Inmate & Prisoner Locator Search
Welcome to PrisonEducation.com's Inmate Locator | Prison Locator search tool.
With the aid of this tool, families and friends of the incarcerated can quickly and easily locate those in American prisons.
Inmate Location Tools: Staying Connected with Those In Prison
Prisoners are often cut off from contacting the world outside of prison and likewise, family and friends can become cut off from the prisoner. Restrictive correspondence, visiting, and telephone policies and a general lack of information about where the prisoner is currently all make it very challenging to stay in contact with an inmate.
In an effort to make locating prison inmates easier, many states' departments of corrections have created online tools called an inmate locator or prisoner locator - an online, electronic database that the public has access to. However, it's sometimes difficult to find these databases.
Studies have shown prisoners who stay in contact with their families and communities while incarcerated have lower recidivism rates – mostly 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 vs. State Prisons
Families and friends of prisoners should keep in mind inmates in America can be housed in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons or in any of the 50 other state prison systems.
If someone is attempting to locate a prisoner and they don't know what prison system they are incarcerated in, then they should:
1. Search the state's department of corrections' inmate locator for the state where the prisoner lived prior to their incarceration.
2. Then try the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator as both state and federal crimes can be committed and prosecuted in every state and jurisdiction of the United States.
How to Locate a Federal Prisoner
Locating a federal prisoner is fairly straightforward. Simply go to the Federal Bureau of Prisons' Inmate Locator tool, enter the requested information (e.g., name, inmate number, etc.), and activate the search function. In order to yield more accurate results, the race, age, and gender of the prisoner could also be in-putted.
How to Locate a State Inmate
Locating a state prison inmate is much the same as locating a federal prisoner. Simply locate the state below that the inmate is incarcerated in, click on the inmate locator link, provide the personal information requested (e.g., name, age, gender, race, etc.), and engage the search function.
- Alabama Inmate Locator
- Alaska Inmate Locator
- Arizona Inmate Locator
- Arkansas Inmate Locator
- California Inmate Locator
- Colorado Inmate Locator
- Connecticut Inmate Locator
- Delaware Inmate Locator
- Florida Inmate Locator
- Georgia Inmate Locator
- Hawaii Inmate Locator
- Idaho Inmate Locator
- Illinois Inmate Locator
- Indiana Inmate Locator
- Iowa Inmate Locator, then click on Offender Information at the top of the left sidebar.
- Kansas Inmate Locator
- Kentucky Inmate Locator
- Louisiana Inmate Locator
- Maine Inmate Locator
- Maryland Inmate Locator
- Massachusetts Inmate Locator
- Michigan Inmate Locator
- Minnesota Inmate Locator
- Mississippi Inmate Locator
- Missouri Inmate Locator
- Montana Inmate Locator
- Nebraska Inmate Locator
- Nevada Inmate Locator
- New Hampshire Inmate Locator
- New Jersey Inmate Locator
- New Mexico Inmate Locator
- New York Inmate Locator
- North Carolina Inmate Locator
- North Dakota Inmate Locator
- Ohio Inmate Locator
- Oklahoma Inmate Locator
- Oregon Inmate Locator
- Pennsylvania Inmate Locator
- Rhode Island Inmate Locator
- South Dakota Inmate Locator
- Tennessee Inmate Locator
- Texas Inmate Locator
- Utah Inmate Locator
- Vermont Inmate Locator
- Virginia Inmate Locator
- Washington Inmate Locator
- Washington DC Criminal Search
- West Virginia Inmate Locator
- Wisconsin Inmate Locator
- Wyoming Inmate Locator
Note: State prison inmate locators - much like the Federal Bureau of Prisons' inmate locator - do not have access to or communicate with county prisons, regional jails, or city jails. Most offender searches will be unable to locate information on county inmates or jail detainees. While some county jails do have online inmate search access, most do not. If the information sought via the state prisoner search function here does not yield the desired result, the user can try searching for the name of the nearby counties and the term "inmate locator" in a search engine. This should bring up a list of county or regional jail inmate locators, where available.
Tips and Tools for Locating a Prisoner
Users of such inmate locator services should be aware that these databases are not updated in real time. Some update once every 24 hours or even every few days. In this case, the user could wait a day or two to see if the inmate's location information is added to the database, or if the name of the prison is known, then the prison itself - or the central office/headquarters for the prison system - could be reached via telephone or email.
Also, it's not unheard of for prisoners to be arrested, charged, and even convicted and sentenced to a term of incarceration without their name being known. For example, sometimes illegal immigrants will not disclose their true identity. More often, human error can be a factor when data is being passed along through the courts. This then results in inaccurate information in these online inmate locator databases. This can make it even more difficult to obtain a prisoner's location information.
Prisons are as likely to suffer from the same error and technological problems as other organizations, and that can make it difficult to employ an accurate inmate locator search. Luckily, most of the state department of corrections' inmate locator tools work well and provide users with the information they are seeking.
Historical Data on Prison Inmates
The various state departments of corrections 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 a user believes that the inmate they are searching for may have been released from custody, they should contact the state's public record's office or department of corrections for support.
Locating a family member or friend in prison can be a challenging and frustrating process. Going into this with one's 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.