Conducting an Online Inmate Search
Information about prison inmates are available to the public, and easily accessible both online and offline. Searching prison or inmate records can be a tedious task. Like most searches, the more information you have about a person, the better. Because prison inmates are sometimes transferred to different facilities, it can be difficult for friends and family members to keep up with an inmate’s whereabouts. Fortunately, inmate records are public information, thus accessible. An inmate search can also be helpful when trying to locate a missing person. On rare occasions, loved ones have been able to locate a missing person by searching state and local inmate records. Furthermore, an inmate search can be helpful when trying to piece together a family’s genealogy.
An inmate search contains detail information about each person incarcerated. Moreover, if searching a specific correction facility, you can obtain information regarding the number of inmate escapes, parole violators, death row inmates, and past execution list. A search may also outline the steps family members and friends can take in order to begin writing or visiting an inmate. If trying to search prison records for an inmate, consider the following tips.
• City Jail: Individuals convicted of misdemeanors and those awaiting transfer to a state correctional facility are confined in the city or county jail. Searching for an inmate on the city level is much easier than trying to locate an inmate incarcerated in a state facility. Begin by contacting the county jail. Usually, information about inmates can be revealed through a telephone conversation. Each city inmate undergoes a registration, which is public information. Family members contacting the city jail may be able to obtain details about an inmate, including transfer and sentencing information.
• State Department of Corrections: Persons convicted of serious crimes are held in state correction facility. Some states have more than one facility. Thus, tracking down an inmate can be difficult. However, many websites offer information on correction facilities in each state. To start, locate various state’s Department of Corrections with the following link: http://www.ancestorhunt.com/prison_search.htm. Once you’ve clicked the link for a particular state, a directory listing of all the correctional facilities within the state will appear, including address, telephone number, and warden’s name. Contact the corrections facility, and request an inmate search. Provide the inmate’s first and last name. Knowing a person’s inmate identification number can expedite the search process.
• Federal Bureau of Prisons (http://www.bop.gov/index.jsp): The Federal Bureau of Prisons is an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. This agency is primarily responsible for building and maintaining safe and cost-effective correction centers across the nation. The agencies website also includes tools for locating or searching inmates confined in the nation’s correction facilities. The inmate search includes a listing of all prison inmates from 1982 to present. To begin, click the “inmate locator” link. Next, search for the inmate by name (first, middle, and last). If possible, include additional information such as race, sex, and age. This will help narrow down the search results. Inmate searches are free of charge, and provide information such as registered number, projected release date, and location.
• Sex Offender Records: Another option for locating an inmate involves utilizing sex offender records. Persons convicted of sexual assault, rape, and other sex crimes must register as a sex offender with a national sex offender database. Thus, if trying to find the location of a person convicted of a sex crime, searching for the inmate in a registry such as Familywatchdog.com is useful. Search results contain information about the location of the correction facility responsible for the inmate, inmate identification number, sentencing court, and conviction date.
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