Welcome to Zoukis Consulting Group’s inmate search tool. This tool can aid you in quickly locating a state or federal inmate. Below you will find our BOP inmate locator, federal inmate locator, and inmate search tools.
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Inmate Search and Locator Tools: Staying Connected with Those In Prison
Prisoners are often cut off from contacting the world outside of prison. Likewise, family and friends can become cut off from their incarcerated loved ones. Restrictive correspondence, visiting, and telephone policies, and a general lack of information about where the prisoner is currently incarcerated make it very difficult to stay in contact with an inmate.
To make locating a state or federal prisoner easier, many corrections departments have created online tools called inmate locator or prisoner locator tools – an online, electronic database that the public can access to search for an incarcerated loved one. However, it’s sometimes difficult to find these databases.
Studies have shown that prisoners who stay in contact with their families and communities while incarcerated have lower recidivism rates – primarily due to the enhanced support network they can rely on while in prison and upon release. We hope this page will help family members and friends stay in contact.
Federal or State Prison?
Families and friends of prisoners should keep in mind that inmates in the United States can be housed in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, any of the 50 other state prison systems, or even a private prison that contracts with either the federal prison system or one of the state prison systems.
If you are attempting to locate a prisoner and don’t know what prison system they are incarcerated in, then you should:
- Search the state’s department of corrections inmate locator for the state where the prisoner lived before their incarceration. These inmate search tools may provide the information you are seeking.
- Then try the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator. Since state and federal crimes can be committed and prosecuted in every state and jurisdiction of the United States, the BOP inmate locator may have the information you seek.
BOP Inmate Locator: How to Locate a Federal Prisoner
Locating a federal prisoner is relatively straightforward. Simply go to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Inmate Locator tool. You can search the BOP inmate locator by the inmate’s BOP Register Number or by first and last name. If searching by name, you can further limit search results by inputting their race, age, and gender. This can help in cases where the name is common or the basic search results net many inmates.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons notes a few disclaimers concerning their federal inmate locator tool.
- The Federal Bureau of Prisons generally only houses federal pre-trial inmates, those sentenced by federal courts to a term of incarceration, and offenders from the District of Columbia convicted of felonies.
- When a federal inmate is released from custody, their BOP inmate locator record remains online, but their release date shows “Released on ___” in the federal prison locator tool.
- The Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Inmate Locator Tool only contains information about inmates incarcerated post-1982. If you are searching for information concerning an inmate released prior to 1982, you will need to contact the National Archives for additional information.
- The Release Date data point reflects the inmate’s good conduct time release date. This means that the date listed in the federal inmate locator includes any projected credit for good conduct time earned. If an inmate loses good conduct time due to a disciplinary infraction, this date will change to reflect the loss of good conduct time.
- If an inmate is incarcerated for a crime committed before November 1, 1987, they are deemed an “Old Law” inmate and may be eligible for parole. In this case, the Release Date data point in the BOP inmate locator shows their statutory release date (i.e., the date of their full term of imprisonment minus any good conduct time). If the U.S. Parole Commission grants the inmate parole, the granted parole date will occur before the statutory release date.
- If the location indicates that the inmate is housed in a Regional Office, the inmate is currently housed in state prison custody. This indicates that they are serving a concurrent state sentence (i.e., a state term of imprisonment and a federal term of imprisonment at the same time).
- If the BOP inmate locator location indicates that the inmate is housed in a Community Corrections Management Center (CCM), this means that they are currently housed in a contract halfway house. This occurs during the last 12 months of their term of imprisonment.
- If the BOP inmate locator “location” indicates “IN TRANSIT,” then the inmate is currently being moved from one location to another. This could mean a prison-to-prison transfer, transfer to a halfway house, or transfer to other judicial entities (e.g., court, state prison system, etc.).
After following the above advice, if you are still having problems locating a federal inmate, please feel free to Contact Us. Our consultants can assist you in finding your loved one, whether through the federal inmate locator tool or by contacting the Bureau of Prisons directly.
How to Locate a State Inmate
Locating a state prison inmate is much like finding a federal prisoner. Simply locate the state below where the inmate is currently incarcerated, click on the inmate locator link for that state, provide the personal information requested (e.g., name, inmate number, age, gender, race, etc.), and engage the search function.
This is the Alabama Department of Corrections’ (ADOC) inmate locator tool. You can search by the inmate’s Alabama Institution Serial (AIS) number, first name, and last name. The AIS number is a unique six-digit number assigned to each inmate.
The database warns that it only contains information about currently incarcerated inmates. When using this tool, it is important to use as detailed information as possible because only the first 50 matching records are provided.
The Alaska Department of Corrections’ (AKDOC) prisoner locator tool permits filtering by the inmate’s first name, last name, and inmate number. You can also search by partial name or ID number and obtain photos of each prisoner (where available).
The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry’s (ADCRR) inmate locator tool permits search by inmate first name, inmate last name, and prisoner number. Additionally, you can search by active and inactive inmates, along with those on supervised release and parole. The search function also enables search for offenders who have absconded.
The Arkansas Department of Correction’s (ADOC) inmate locator permits a search through various filters. You can query by ADC number, inmate first name, inmate last name, gender, and race. You can also search by county, correctional facility, and offense category. There is also the option to locate records with or without photos.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) permits search by CDCR number and inmate last name. Results can be further refined by inmate first name and middle name. Searchers must include either the inmate’s last name or CDCR number when performing a query.
The Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) permits search through CDOC number, offender last name, offender first name, and inmate gender.
The Connecticut Department of Correction’s (CT DOC) offender information search permits search by CT DOC number, last name, first name, and date of birth.
This is the Delaware Department of Corrections’ (DDOC) prisoner locator portal. You can search by the inmate’s first and last name, inmate number, and case number. There is also the option to render search results with photos when available.
The District of Columbia Department of Corrections (DCDOC) does not have an online inmate locator. Instead, you can call their Records Office at 202-523-7060.
You can also use the VINE search tool to find additional information about inmates in the DC DOC. This tool permits search by inmate first and last name and offender identification number. Please note that this is different from the BOP inmate locator. Do not use this search tool to locate federal inmates.
The Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) permits search by inmate last name, inmate first name, and FDOC number. When querying, you can elect to see photographs of inmates or restrict this function. You also have the option of searching by alias.
The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDOC) permits search of inmate location and pardon/parole status. The portal permits search by prisoner’s first name, last name, gender, race, age range, and most recent institution. You can also filter the results by various other factors, including alias, middle name, height range, weight range, eye and hair color, sentencing status, primary offense, conviction county, and more.
The Hawaii Department of Public Safety (HDPS) allows search by inmate’s last name, first name, and registration number. This portal also permits search through age range, date of birth, and facility name.
The Idaho Department of Corrections’ (IDOC) offender search portal permits search by last name, first name, and IDOC number. You must input either the prisoner’s last name or IDOC number to run a search.
The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) permits searching via inmate last name, IDOC number, and birthdate. You can also call 217-558-2200 to obtain information via telephone.
The Indiana Department of Correction’s (IDOC) Offender Search allows search by inmate first name, inmate last name, and offender number.
The Iowa Department of Corrections (IDOC) permits queries by inmate first name, middle name, and last name. You can also filter your search by birthdate or birthdate rage, gender, offender number, location, offense, and county of confinement.
The Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) permits users to search by inmate’s last name, first name, and middle name. You can also search by KDOC number. Additionally, you can elect to display inmate photos or display inmate thumbnail photos.
The Kentucky Department of Corrections (KDOC) permits search by inmate last name, inmate first name, and inmate middle name. You can also search by inmate alias and elect only to see results with photos. Additionally, the Kansas Offender Search portal permits filtering through many factors, including offender type (i.e., incarcerated, community supervision, and absconded), KDOC number, PID number, supervision status, location type, location, county of supervision, various conviction information, escape or absconded date, and projected release date.
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (LDPSC) permits members of the public to call 225-383-4580 to obtain access to inmate location information. When calling this phone number, you must have the inmate’s name and date of birth or the inmate’s DPS&C number. The VINE search tool permits search by inmate first name, inmate last name, inmate registration number, and case number.
The Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) allows search by MDOC number, inmate first name, inmate middle name, inmate last name, gender, age-range, weight range, height range, eye color, hair color, race, ethnicity, current status, location, and offense type. Note that this inmate locator provides information about those both incarcerated and in community supervision.
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services’ (MDPSCS) inmate locator only permits search by inmate first name and inmate last name.
The Massachusetts Department of Correction (MADOC) allows members of the public to obtain information about inmates both online and via telephone. To receive information via telephone, call 866-277-7477.
Online inmate searching is performed through VINE. You can search via inmate last name, inmate first name, and offender identification number here. You can also search by facility, date of birth, and age range.
The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) permits search by inmate last name, inmate first name, MDOC number, sex, race, age, and offender status (i.e., active offenders, prisoners, parolees, probation, discharged, parole absconders, and probation absconders).
The Minnesota Department of Corrections (MNDOC) allows search via inmate name and MNDOC offender identification number. If searching by name, you only need to insert either the first or last name but can include both to receive more targeted results.
The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) permits search by inmate last name, inmate first name, and MNDOC identification number.
The Missouri Department of Corrections (MODOC) allows the public to search by inmate first name, inmate last name, and MO DOC number.
The Montana Department of Corrections (MTDOC) permits queries by the department of corrections number and inmate first name and last name.
The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) allows search by inmate last name and first name. You can also search by inmate NDCS number.
The Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) allows the general public to search for inmates by an offender’s identification number or first name and last name. You can also call Family Services at 775-887-3367 for inmate information.
The New Hampshire Department of Corrections (NHDOC) allows search by inmate first name and inmate last name. The search tool also permits users to input part of the first or last name when searching.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) permits search by numerous factors. You can search by inmate last name, first name, SBI number, sex, aliases, hair color, eye color, race, age range, and birthdate range. You can also limit the search to inmates at specific facilities or counties of commitment. There is also the option to disable photos from appearing in search results.
The New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) allows users to search by offender last name, offender first name, inmate number, and NMDC number. The NMDC notes that it does not have jurisdiction over county or city detention facilities.
The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Services (NYSDOCCS) allows search by entering an inmate’s last name, first name, middle initial, name suffix (e.g., Sr., Jr., etc.), birth year, Department Identification Number, and NYSID number. The NYSDOCCS warns that the DIN and NYSID numbers are not to be used in combination.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) permits search by inmate last name, inmate first name, inmate middle initial, offender number, gender, race, ethnic group, birth date, and age range. You can also search by whether the offender is an active inmate, active probationer, active parolee, or inactive and birthdate range. The search function also permits name searches that sound like what is entered. Additionally, you can search for offenders who have escaped or been captured, absconded offenders, and inmate releases.
The North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (NDDOCR) allows users to search by the inmate’s last name. You can search either by full last name or the first few letters of the last name.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODCR) allows members of the general public to search by inmate last name, inmate first name, county of commitment, residential county, zip code, next parole hearing date, and inmate number. You can also filter by whether the offender is incarcerated, on parole, or a violator at large.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections (OK DOC) permits search by OK DOC number, first name, last name, and date of birth. You can also elect to search by alias and similar-sounding names.
The Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) allows search by inmate first name, inmate middle name, inmate last name, and SID number. You can also search by partial names by inserting an asterisk (i.e., *) after the first few entered letters.
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PDOC) permits search by offender first name, offender middle name, and offender last name. You can also search by inmate number and parole number.
Filtering is allowed through gender, race/ethnicity, committing county, current location, citizenship, date of birth, and approximate age. The inmate locator portal also permits searching exclusively for parolees. In addition to the above search elements, you can also refine by county of residence, release date, and district office.
The Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) allows users to search by inmate identification number, inmate last name, inmate first name, race, gender, age-range, and last known city.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) permits search by SCDC identification number, SID number, inmate first name, and inmate last name. You can also search phonetically. Additionally, you can call 1-866-727-2846 for information about inmates.
The South Dakota Department of Corrections’ (SDDOC) inmate search tool permits users to search by DOC number, inmate first name, and inmate last name.
The Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) permits search by inmate name, TDOC number, and State identification number. If searching by name, you must include the inmate’s first name, last name, and race. This portal also permits searching by alias.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCR) allows search by inmate’s last name, first name, TDCJ inmate number, SID number, gender, and race. The portal warns that only currently incarcerated offenders are included in the online database.
The Utah Department of Corrections (UTDOC) permits search by prisoner first name, middle name, last name, and offender identification number.
The Vermont Department of Corrections (VTDOC) allows search by inmate first name and inmate last name. You can filter your search by current inmates only, released inmates only, or all inmates.
The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) permits search by inmate first and last name or inmate identification number. You can further filter results by inserting inmate middle name, alias, location, release date, age range, gender, and race.
The Washington State Department of Corrections (WA DOC) allows users to search by prisoner first name, last name, and WA DOC identification number. The search portal limits its results to current prisoners only.
The West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (WVDOCR) allows search by OID identification number, last name, and first name. You can also search by inputting the first four OID numbers or the first three first name and last name letters. Additionally, you can search for West Virginia jail detainees by inserting the prisoner’s last name (full or partial) and first name (optional).
The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WDOC) inmate search tool permits queries by last name, first name, middle initial, race, birth year, gender, age range, address (i.e., city, zip code range, county), and DOC identification number. You can also restrict your search to registered sex offenders and whether the offender is actively incarcerated or under active community supervision.
The Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) allows search using WDOC number, inmate last name, inmate first name, age, and gender.
Tips and Tools for Locating a Prisoner
You should be aware that inmate locator service databases are not updated in real-time. Some update once every 24 hours or every few days (e.g., BOP inmate locator). In this case, you may be required to wait a day or two to see if the inmate’s location information is added to the database.
If the information is still not available after waiting a day or two, you can try calling the facility where the inmate is located or the central office (i.e., headquarters) for the prison system to inquire. Typically, these administrative offices can be contacted via both telephone and email.
Tips and Tools for Locating a Prisoner
Note that it’s not unheard of for individuals to be arrested, charged, and even convicted and sentenced to a term of incarceration without their names being known. For example, sometimes, illegal immigrants will not disclose their true identities.
Human error can often be a factor when data is passed along through the courts. This can result in inaccurate information in these online inmate locator databases, for example, the BOP inmate locator. This can make obtaining a prisoner’s location information even more challenging.
Prisons are as likely to suffer from the same error and technological difficulties as other organizations, making it difficult to employ an accurate inmate locator search. Luckily, most of the state department of corrections inmate locator tools work and provide users with the information they seek.
The various state corrections departments have varying policies about accessing historical inmate identification and location data. Most states do not currently offer information on their individual prisons or the whereabouts of released inmates. If you believe the inmate you are searching for may have been released from custody, you can contact the state’s public record office or department of corrections for support.
Further Inmate Search Support
Locating a family member or friend in prison can be a challenging and frustrating process. Going into this with your eyes wide open is essential. If you attempt to locate a prison inmate using the advice contained on this webpage but are still unsuccessful, please Contact Us, and we will try to assist in any way we can.
Published May 10, 2016 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on May 12, 2022 at 9:22 pm