility. These inmate records are typically created by the facility’s administrative staff to which the offender is sentenced.

Are Inmate Jail Records Available to the Public?

The answer is yes. The Freedom of Information Act makes most inmate jail records available to the public. Availability may differ from one state to another based on each state’s public record laws, though.

Inmate jail records typically contain basic information about inmates, including their names, confinement status, and personal information.

This is in addition to information related to the conviction, such as the court’s name, degree of offense, admission date, sentence status and type, inmate type, custody classification, good behavior rewards, and bad behavior demerits.

Inmate jail records aren’t just publicly available through governmental agencies; they’re also available through third-party service providers that are not government-sponsored.

Third-party service providers, like Background Hawk, have no geographical limitations, so obtaining inmate jail records through them is much easier than going through traditional governmental means.

With Background Hawk, you can request inmate jail records by providing a first name, last name, city, and state. You can also find all the information you need regarding inmate record laws in your specific state and county.

How to Find an Inmate

Obtaining inmate records and finding an inmate is now easier than ever, thanks to the advancements in information management. Not to mention that third-party service providers offer digital copies of inmate records that you can access from the comfort of your home.

Free inmate searches, which are conducted using the inmate’s name, offer basic information about the inmate and can be carried out online. On the other hand, if you wish to access more detailed physical records about an inmate, you’ll have to pay a service fee.

County/City Inmate Jail Records

Country or city inmate jail records can be accessed through government websites or third-party organizations. Using those means, you can perform an inmate search for a free or view basic directories online.

It’s worth noting that most cities, counties, and correctional facilities offer online inmate locating services. These services are managed by the country government and city police departments.

Bear in mind that one city or county’s inmate locator might operate differently from that of another city or county. On that account, the information that one inmate locator reveals might differ from that of another inmate locator.

State Prison Inmate Records

State-level incarcerations, along with their inmate records, are managed by the Department of Corrections in each state. The department’s online database typically has an inmate locator that you can use to find a state prison inmate.

To find state prison inmate records, you’ll need to enter the inmate’s first and last name, race, gender, and age. You’ll also need to provide information about the last known institution in which the inmate was held.

If you’re having a hard time finding a state prison inmate through traditional government means, your best bet is third-party service providers and search engines.

Federal Inmate Records

If the federal records you’re looking for are of an inmate that was incarcerated after 1981, you’ll have to contact the Federal Bureau of Prisons and use the DOJ-361 form to submit a FOIA request. You can also try the Bureau’s online directory.

If you’re looking for federal records of an inmate that was incarcerated between 1870 and 1981, you can find them through the National Archives and Records Administration.

How to Know an Inmate’s Release Date?

An inmate’s release date is typically determined after the sentence or a parole hearing. You can find an inmate’s release date by looking up the inmate’s jail records. The date will be in the sentence information section.

Alternatively, if you know where the inmate is incarcerated, you can simply call the jail/person’s administrative staff and inquire about the release date.

It’s important to keep in mind that inmate release dates aren’t always available to the public. If releasing an inmate’s release date to the public puts the inmate at risk, the information will remain a secret.

Can You Visit a State Prison Inmate?

Yes, but you’ll have to abide by strict visitation rules. These rules tend to vary from one facility to the other, and they dictate things like ID requirements, dress codes, banned items, visitation hours, and so forth.

You need to be on the inmate’s visitation list and schedule your visit beforehand. Otherwise, the process might not go smoothly.

Note: If you have an outstanding warrant or if you’re on probation or parole, you cannot visit a state-run prison. This also applies to people on conditional release.

Can You Visit a Federal Prison Inmate?

You can visit a federal prison inmate by first gaining approval from the Federal Bureau of Prisons; then, you’ll have to abide by the visitation rules set by the facility of interest, such as contact restrictions and dress code.

You must also be on the inmate’s visitation list to be approved for visitation. Only the federal inmate’s immediate family members, distant relatives, friends and associates, and legal officials are allowed to visit them.

Note: Federal inmates get a visitation minimum of 4 hours per month.

Search for Inmates

With Background Hawk, you can search for inmate jail records with complete ease from the comfort of your home. Simply enter the inmate’s first name, last name, city, and state, and then hit the search button.

We’ve also compiled all the information you need to know about inmate jail records per state. So, simply click on the state of interest and learn more about the inmate records.

Inmate Records by State